Wednesday, December 13, 2017

#LifeOnTheRoad - Infield Mix Drainage

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple. During my travels I encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented to their facility/design.

I visited a new construction recently and the owner was extremely proud that they were able to “push the infield drainage through the budget.”  What is the problem with this?




An engineered soil (in this case DuraEdge Classic) will not move water vertically to the drains.  These drains will not move any water.  What is the answer?  Install drainage off the back arc. 

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Sunday, November 26, 2017

#LifeOnTheRoad - Dugout Heaters

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple.  During my travels I  encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented to their facility/design.

Today’s #LifeOneTheRoad posts takes us to the University of Kansas Softball.  The facility at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park is second to none.  In the dugouts heaters were installed to keep the players warm on the cool spring and fall days.




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

Play on!
--Jamie

@JamieMehringer

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Tale of 2 Walk-ups

Walk-ups are common on both baseball and softball playing surfaces.  If the decision is made to install walk-ups, ensure the design will be tailored to the desired solution.  IE - Reduce/eliminate traffic stress in this high traffic area.  How is this accomplished?  Simple “flair” the walk-ups as they get further away from home plate.  Also ensure the walk-ups are wide enough to accept all traffic - both foot traffic and vehicle traffic.  Here are two examples:

#1 - Walk-ups too narrow.  Note the narrow width of the walk-up.





#2 - Walk-up in a “flair” design.  Note the lack of wear around walk-up.




Proper design will lessen or eliminate traffic stress.  Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Sunday, October 22, 2017

University of Kansas - Transition to a DuraEdge Surface

The J&D Turf team partnered with Midwest Laser Leveling to replace the infield surface at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park at the University of Kansas.  Let’s get into the details of the project.

The discussion of the infield surface began in March during an initial meeting with Frank Masterson, Director at Rock Chalk Park.  The existing infield surface was difficult to manage due to the combination of too much fine sand and a silt to clay ratio (SCR) of less than .5%.  The combination of these two items took the infield surface from too wet to too dry in quick order.  Bottom line, managing moisture was a challenge.  If too wet, the surface would play “spongy”.  If too dry, the surface would “chip” aggressively and then become extremely firm.  Finally, there was a bit or erosion present along the infield mix/synthetic turf edge.






The solution - remove the existing mix and install 4 inches of Dura Edge Professional. Martin Lane, with Midwest Laser Leveling, partnered with J&D Turf for the labor component of the project and provided service second to none.  The existing infield mix was removed and stockpiled for recycling in the parking lot.  The crushed stone sub base was laser graded and proof rolled to ensure proper base compaction.  DuraEdge Professional was installed, compacted and laser graded in two inch lifts using a conical laser.  Finally, Turface Calcined Clay Conditioner was added as a topdressing.






In conclusion, The sand/silt/clay ratios of the material along with the sand sizing will provide the KU maintenance staff a more user friendly surface to manage, both in wet and dry conditions. 

Thanks to Frank Masterson and his crew along with Martin Lane with Midwest Laser Leveling, this project was completed in 4 days and ready for play at the conclusion of the project.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Friday, September 22, 2017

Infield Mix Drainage - DO NOT PLACE TILES UNDER INFIELD MIX

There are many misconceptions in regards to infield mix drainage.  Below are a few basic points to infield mix construction and thus creating proper drainage:
With the three basic items listed above the infield will drain via surface drainage.  No movement of water will take place vertically.  Due to this fact, there is NO need for drainage under the infield mix.  With this said, this is what I witnessed last week.  This drain will not function properly and is a waste of money.


A solution?  Installation of the drain along the back arc in the turfgrass.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Aerification and Topdressing Sports Turf

We are entering the fall window to aerify and topdress cool season sports turf.  The SmartTurf team aerified and topdressed a soccer field this past week.  Here are a couple photos:



In this application, the goal is to create a sand cap similar to the research from Michigan State detailing the Spartan Sand Cap.

Will you be aerifying and topdressing your fields this fall?

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, August 17, 2017

How Do I Create a Sports Turf Divot Mix?

I get this question a number of times during my travels?  How do handle the bare areas on my field?  With fall sports beginning, let's look at how to create a divot mix.

This is a major problem on cool season athletic fields.  All it takes is a simple blend of 2-3 products.

First, place topsoil and if you have it available, peat on the grounds shop floor.



Next, add seed at a rate equal to the soil/peat blend.  Yes, I know this is a lot of seed, but being aggressive with seeding rates are critical in high traffic areas.



Blend all the materials together with a shovel and place in a bucket.



Finally, place in the bare area.  Using some type of aerification before seeding is the best approach.  In this case, a pitch fork provided the aerification.


Creating a seed bank in cool season athletic fields are critical to achieving 100% cover.  Don't be afraid to seed frequently.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer