Saturday, April 30, 2011

Central Region Little League - Stokely Field - Let the Renovation Begin

This is the first in a series that will follow the renovation of Stokley Field at the Central Region Little League Headquarters on the east side of Indianapolis. J&D Turf is heading up the field renovation. The renovation will consist of the following:

1. Removal of existing vegetation and brick dust infield
2. Laser grading of rootzone
3. Installation of new irrigation system
4. Installation of new fencing
5. Installation of a new perimeter drain behind the outfield fence
6. New Kentucky bluegrass sod
7. New infield mix - Dura Edge Classic from Natural Sand Company
8. New Dura Traxx warning track material for Natural Sand Company

The project will be completed by the end of May. The tournament begins in early August.

Here are two photos taken before construction begins. As you can see, the existing turf was sprayed with Glyphosate to ensure complete kill of the old fescue/annual bluegrass turf.

To learn more about the Central Region Little League Headquarters, click HERE
To learn more about Stokley Field, click HERE

Go the to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Homeplate - From Hilltopper to Dura Edge Classic in One Day

Yesterday, the J&D Turf crew was at Central Region Little League Headquarters to work on a homeplate area on Ferguson Field. This plate area was installed with all Hilltopper mound clay in the summer of 2011. After using the field for the central region tournament, the groundscrew decided that they wanted Dura Edge Classic in the areas around the catcher's and batter's boxes.

The first photo shows the Hilltopper Mound Clay tilled to a depth of 4 inches.

The final photo shows the area prepped for Dura Edge Classic infield mix.

The last photo shows the plate after the first lift of Dura Edge Classic. Another lift was added and compacted to complete the renovation.

The Hilltopper Mound Clay that was removed will be re-used on the renovation of Stokely Field in the month of May.

I thought the photos show how clay should be installed on a homeplate area. All the Hilltopper in the rectangle that was not removed is laser leveled to be on grade with the plate. The new Dura Edge Classic was sloped to the edges of the plate to ensure that no water run back onto the plate.

To see an additional blog post on homeplate renovation, click HERE.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Bermuda Grass Green Up in Indiana

A couple of photos from this week around Indiana. The first photo (taken Monday, April 25) is from the training camp field for the Indianapolis Colts at Anderson University. Although difficult to tell in the photo, the Patriot bermuda grass is starting to green up.

The next two photos (taken Thursday, April 28) taken are from the women's soccer practice field at Indiana University. As you can see, 2 hours south makes a big difference! This Patriot bermuda grass is green already. The taller turf is ryegrass that was sprayed with Katana herbicide earlier in the week. This field was a cool season field that had Patriot inter-sprigged into ryegrass canopy last summer. Obviously, this is an effective option for bermuda conversion.

I will continue to follow these fields, as well as the fields at Rose-Hulman and the Colts practice facility in 2011. As you will see, bermuda grass is an option for schools/universities in central and southern Indiana.

To learn more about Patriot bermuda grass, click HERE
To learn more about bermudagrass inter-sprigging into existing cool season turf, click HERE.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wet Fields and Balanced Infield Mixes

Wet fields are the case across Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. I have been in Indianapolis, IN, Columbus, OH, Bloomington, IN and Lexington, KY this week. Fields are extremely wet across this entire area. What I also found are fields that have balanced infield mixes are still able to play games more frequently. Below are two pictures of balanced infield mixes.

Indiana University - One truckload of FS 50 and one load of Dura Edge Pro

Brown County High School - One truckload of FS 50

Look for more postings of my travels this week over the weekend when I get back home.......

Play on!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baseball and Softball at Notre Dame

This past week I stopped by the University of Notre Dame. I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the baseball and softball facilities. All the athletic facilities are under the supervision of Mr. Dan Brazo.

The first set of photos show Frank Eck Stadium. Eck Stadium is the home of Notre Dame Baseball.

First. The infield...... The infield mix is Dura Edge Pro from Natural Sand Company. The turf is blue/rye.

