Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Seeding

I get this question numerous times during my travels.

The bottom line is, it is always best to seed in the late summer/early fall, but if you need to seed in the spring, Now is the time!

Click here for a great turf tip and publication from Purdue University in regards to spring seeding.

Play on!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Infield Mixes, Vol 12: Post-Season Maintenance

Providing that the steps laid out in the previous 11 volumes were executed, the post-season maintenance of the infield surface is relatively simple and straight forward. There are a few steps that should be taken every year and a few that can be taken on an every 2-3 year basis.

Every Year:
• Continue to edge the infield – this will help to control lips (see Vol 8)
• Laser grade the infield without the addition of infield mix
• Continue to drag the infield to ensure a smooth surface and control weeds
• Keep topdressing at the “typical” levels (1/8-1/4 in. depth)

Most mistakes that I see are staff and coaches who “let the infield go” after the season and the infield has “lips” and unwanted weed growth in the off-season. There are no good products to eliminate weeds on an infield. Pre-emergence products like Snapshot has shown some promise, but if the infield or warning track is played on at any level of play the products will not work as well.

Every 2-3 Years:
• Add new infield mix to the existing infield to ensure positive drainage (see Vol 7)
• Add additional topdressing after adding new infield mix
• Use a laser to check the edges and lower edges and re—sod if necessary

Another mistake I see at high school levels and below is that infield mix is not added on a frequent basis. So, when the infield is 3 inches below grade and the surface drainage has been compromised, six truckloads of infield mix need to be added. That process is very costly. It is much easier to add a truckload or two every 2-3 years. Not only is this more cost-effective long term in regards to infield mix, but think about how much money was spent on drying agent as the infield mix was neglected and went from 1 inch below grade to 3 inches below grade over the years!

What else do you do to your infield during the post-season?

Play on!