As we enter the season of fall, the window to establish a playing surface from seed is closing. If seeding cool season turf (bluegrass, ryegrass, tall fescue) is still desired this fall, consider using a blend that includes more perennial ryegrass as the ryegrass will germinate quicker and has a better chance to survive early spring traffic. If construction issues cause further delays annual ryegrass may need to be considered followed by a permanent spring seeding. HERE is a great publication from Purdue University detailing establishing turf areas from seed.
Back to Saint Mary's of the Woods and the Universe Mowing project from late last week.
The first question is why? The answer arrives in a couple forms. First, the coach and athletic staff wanted to remove the bumpy surface to create a smooth ball roll with healthy, thatch free, aggressively growing turf. Secondly, they wanted to remove as much tall fescue and annual bluegrass as possible while not completely regrading the field with the goal of having the field ready for play by senior day in late October of this year. Finally, they wanted to have the most advanced Barenbrug bluegrass that can tolerate low cutting heights.
So, the process was:
Universe mow the existing turf stand
Seed into the stand
Topdress with 25 tons of rootzone sand
Apply starter fertilizer (16.28.12) at a rate of 4 bags per acre
Here is the step by step approach:
Look for additional posts as the SmartTurf team will follow the progress of the playing surface.
Last week, the J&D Turf team was in Terre Haute, IN with Jerad Minnick of Growing Innovations. The task, Universe Mow the soccer field at SMWC to smooth the surface and clean up the stand of tall fescue.
Here is a photo of the Universe Mowing:
Why Universe Mow? What is the process? Check the SmartTurf Blog tomorrow for a detailed report of the process.
Last week, the SmartTurf team was in Florida. The task, to assist in the installation of FieldSaver 90 at a Sarasota County Softball Complex. Why? Simply stated, the infield mix in Florida typically is orange in color and has an overall sand content of 80-85% with a silt content of around 1% and a clay content of 15-19%. Bottom line, there is not enough silt in the mix to hold together. Hence the infield break apart and the high sand content blow to the edges creating "lips."
Adding FieldSaver 90, or a similar product will drive the sand content down to a typical recreational range while assisting to raise the SCR (Silt to Clay Ratio)
Here were the steps:
Topdressing the FieldSaver 90 Amendment
Tilling in the FieldSaver 90 Amendment
Rolling the Infield
After Initial Laser Grading
Final Cross Section of the Infield Mix Profile - You Can Amend an Infield
In conclusion, an infield can be amended, but you need to know 2 things:
1. What does you existing material consist of - pull a sample and send to an independent soils lab
2. Blend an amendment into the profile at a 3-4 inch depth that will "balance" an infield - in this case a 90% silt/clay product.
Co-founder and partner of J&D Turf. A sportsturf junkie, I cut my teeth at Victory Field with the Indianapolis Indians maintaining the playing surface at what has been dubbed "The Best Minor League Ballpark in America." From intern, to assistant to head groundskeeper over 10 seasons, I was director of operations for the team before realizing sportsturf was my passion, baseball was merely the game.
My bachelor’s degree in sports management from Marian University and a degree in turfgrass science from Purdue University serve as the initial credibility with clients ranging from university to K-12 administrators, parks and rec officials, and maintenance crews to my friends with their own fields in the Major Leagues.
The "Smart Turf" blog is my way of sharing my experiences as consultant, groundskeeper and business owner with the larger sportsturf community. There was a day early in my career that I'd joke that I live to make tall grass short. Given the expanding horizon of this profession over the last decade, I've come to realize and respect it as much more.