sports turf maintenance process

Turf Fall Overseeding

What Is Fall Overseeding?

 

Fall overseeding is something that many homewners might not know about or take the time to do. However, it creates a beautiful, healthy lawn year round. Overseeding is the act of seeding an already growing lawn with grass seed. It helps to grow more turf where it is thinning without starting over with completely new grass installation. Usually, this damage is created from heat, heavy foot traffic, or even lack of water. Overseeding is part of a comprehensive plan for your turf that can create a lush green lawn.

 

Based on geography, type of grass, and time of year, there are differences in overseeding techniques.

 

 

When Do You Practice Fall Overseeding?

 

Home Depot says that “Fall is the ideal time to overseed cool season grasses, because the soil is still warm enough to germinate seeds and the cool air invites grass to grow a strong root system. Cool season grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescue…[and] late spring or early summer is ideal for overseeding warm season grasses in the South.”

 

Fall overseeding should be done earlier in the North because cooler weather happens sooner, whereas it can be done later in the South. By overseeding at this time of year, you are giving your grass a head start before the weather gets too cool. Overseeding, paired with the right amount of sun, fertilizer, etc. can create the perfect lawn.

 

 

How Do You Practice Fall Overseeding?

 

Overseeding your turf in the fall can be a great investment.

 

The steps to overseeding are:

 

  • Choosing the right seed – Make sure to choose the right seed for both your grass and the climate that you live in.
  • Preparing the turf area – Make sure to mow your lawn before seeding so the seed can come in contact with the dirt and doesn’t go to waste by getting stuck in thick grass.
  • Seeding the turf area – Spread the seed across the turf area evenly.
  • Watering the turf area – Immediately water the seeded area to help grow the seeds. Also make sure to water more frequently (1-2x a day) as you are waiting for the seeds to grow and match your existing lawn.
  • Mowing the turf area – try no to mow as frequently while the new seeds are growing up to the same height as the existing lawn.

 

 

 

If you want to improve the quality and look of your lawn by Fall overseeding, but need some help or would like more detailed information, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

What Grass Seed is Ideal for Top Turf?

What Grass Seed is Ideal for Top Turf?

Choosing the right grass seed for your top turf can be extremely challenging. Whether you are tasked with deciding on the seed for your home lawns, athletic fields or even renovating your already existing turf in a bid to add newer and improved varieties to your lawn, you will want to do your homework and find the best new varieties of grass seed available. While high quality seeds will often cost you more, it is essential that you buy the best available quality. Some of the existing seed grass species include:

1.Perennial Ryegrass

This dark green colored grass with good mowing characteristics and medium fine texture has a bunch- type non-spreading growth habit. It often germinates and establishes quite expediently. This grass seed is best grown in a mixture with other species. It is important to note that the best quality perennial ryegrass is essentially endophyte enhanced; this is relatively more resistant to lawn damaging insects, such as chinch bugs.

2.Kentucky Bluegrass

What Grass Seed is Ideal for Top Turf2Kentucky bluegrass is a popularly adapted species that is applicable in numerous situations. This dark green-colored grass with a medium fine texture is capable of spreading and recovering, because it grows by rhizomes that essentially allow it to form a dense cover. This makes it an ideal grass seed for your golf course, home lawn or athletic field. You should ensure that the grass receives medium to high maintenance in order to achieve the best quality turf.

3.Hybrid Bluegrass

This exhibits the same great qualities of Kentucky bluegrass. It is however more drought and shade tolerant. Its availability is quite limited, rendering it more expensive.

4.Turf Type Tall Fescue

This grass seed is extremely drought resistant, owing to its deep root system. It however doesn’t tolerate as much mowing height as Kentucky bluegrass; the recommended mowing height is 2-3 inches. This grass species requires slightly less fertilizer and water in producing high quality turf stands.

5.Fine Fescues

Both Chewing and Hard fescue grass seed species have a bunch-type growth habit, and a fine leaf texture. These species are particularly well adapted for dry and shady conditions, as well as low maintenance situations. The most commonly used fine fescue species is the Creeping red fescue, which has slow spreading rhizomes. This grass seed is primarily employed in mixes with such other species as perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass.

