Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tricks of the Trade - Use a 4 Inch Pop-Up on Irrigation Heads

When choosing irrigation heads, consider using a head that has a 4 inch pop-up.  The photo below shows a head with a 2 inch pop-up.  As you can see the head is not reaching above the turf canopy, thus the head is providing poor distribution.


Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, May 18, 2015

Channel Drain vs. Catch Basin - What is the Best Option?


Drainage along running tracks are always a point of discussion.  In this post we are looking at the two most common options.  The channel drain and the catch basin.
Channel Drain:

A channel drain is installed along the track edge often backfilled with concrete on both sides of the drain.  This design allows for 100% exposed surface drainage along the track/grass interface.  Below is an example from the new track and field complex at Indiana State University.



Catch Basin:

The catch basin is a larger exposed drain but only in certain locations of the playing surface.  Often the soil is sloped in each direction towards the closet catch basin.  Below is an example of a catch basin.  As you can see, if a channel drain was installed all of the standing water from the snow melt would have been removed.  


The catch basin option is more cost effective than a channel drain, but oftentimes does not move water as quickly.  

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.  

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Night at Four Winds Field


The SmartTurf Blog will be posting on facility visits on a frequent basis.  Today, we look at Four Winds Field home of the South Bend Cubs.

In late April, I visited Robert Sedlak, the Head Groundskeeper for the South Bend Cubs.  The playing surface was taken from synthetic turf to natural grass this past off-season.  The new bluegrass surface looked great for late April in South Bend.




The infield mix was amended with Dura Edge Pro from Natural Sand Company prior to the start of the season.  The infield mix was in great condition as well.




The seating bowl was renovated in 2010.  The concourse is open and 360 degrees minus the area directly behind homeplate.  





The outfield has great views of the stadium along with a statue of Stan Koveleski. 






The left field area contains a tiki bar and fire pit.




Also in LF is the team shop.  It is located in a former church.  A very unique setting for a team store.



Bottom line, if you are in South Bend, make a stop at Four Winds Field, you will not be disappointed.  



Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tricks of the Trade - Straw Swaddles


Oftentimes a coach or grounds manager will battle rain running onto the playing surface from a hard surface or water movement causing material loss from a playing surface.  A trick to assist in possibly managing this issue is to use straw swaddles.  



Depending on conditions, the straw swaddle may lessen the water to a point to lessen or eliminate the issue.  This is why I recommend this as a first step for certain playing surfaces due to the inexpensive cost of the process.  If this does not solve the issue a manager may be looking at a more detailed and costly remedy. 

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Backstop Drainage - Channel Drain


We have discussed backstop drainage and design here at the SmartTurf Blog in the past.  With that said, I wanted to post on another drainage option I saw this past week in San Francisco, CA.  




In this example, the channel drain was behind the chain link fence and thus out of play.  The drain also was designed to catch any water attempting to move onto the field.  Quite simply, a very simple but effective design.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tricks of the Trade - Backstop Boards


Recent travels took me to the greater San Francisco area where I visited a field with a chain link/wooden board backstop.  Below are a couple photos of the backstop: 



The wood dresses up the backstop up a little bit while also allowing for the chain link fence to start higher which will in turn lessen the chance of the backstop fence curling from continual foul balls.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Creating a 2 Inch Cap of Dura Edge Classic


The creation of engineered soils have created many new opportunities to amend and manage infield surfaces.  One of the new opportunities is a 2 inch cap over an existing laser graded sub base.  How can a 2 inch cap be successful?  I thought infield mix has to be 4 inches or more in depth?  Simply stated, engineered soils use the correct proportions of sand/silt/clay to allow for the cap.  Think - a more engineered asphalt can be installed at a thinner depth than a gravel road.  DO NOT attempt a cap if the material is not engineered.

Below is a review of a 2 inch cap installation at Hamilton Heights High School.  This surface did not have infield mix added for the past 10 years, so it was 2 inches below finish grade.  

Let’s go through the steps:

First step - Laser grade the existing infield mix to ensure the sub base is a consistent 2 inches below finish grade.

Laser grading the 1st base sub base as the first load of Dura Edge Classic is added to the laser graded 3 rd base sub base

Second step - Add 100 tons of Dura Edge Classic

Third step - Laser grade the Dura Edge Classic and compact with a static 3 ton duel drum roller

Laser grading new Dura Edge Classic cap
Fourth step - Topdress the Dura Edge Classic with 3 tons of Diamond Pro Professional Calcined Clay


Fifth and final step - Finish drag


This project was completed in one day.  Keep in mind the long term maintenance cannot include any activity below 2 inches.  This is not a problem with engineered soils.  As a rule of thumb, less is more with engineered soils.  Less maintenance, less nail dragging, less rainouts, etc.  This surface will perform well and no additional infield mix will be needed for the next 3-5 years depending on maintenance, topdressing programs, etc.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer