Monday, July 30, 2018

Lafayette Central Catholic – Sand Channel Drainage – Spartan Sand Cap – A Case Study #2 – Renovation Process

After the decision was made to install sand trenches and create a 2 inch sand cap, it was time to go to work.

The existing bluegrass/ryegrass/tall fescue surface was sprayed with Glyphosate in mid april and early May to ensure complete kill/control of the undesired playing surface.  Next, the surface was fraze mowed and recycled.

New irrigation laterals and heads were installed.

Finally, in late May, the drainage was installed on 14 ft centers and tied into existing perimeter drainage.

So, the heavy lifting was complete, now it was time to install the 2 inch cap of USGA rootzone sand, sprig with Northbridge bermudagrass and begin the grow-in.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Lafayette Central Catholic – Sand Channel Drainage – Spartan Sand Cap - Case Study #1

Lafayette Central Catholic High School in Lafayette, Indiana have very successful soccer and football programs.  As a school in an urban environment, space is at a premium.  The school approached the J&D Turf team over the winter of 2016-2017 to discuss options for the stadium playing surface.  Approximately half of the facilities committee was leaning towards synthetic turf, while the other half was leaning towards maintaining a natural grass surface.  The existing playing surface was in poor condition and had no drainage.

 Let’s take a detailed look at how the determination was made to proceed with the means and method that worked for all parties.

“If you don’t know what you have, how do you know how to fix it?”  The first step was to pull undisturbed core samples and send to Turf and Soil Diagnostics.


The report/data showed vertical drainage (infiltration) at .02 inches per hour.  After the results were discussed, 7 different playing surface options were presented.

  1.    Native Soil – Re-grass over the existing rootzone and maintain at .02 inch per hour infiltration rate (Approx Cost - $10,000)
  2.     Topdressed Sad Cap – No internal drainage, create a 2 inch cap as soon as possible (Approx Cost - $30,000)
  3.     Sand Channel “Spartan Sand Cap” – Install sand trenches 14 ft on center and backfill with a 2 inch drain tile and pea gravel and USGA rootzone sand.  Then install a 2 inch column of sand prior to sprigging. (Approx Cost - $140,000)
  4.     USGA “Sand Cap” Rootzone – Install a 6 inch deep USGA rootzone over a compacted sub base. (Approx Cost - $300,000)
  5.     USGA Rootzone – After installation of 4 inch drain tiles in the sub base, install a 10 inch column of USGA rootzone over a 4 inch column of pea gravel (Approx Cost - $600,000)
  6.     USGA Rootzone with Stabilized Turf – Same construction as #5, but install the turfgrass that is stabilized with synthetic fibers (Approx Cost - $800,000)
  7.    Synthetic Turf – Infilled synthetic turf (Approx Cost $750,000-$1,000,000)

The Decision:

The feedback was consistent from the 2 camps
  1.      I didn’t realize there are options for natural grass.  “I thought it was what we have or synthetic turf.” 
  2.      We play over 60 games/practices in 3 months, this field will be bare soil by the end of the year.  We need synthetic turf.

After many discussions and meetings, the decision was made to renovate the existing surface and install sand trenches 14 ft on center and create a 2 inch sand cap before sprigging Northbridge bermudagrass.  So, option # 3.  Cost of work including grow-in $140,000.  Learn how it turned out in the following posts.

Go to to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!