Second. The seating bowl. The facility is very impressive!

To learn more about Fran Eck Stadium - click HERE.

The next set of photos show the new $4.9 million Melissa Cook Stadium, home of the Fighting Irish softball program.

The field has Hilltopper infield mix and is a blue/rye surface as well.

First. The infield and the outfield......

Second. The seating bowl.........

Third. The dugout...... Notice the heaters on the roof of the dugout.

To learn more about Melissa Cook Stadium - click HERE.

After in excess of 3/4 inches of overnight rain, both infields were ready for play by noon the next day!

To learn more about University of Notre Dame Athletics, click HERE.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do You Think Seed to Soil Contact Matters?

Check out the photo below. The is from Brebeuf High School after solid tine aerification and 2 passes with a Redexim Speed Seeder.

Make sure all your overseeding efforts have good seed to soil contact!

To learn more about Redexim, click HERE

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sandridge Infield Mix - AMENDED

Last week, the J&D Turf team was in Brown County, Indiana at Brown County High School. The exisiting baseball field had 4 inches of Sandridge infield mix. This mix is taken from the Ohio River, thus it is high in silt and has a elevated SCR. To learn more about the silt/clay ratio click HERE and HERE. The amendment of choice for this project, FieldSaver 50 from Natural Sand.

The photo below shows one pass of FS 50 on the infield.

The next photo shows one pass of the Blecavator. It is CRITICAL to blend the existing material into the new material when amending an infield with FS 50. To learn more about adding new material to existing material, click HERE.

After rolling, the infield was laser graded to ensure positive drainage. The photo below shows one of the final passes with the laser guided box blade.

Next, the infield was conditioned with calcined clay. To learn more about conditioners and topdressings, click HERE.

Finally, a finished product photo. This project took one day. Brown County High School played a varsity game 3 hours after the completion of the project with a balanced infield that now resides in the recreational spec.

To learn more about Natural Sand, click HERE

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

SF Giants - Vol II

As stated in SF Giants, Vol. I, I was in San Francisco, CA, last week. The photos of opening day were posted earlier, so, let’s talk about the playing surface at AT&T Park.

The Giants play on a bermuda grass base that is overseeded with perennial ryegrass. Ryegrass is the surface for the entire season. The first photos show the playing surface and the stadium from left field and center field.

The Giants also use the entire family of Natural Sand products. For the game mound and bullpens, portable mounds and Dura Pitch Mound Clay from Natural Sand Company are used. To learn more about portable mounds click HERE. To learn more about Dura Pitch Mound Clay, click HERE. The infield is Dura Edge Pro infield mix. To learn more about infield mixes from Natural Sand, click HERE. Finally, the warning track is also supplied by Natural Sand Company. A picture of the track is below. To learn more about Natural Sand Warning Track options, click HERE.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Current Events from April 13, 2011

I made a number of stops around great Indianapolis today. The first stop for the Indianapolis Colts Practice Complex. Interestingly enough, there are areas of bermuda greening up. It is difficult to tell from the photo below, but there is significant greening in the Patriot bermudagrass. Why is this the case? Notice the building just north of this turf. The slope is south facing and the building radiates heat.

My next stop was at Convenant Christian HS. Opening Day for Andy Gossel and his team was last night, so the logo was still present. The logo was laid out with graph paper and string lines.

The final photo shows the mower Andy uses to cut his fields. It does an excellent job. In this photo Andy is cutting the lacrosse/soccer field.

Go to for more info about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indiana State University - A Tale of Two Infields

I made a stop at ISU yesterday and visited two fields maintained by Dan O'Brien and Sean Mang. Dan and his crew does a great job. The first photos show the renovated baseball field at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium. Field Turf was installed last spring in the infield at an approx. cost of $200,000.00.

