Thursday, March 30, 2017

Building a Set of Base Anchors - Do Not Use Coffee Cans

I was on the road last week renovating an infield when I came across this base anchor

SmartTurf Tip - Do NOT use coffee cans for base anchors.  The have a tendency to spin and are not the recommended method.

Below is the recommended method for constructing base anchors.

Building a set of base anchors is a task that can be completed by a grounds manager or coach.  Here is a step by step method for building a set of base anchors.

1.  Organize the parts and the tools.  Items needed:

  • Base anchors
  • Duct tape
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Scrap lumber 2x4 
  • Shovel
  • Quikrete
  • Wheelbarrow

2. Cut the scrap lumber into 8-12 inch pieces, and build a simple square form.   Keep in mind that this is not cabinet grade carpentry.  

3.  Tape the bottom of the anchors while mixing the Quikrete.  Using a scrap piece of plywood as a base, place an anchor in each form.  

4.  After the Quikrete cures (no more than 4 hours) remove the forms.  Now, you have a new set of base anchors.

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Play on!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The J&D Turf Infield Mix Moisture and Conditioner Key

How often are the following questions raised?

1. How much conditioner should I apply to an infield?
2. Do I need to add conditioner to my infield?
3. How much water should I add to my infield?
4. Is there enough moisture in my infield profile?

Having a J&D Turf infield moisture and conditioner key will provide a tool to assist in answering these questions.

First, let's talk about infield moisture.  Infield mixes perform best at optimum moisture levels.  HERE is a previous link on watering an infield.  Use the key can check infield moisture levels by using the simple "key test"

"Insert the end of the key into the mix.  The key should slide into the ,ix with relative ease to a depth of 1-2 inches and be removed with disturbing the material.  If the key cannot penetrate the infield mix, the base material is too dry."

Next, let's talk about conditioner depth. HERE is a previous post discussing different infield conditioners.  Infield mixes perform best when conditioners are maintained within a optimum range. That range is 1/4-1/2 inch.  Use the key to determine conditioner depth.

"Insert the key into conditioner and check conditioner depth against the measuring lines at the tip of the key.  The optimum depth is approximately 1/4 inch."

Using the J&D Turf infield mix moisture and conditioner key is #SmartTurf.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Applying Pre-Emergents to 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

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!