Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#LifeOnTheRoad - Dugout Storage Design

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple. During my travels I  encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented to their facility/design.

This past week I was in Ada, Ohio.  A quick site visit at Northern Ohio University lead me to a great dugout storage design.  

The design incorporated a paved path to the dugout storage where a sliding door was located.  The design allowed for a pallet of material to be placed in the dugout.  A simple, yet effective design.  A piece of the design that was not incorporated but would be nice in the future is another sliding door on the field side.  Simply mount a shelf to hold water/Gatorade when in season.  When needed the door could then slide open.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UPDATE: Applying Pre-Emergent Herbicides on Sports Turf

Spring is just around the corner and with spring comes the arrival of crabgrass control applications. The use of crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides on sports turf must be carefully considered. Will I need to overseed in the spring? Will I need to overseed the entire field or just certain areas? Is the option to overseed more important than crabgrass pressure later in the summer? All good questions, let’s work to an answer.
First of all, let’s take a look at how crabgrass pre-emergent products work.
Research has shown that applications should be made when average daily soil temperatures reach 57 to 64 degrees at a 1 inch depth. Following application, a barrier will form that will inhibit crabgrass seedling emergence.
Keep in mind, the barrier will also inhibit grass seed emergence! How do you know when you should apply if you do not want to check daily soil temperatures? Simply go to the Growing Degree Day Tracker. (GDD Tracker) The tracker is a joint effort from Michigan State TurfgrassPurdue Turfgrass and the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation (MRTF). The GDD Tracker will provide updates on when the product needs to be applied. Typically, pre-emergent products need to be applied prior to April 1 in the southern third of the state of Indiana, by April 15 in the middle third, and by April 30 in the northern third.
So, the plan is to apply a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide product. The timing has been determined. Now the question is, “What product should I apply?”
To keep it simple consider two products:
1. Dithiopyr (Dimension)
2. Prodiamine (Barricade)
Advanced Turf Solutions offers both products. Please call for options as the products are available in both granular and liquid formulations.
Yes. Careful consideration should be made to select the best products as some pre-emergent products (Prodiamine) will not be effective. My recommendation for early season (April through early May) is Dithiopyr as the product is effective on crabgrass in the one to three leaf stage. Liquid applications are recommended.
TIP – If dormant seeding was used on the playing surface, a late spring application of Dithiopyr (after the turfgrass seed has germinated) will control young crabgrass while also creating a barrier for any crabgrass seed that has not germinated. Other post-emergent products include Fenoxyprop and Quinclorac (Quin Pro). As always, please check product labels for rates.
  • Maintain a dense turf stand
  • Irrigate turfgrass with deep and infrequent cycles
  • More than half of your total nitrogen should be applied from September through November
  • When possible, water in pre-emergent products
  • Do I need to overseed?
  • Should I avoid high traffic areas where I know I will be overseeding?
  • Would I rather overseed or control crabgrass?

Download the printable Smart Turf sheet - Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Timing is Critical
This post originally appeared in the Smart Turf Blog.

UPDATE: Removing Snow From Athletic Fields

Smart Turf Tip: Removing Snow From Athletic Fields

Simply, take a tarp drum and strap it to a tractor bucket. Now you have a plow that will not cause damage to the turf. 

How do I get my infield ready to play after a snow event?

First, DO NOT get in a hurry to play. I understand that the season is short, but is it really worth compromising the grade of your field to get in one practice or game?
If the decision is made to plow the field, take the necessary precautions. The Sports Turf Managers Association offers a great guide, Snow Removal on Natural and Synthetic Athletic Surfaces, that is worth checking out.

TIP: If snow cover is extremely deep, consider using black sand to speed up the melting process.

Once the snow has cleared/melted, most infields should be rolled from the snow event and the winter freeze and thaw cycle. To determine if the field can be rolled, simply walk across the surface, if the field settled under foot, but does not stick the bottom of you shoe, it can be rolled.
If the field has not been conditioned, please take this time after rolling to condition the infield.
Finally, this is another time where there is tremendous benefit of using an engineered soil as your infield mix.

Play on!
Download printable Smart Turf sheet: Removing Snow from Athletic Fields
View the original post here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tricks of the Trade - Installing a Quick Coupler for Softball Infields

I made a recent visit to Southeastern University SoftballThis field was constructed in 2013 by J&D Turf.  While on site I took a quick photo of the quick coupler we installed during the construction.  The 1 1/2 inch quick coupler provides a water source for the infield using either an irrigation head or a one inch hose.  A simple and easy way to keep the infield properly hydrated.

This allows for proper moisture content of the infield playing surface for practices and games.  Controlling moisture is a the most critical component to the proper maintenance/maintaining proper playability of baseball and softball infields.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#LifeOnTheRoad - Simple Shade Structure

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple.  During my travels I  encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented to their facility/design.

This past week I had an opportunity to visit the Miss Softball Complex in Sarasota, FL.  All 6 fields at the complex have native Florida infield mix.  All 6 infields have had the mix amended with FieldSaver90 from DuraEdge.  While on site to walk the infields I saw a nice and basic shade structure. 

I’m sure the fans appreciate this structure during the hot and sunny summer conditions.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf. 

Play on!