In Deciding Which Grass Will Work Best For The Different Areas Of Your Lawn, Consider The Following:

  • What Grass Seed is Ideal for Top TurfShade tolerance: Grasses are essentially sun loving plants that require a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight every day. In the event that your light is marginal, you will want to go for fescues, which are relatively shade tolerant than the regular ryegrass or bluegrass.
  • Drought tolerance: If your soil type is not capable of retaining sufficient water or you have no intentions of watering your grass during the summer, you will want to go for the Hybrid Bluegrasses or the Turf type tall fescues.
  • Water tolerance: This is an important consideration as some grass types like the Fine fescues do not stand up well to traffic. You will therefore want to select any of the other species for the lawn areas that take considerable wear and tear.
  • Establishment: The ability to germinate quickly and protect the soil is also an important consideration especially for slopes that are vulnerable to erosion. Perennial ryegrass is the best candidate for this purpose, Kentucky bluegrass is the slowest.

Whichever species you settle on, it is essential that you select quality named varieties with superior genetics, while having improved insect and disease resistance and remarkable drought tolerance.

Make Your Athletic Field A Grass Carpet

Athletic fields use a specific type of turf that gives them a compression and static response when athletes take falls, hits or stumbles as they engage in the sport’s the fields are laid out and designed for. Essentially, an athletic field operates with a grass carpet. Maintaining and developing these grass carpets requires a few procedures that enhance the turf’s ability to grow vibrant grasses in the particular geographic region of the field.

Athletic field turf is host to very resilient grasses. These grasses have to endure the harsh conditions and frequent poundings given by the athletes during games, workouts and practices. To get a proper grass carpet for your are following ht following three key guidelines to achieve the end result.

Test For PH

Make Your Athletic Field A Grass Carpet1A turf’s pH balance is crucial to maintaining the grass carpet. Ideally, turf for the athletic field grasses needs to fall between 6 and 7 on the pH scale. To find out the pH balance of the turf being developed for the athletic grass carpet, gather several random pieces of turf and soil from the area. Samples need to be around 6 to 8 inches and around 3 inches deep. Mix these samples up into a bucket and mix thoroughly. Take a gallon readable bag and fill it approximately ¼ full with the mixed soil then our an equal amount of distilled water. Seal the bag and shake to mix the water and soil. Use a pH test strip to determine the range for the soils.

To get the field’s pH to the proper level use ammonium sulfate, a popular fertilizer than regulates pH balances. The formula is to use approximately one pound of ammonium sulfate per every 1000 square feet. Spread the ammonium sulfate over the field to be developed and run it through two full irrigation cycles. Once done, retest to ensure the pH is now at a range between 6 and 7.

Seeding

Consult with a professional botanist or garden expert to find out the best gras options for your geographic area. Use a mix of the grasses noted and begin the seeding process over the athletic field. Use a professional level seed spreader to ensure even, and precise distribution of the seeds. Allow the grasses time to grow and bloom. As this is occurring run tests to check the pH and anytime the pH level falls off the 6 to 7 range, use another application of the ammonium sulfate and the irrigate.

Mowing And Maintenance

Make Your Athletic Field A Grass Carpet11To achieve the grass carpet quality, the fields must be mowed to precision heights and consistent levels. Do this yourself with calibrated garden equipment or hire it out to professional lawn and garden experts who specialize in the maintenance of athletic fields. Keeping a precise level is necessary for the grass carpet effect that is required of the athletic fields.

Once this is done, gather the team together and enjoy a well earned workout on the new grass carpet field.

How-To-Prepare-Your-Turf-For-Winter

How to Prepare Your Turf for Winter

Sports fields need to be maintained year round for the safety of the athletes. Field and turf have to be ready for the athletes to play on safely and to do also well at their sport. Late fall care is pertinent for high school and kids football fields. This is to help avoid damages as much as possible from the winter freeze.

Maintaining field and turf for these football fields allow commissioners, coaches, officials and parents to understand what is needed to maintain a safe playing field for their kids.

Football Fields in the North

The turf on the football fields in the northern part of the US, is mostly Kentucky Blue grass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. The turf may remain green in some areas in November, before it dies. So preparing early for the winter will bring an early spring where you can fertilize in the middle of April, instead of in the beginning of the month. The grass may be gone, but the roots may be growing into the winter, in most areas. Always fertilize with extra seeds, in the late fall.

Early Spring Healthy Field

Applying fertilizer in late fall is beneficial to having healthy growing turf in early spring for the green-up. A good rule of thumb is to apply one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, right after the first hard frost. This also helps the turf plants deal with the cold weather.

