Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the Smart Turf Blog!

Play on!

Monday, December 21, 2009

In the off-season

Next to “Is that grass real” the other question asked most frequently was “What do you do in the offseason”

Rest. You’re turf gets an off-season and so should you. In fact, that is the best thing about being a groundskeeper in Indiana. Though you deal with turf disease with the heat and humidity of July and August, the light at the end of the tunnel is December and January when frigid temperatures are just as reliable.

Meet with administrators. Producing outstanding playing surfaces is more than a one-man job. And, I’ll argue that it is more than one department. Excellence comes from shared goals. You wanting perfection while your bosses are OK with mediocrity will leave you horribly short of your goals and always pushing uphill to get there. Use the off-season to share your goals with others, be they your bosses, coaches, athletes.

Write your playbook. A close second to a shared vision is a hands-on plan. Such an outline is what connects the groundskeeping philosophy to its realization. When I had my own field, I could tell you on January 5 what products I would be applying to the field on August 5 on the first day of the team’s road trip. Put it to paper and plan ahead. It’ll make the grind of the season all the more bearable…not to mention easier on the budget.

Set your roster. Considering staffing needs and decisions is more easily done now instead of in March when the urgency of who is going to mow the soccer field plays a factor in the decision. For staff that shows extra enthusiasm (and for yourself), look for professional development opportunities. Think tradeshows – i.e. Midwest Regional Turf Foundation (MRTF), Indiana Parks & Recreation Association, IHSAA – all offer January events with educational components.
Inventory equipment. The right tools make any project easier and increase your chances of success. With multiple storage facilities in different locations, keeping track of what equipment is at your disposal is a job in itself. Task your team to take inventory at each site and devise a plan for sharing equipment among the staff. Then, work with vendors and sister organizations or schools systems to arrange borrowing arrangements and resource sharing.

Happy Holidays to everyone!
Play on!
Here we go!

Sports turf is an exciting and unique industry. Unlike golf, where most courses are managed by a Golf Course Superintendent who typically have a turfgrass science degree, sports turf is managed by Sports Turf Managers, groundskeepers, coaches, AD’s, and sometimes the general building maintenance crew. Thus the Smart Turf Blog is born.
The goal of the blog will be multi-faceted from the basic maintenance, tools, and tricks of the trade, to technical information, to topical information, and guest bloggers who have a great story to tell.
So, let’s get started. I welcome all feedback and questions. Have something on your mind? Want to know how something is done? Just let me know and I will do my best to find the answer. After all, this blog is Smart Turf.

Play on!