Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tricks of the Trade

A new segment of the SmartTurf blog.  Tricks of the trade.  Here are two tricks that I wanted to share this evening:

1.  Take a standard tine rake to a bench grinder and sharpen the teeth.  Now, the rake is a clay shaving tool:

2.  Next tip, take seat belt webbing, make a loop and attach a grommet.  Attach to a 10 inch nail, and you have a tarp nail with a handle:

Look for more tricks of the trade in future blog posts.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brian Wilson Field - Batavia, Ohio

This is the first of a number of posts from a project that has been taking place this fall.  Brian Wilson Field in Batavia, OH is a new field that will host the UC Clermont baseball program beginning in 2013.

The plan is as follows:

  1. Take an existing softball field with 200 ft fences and create a college baseball field
  2. Build a new backstop
  3. Irrigate the playing surface
  4. Create a new infield surface using Dura Edge products
  5. Build a new warning track
  6. Sod the infield and foul territory areas
  7. Seed the outfield
  8. Build a new mound and two bullpens
  9. Opening Day - March 2013
Here are a few before and after photos of the project as a first overview:

Warning Track:

Infield Mix:

Outfield Rootzone from Second Base:

Looking from Right Field to Home Plate:

Look for additional posts over the next two weeks to take a closer look at the phases of the project.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adding Dura Edge Pro at Parkview Field

The J&D Turf team was in Ft Wayne, IN yesterday.  The task, add one load of Dura Edge Pro to the infield at Parkview Field, home of the Ft Wayne Tin Caps.

Here is a photo journal of the project:

Adding material and leveling the baselines:

Adding material to the infield via a topdresser and laser grading as adding material:

Hand tilling the edges:

Using the Blec to blend the two materials together:

After working up the entire the infield with the Blec, the surface was rolled with a 3 ton duel drum roller and the initial final laser grade was started:

After an hour of laser grading the infield the infield was finish rolled with a 3 ton roller.  The surface will be conditioned with Diamond Pro in the spring.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DePauw University in Late October

I stopped by DePauw University today.  Here are a couple of photos.

First, the Riviera bermudagrass soccer field, overseeded with ryegrass:

Next, the field hockey field.  This field is Patriot bermudagrass, overseeded with ryegrass:

Finally, the bluegrass/ryegrass football field:

All three fields have received similar play this fall.  Do you think bermudagrass has a place in athletic fields in the transition zone?

Click HERE to learn more about DePauw athletics.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fort Wayne Tin Caps - Parkview Field Re-Sod

I made a stop yesterday at Parkview Field.  Home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.  Head Groundskeeper, Keith Winter, is just finishing a re-sod project.  The sod is from Graff's Sod Farm.  Here are a few photos.

Look for additional photos next week as the J&D Turf crew is on-site to add Dura Edge Pro infield mix.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Infield Renovation at Notre Dame - Vol II

As promised, here are a few more photos of the infield renovation at the University of Notre Dame.

The finished product at the end of the day yesterday.

A before and after photo from the mound renovation.  Notice the board being used to ensure the sides of the mound are on grade.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Infield Renovation at Notre Dame

The J&D Turf crew partnered with Bush Turf to renovate the infield turf and Frank Eck Stadium at the University of Notre Dame.

The goals were simple:

  1. Remove the existing sod and laser grade rootzone
  2. Install new sod
  3. Renovate mound and plate
  4. Add 25 tons of Dura Edge Pro to the infield and laser grade
Here are a number of photos of the project:

Removing the existing sod:

Getting ready to grade the rootzone:

Installing the new sod:

Adding Dura Edge Pro:

Thanks to Dan Brazo and his crew at the University of Notre Dame.   Look for additional finished photos tomorrow.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Leveling Baseball Field Baselines - Notre Dame

This past week, the J&D Turf team spent the week in South Bend, IN.  The task was to renovate the baseball infield at Frank Eck Stadium, add Dura Edge Pro to the infield and baselines and renovate the mound and plate.  Look for a post of the renovation work at the stadium later this week.  I wanted to also share a couple of photos on leveling the baselines.  This leveling process will work on any baseball surface.  Keep in mind, if leveling with a board, address all "lips" before grading.

With that said, here is the process that took place at Notre Dame.

First, edge the sod to create clean edges.  (at this stage you would want to address any "lips" as well).  Then, add infield mix to the baselines and using a 2x4 screed board level the next material.

Next, till the new material into the existing material.  Ideally, the tilling depth is 3-4 inches.  In this example, Dura Edge Pro was added/tilled to existing Dura Edge Pro baselines.

Then, re-screed the tilled material.

Using a 3 ton dual drum roller, roll the baselines.

Finally, add conditioner and drag.

This entire project for both baselines took approx. 3 hours.

Now the baselines are level and create smooth transitions between the turf and the infield mix.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brick Dust for an Infield Mix?

Using crushed brick for an infield mix was a practice that was used across the Midwest for a number of years in the 1990 - 2005 window.  The J&D Turf team renovates at least 1-2 fields a year that have brick dust as an infield mix.

First, let's discuss crushed brick.  Brick dust is simply crushed brick.  So, the lack of sand/silt/clay make the material very mobile and dusty in dry weather.  Where did this material come from?  My guess is a number of things:

  1. The cost - in the housing boom crushed brick was easy to find at a low price point - that is not the case today
  2. The color - the bright red color was visually appealing
  3. Ease of installation - just throw if down on top of the existing material
So, what is the issue?  Simply, the material was initially used as a topdressing, but as load after load was installed through the years more than 2 inches of this material was installed.  This would not be unlike attempting to play on 2 inches of calcined or vitrified clay.  After a rain event, it is not uncommon to see a brick dust infield look like the one below:

As you can see from the photos, the high traffic areas (around the bases) are extremely low.  Material has been pushed to the edges from dragging and the ensure smooth edges.  So, what is the solution?  FieldSaver50.  Click HERE to see the blog link on renovating a brick dust infield.

In the future, brick dust has a use on warning tracks where more vertical drainage and a softer surface is desired.  The other question I get is, "Can I use it as a topdressing?"  My answer, no, there are other conditioners that will provide the red color without breaking down, turing into a powder, and staining unifroms.  The best product to achieve the look of brick dust, without breaking down is expanded shale/vitrified clay.  Diamond Pro is a great source for this material.

Let's turn the page, and stop using brick dust as an infield mix.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.


Friday, October 5, 2012

A Good Way to Construct a Softball Bullpen

I wanted to share a photo of a bullpen from a field I visited last week.

This bullpen at the University of Indianapolis utilizes 4x4 lumber to edge the bullpen.  Consider using this on bullpens for both baseball and softball.  It provides a good edge to work off of to keep grass out of bullpen areas.  Also, when the time comes to add material to the area, a board can be used to pull along the lumber to ensure a smooth area in a similar fashion as adding materials to baselines as shown below:

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!