Use SEO or Google to get a guide to tell you how much fertilizer what you need. Check to see if there are any restrictions with your State on any times of the year that fertilizer is not allowed to be applied first. Use slow release nitrogen and apply it right after the frost has gone down and the soil has just become softer.

Aerification is Needed

Heavily used fields could cause soil compaction. This means that the air gets squeezed out of the pores between soil particles. As those air pockets disappear, there is less oxygen for the turf roots to grow. As a result, the turf suffers from a host of other problems that involve soil compaction.

Soil compaction is relieved through a process called, aerification. This involves removing the soil cores from the field. Then you re-create the air pockets in the soil. That produces a softer surface for the turf to grow and a safe field for the players to play on.

Compost

Real_CompostCompost with aerification could give great results in improving your field’s soil. To determine if your field can benefit from this, you can get the organic matter tested at your state’s land grant university. They can perform an organic matter test for your field and turf.

Some labs will not only test the organic matter, but they will give a generalization as to how much compost to apply. It’s important to select the compost with characteristics that will improve healthy turf growth.

Overseeding

Speading SeedHopefully, you have been overseeding. When you have some leftover seed, spread it onto the field after the last game. Pulling all these maintenance factors together is a great way to put your field to bed for the winter.

 

To seek professional help, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Maintenance and they help get your field ready.

 

IMAGE CREDIT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_spreader
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost

Overseeding-Your-Turf-CWST

Overseeding? Verticutter? Slit-Seeding? Slice Seeder? What to do!?

Overseeding? Verticutter? Slit-Seeding? Slice Seeder? What to Do!?

Caring for sports turf can be difficult, not only due to the wear-and-tear from constant use by athletes, but because those responsible for the turf may not have the knowledge necessary to keep the turf healthy and looking attractive. Often, sports turf is managed by small municipalities, school districts or park services that have not had the benefit of extensive training in the maintenance of the turf used for sports. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between the many methods for preparing and maintaining turf.

Overseeding

Overseeding is the process of adding seed to or over existing turf, and can be accomplished in a variety of ways. This can occur before the season begins or to address problems that develop after the seasons begins. During sports seasons, high traffic areas can get worn away, allowing brown patches to develop on the field. These areas include:

• Soccer and lacrosse goalsTurf-Outfeld-Overseeding-CWST
• The center of football and rugby fields
• Sidelines
• Outfield areas of baseball diamonds
• Entry and exit points

In those cases, overseeding the entire field Is not necessary, but by overseeding the area as soon as thin turf develops can help avoid the formation of bare spots. However, it is important to choose grasses that germinate and establish quickly, such as ryegrass or festulolium. These grasses germinate in three to five days. Ref Sports Field Management Magazine

Verticutter

One overlooked method for boosts turf health is the use of a verticutter. A verticutter has vertical blades, normally arranged between .025 and 1.5 inches apart on a disc that dredge up thatch and open the canopy in order to allow the turf to breathe. Not only does the process remove excess thatch, but it also extracts organic material at or below the plant crown area. The machine is often confused with an aerator, but the machines provide different benefits. Verticutters dig deeper into the turf, severing stolons and stems, creating visible results. After using a verticutter, it is important to make a pass over the area with a mower to remove any residual debris that could cause damage to the turf surface. Ref Grounds Mag

Slit or Slice Seeding

A slice or slit seeder cuts grooves into the soil placing seed in the grooves in order to provide good seed to soil contact. The slit or slice seeder actually overseeds as it removes thatch and opens the canopy to provide better nutrition for the turf. Slit seeders offer a higher germination rate than broadcasting seed that may not come into contact with the soil. However, it is possible to use a verticutter to create the slits and then broadcast seed immediately after in order to allow the seed to fall into the slits cut by the verticutter. A slice or slit seeder combines both processes which can be a time and money saver, especially for heavily used sports turf fields.

Overseeding is a critical part of maintaining healthy, green sports turf. It can eliminate high-traffic areas and keep the field looking lush throughout the season. Whether using a verticutter and broadcaster to overseed the lawn or a slice/slit seeder, overseeding should be done whenever it appears that areas of the field are getting thin due to high-traffic. To learn more about verticutters, seeders and overseeding, visit us at Commowealth Sports Turf by phone or online today.