Exterior facade:

From 2nd base:

From behind home plate

About 6 blocks away is the Eleanor Forsythe St. John Softball Complex • Price Field. This field was amended with Dura Edge Pro from the Natural Sand Company and J&D Turf in the fall of 2010. the cost of the project was approx. $6,500.00

From 3rd base:

From SS:

After .5 inches of rain yesterday, both fields were ready to play. Do you think a having a balanced infield mix affects the field after heavy rains?

To learn more about Indiana State Athletics, click HERE
To learn more about the facilities at Indiana State, click HERE
To learn more about Natural Sand Company, click HERE

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Giants Home Opener Photos

As promised, here are a few more home opener photos from AT&T Park.

The Giants enter the field pre-game:

A couple of photos during the anthem:

A photo from the outfield concourse:

Good luck to Greg and the Giants in 2011.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

SF Giants - Vol. I

Sorry for the lack of posts since Tuesday. We were on the west coast to accomplish 3 goals last week. First of all, the wedding of San Francisco Giants Head Groundskeeper, Greg Elliott, congrats Greg! Secondly, a visit to check on the playing surface and some new practices Greg is implementing utilizing Natural Sand materials at AT&T Park, and finally, the Giants home opener.

In Volume I, the Giants home opener will be discussed. First of all, what a event! I have been to 15 major league stadiums, 2 World Series games, but never a home opener. The home opener at AT&T Park was a memorable one to say the least. The World Series Champions raised the first World Series pennant since the move to the west coast. The first photo shows Greg and his crew watering the field pre-game as the music group Train readies the on-field stage.

The next photo shows the Giants closer, Brian Wilson, running the World Series pennant to RF.

Raising the pennant.

To see a YouTube video of the pennant raising, click HERE.

For more info on the 2011 SF Giants, click HERE
For more info on the history of both the NY Giants and the SF Giants, click HERE
For more info on AT&T Park, click HERE

Go to to learn morn about J&D Turf.

Look for additional photos of the home opener later today, and Vol. II, consisting of the playing surface later this week.

Play on!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can I Renovate My Brickdust Infield? - I Have an App for That!

I get this question all the time, the short answer is YES.

Now, for more detail. I have included two photos below of two different fields in Noblesville, IN. The first photo shows an infield that was renovated by J&D Turf in the fall of 2008 at Noblesville HS. The field was 4 inches of brickdust. We added on truckload of FieldSaver 50 from the Natural Sand Company, blecavated the FS 50 into the brickdust, rolled and laser graded the infield. Finally the field was conditioned with two tons of Diamond Pro Professional Calcined Clay and one ton of Diamond Pro Red Infield Conditioner. The picture is from last week. The field is playing great. I call it a "hybrid infield". Not what I would do in the consulting/construction phase, but it gets the customer to a more typical infield surface for a third of the cost. The photo below the renovated field is a straight brickdust surface that has not been renovated. We have performed this process to in excess of 10 fields, and the all are doing really well.

Why are coaches wanting to elimate their brickdust? A few reasons:

1.When added to a field in excess of 1/2 inch brickdust becomes VERY loose when dry
2.Brickdust breaks down into a powder, calcined clays and vitrified clays will not
3.Brickdust stains uniforms
4.In Indiana, brickdust costs in excess of $100 a ton delivered. The FS 50 amendment alone was less than $100 a ton and it fixed the field!

Some facilities wanted to maintain a dark red topdressing. For those customers, we used a straight 1/4 inch of Diamond Pro Red Infield Conditioner.

The cost for a “hybrid infield” - approx $8,000-$10,000
The cost for removing the brickdust and replacing it with 4 inches of a good balanced infield mix - approx $25,000-$30,000

To learn more about renovating infields and adding new material into existing material click HERE and HERE

To learn more about Natural Sand, click HERE

To learn more about Diamond Pro, click HERE

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Final 4 is Here - Go Dawgs!

The Final 4 is only a couple of hours away. So, what does that have to do with turf? Reliant Stadium has natural grass for the Houston Texans. The turf is a system of trays that can be moved in and out of the stadium. Why was this first considered? Have you ever heard of the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show? How about an event that draws over 2,000,000 people in less than a month. This annual event means the field must be removable.

To see an article about the grass system at Reliant Stadium, click HERE

To see another article about the stadium and its turf click HERE.

To see an article about the Final Four set-up click HERE and HERE

For an article about extra events at the stadium, click HERE

To see information about the rodeo show, click HERE.

Play on!

Renovating a Mound on a Budget

Back to Avon South Middle School for renovating a mound on a budget. For this task, we had 50 bags of Dura Pitch Mound Clay and a new Jack Corbett 4-sided pitching rubber to install. A picture of the mound before we started this process is below

After tending to the edges (see renovating a home plate on a budget post for edging details) the task was to install the new pitching rubber 10 inches above home plate and making sure it was centered and square. The pitching rubber should be 60 ft 6 in from the apex of homeplate and each corner of the pitching rubber should be 59 ft 1 in from the corresponding front corners of the homeplate. Also, you will see a string line from the apex of homeplate to the middle of second base. The pitching rubber is center on the string line. To learn more about setting a pitching rubber click HERE.

After setting the pitchers rubber, the clay was added, once again with the concentration being on the slope of the mound, keeping in mind that we had limited clay due to the limited budget

Next, the new mound clay was tilled into the existing material

The mound was then sloped to spec - (i.e. - 6 inches in front of the mound was level with the pitchers rubber, and then falling one inch for every foot for the next six feet. To learn more about sloping a mound click HERE. A photo of the slope is below

After sloping the mound and building the table we boarded the rest of the mound in a similar fashion to the plate. Then we tire rolled the entire surface.

To see pictures of the tire rolling a homeplate and boarding of the plate click HERE and HERE.

1 1/2 hrs later, we have a renovated mound on a budget!

The bottom line is, with the correct planning and the right materials, you can renovate a mound and plate on a very limited budget. Cost of the materials for both projects - $920.

Play on!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Renovating a Home Plate on a Budget

As you can see from previous blog postings, J&D Turf travels to fields and facilities of all levels of play. Our company view is "Provide safe and playable fields for athletes of all ages and abilities." With this in mind, yesterday the J&D Turf crew was at Avon South Middle School renovating a home plate area. Obviously, with this being a middle school field, funds were limited. So, we renovated the home plate area on a shoestring budget. How did we do it? See below:

The photo below shows the installation of a new homeplate. It is difficult to see the string lines from each existing foul pole in the photo. The elevation of the homeplate was set via a laser to ensure positive drainage, i.e. - rain water will not run back onto the plate.

The next step was edging the plate. The plate was edged at a 15 foot radius. You can see the dashed painted lines showing the 15 ft mark. This field was not used for 10 years, so the edges are still a little inconsistent, but after all, sodding was not in the budget. Photos of before and after the edging below:

After edging, bring on the clay. For this project we used Dura Pitch Mound Clay from the Natural Sand Company. We only had 40 bags for this project, so we concentrated on the batters and catchers boxes, and added the remainder around the plate.

After adding the clay, bring on the tiller. A smaller tiller is just fine for this type of wrok to till the new material into the existing material to a depth of 3 inches.

After tilling, bring on the board! We used a 16ft long 2x6 to level the plate. One edge of the board was on the plate, the other edge of the board on our newly created grass edge. Three passes were made to ensure positive drainage.

Next, the plate was tire rolled. This is simply, using the weight of equipment to compact the soil. Ideally, the use of a three ton roller is the best application, but after all, we were on a budget!

After tire rolling, a quick rake and mat drag competed the plate.

Calcined clay topdressing was not added for this project due to the limited budget, but ideally 3-5 bags would be advised to topdress the plate area to a depth of 1/4 in.

The bottom line is, this process is not recommended at the higher levels of play, but if you have a couple of hours and a limited budget, there is an answer!

To learn more about Dura Pitch Mound Clay, click HERE

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!