We’ve invested in cutting edge equipment, conducted extensive research, and staffed our team with individuals that are proven winners in the sports turf scene. All of this means that the services we offer are executed by knowledgeable people and done with equipment that is industry-best. What you see below are a few of the services that we recommend.

sports turf aeration

Sports Turf Aeration

What is sports turf aeration?

You may have heard the term aeration before when talking about sports turf. But what exactly does it mean? It’s the process of removing plugs of grass from the lawn in order to aerate the turf. These plugs go deep enough to core out a small section of grass and underlying soil in order to help the turf aerate (or exchange of air between soil and atmosphere) naturally. Turf aeration is best received by the grass when plug spaces are deeper and tine spacing is closer.

 

Why should I aerate?

Why should one aerate their soil? Because by removing these plugs of grass, the soil is allowed to breathe, promoting less compaction and therefore root growth. Both of these things equal healthier grass! When turf and soil are compacted, water and fertilizer cannot correctly reach the roots. This compaction can happen from regular use such as walking, mowing, or playing a sport on the turf.

 

Some other benefits of lawn aeration are:

 

  • Better intake of water into the soil
  • Improved air exchange
  • Stronger roots in soil
  • Less compaction within soil
  • Better intake and use of fertilizer
  • Less harmful puddling of water
  • Less water runoff
  • Higher resistance to drought and heat stress
  • Better cushioning and resiliency to other possible issues

 

How often should I aerate?

Aeration to most turf grasses should be done annually. However, if the lawn is in heavy use, some turf can benefit from twice a year aeration efforts. In some cases for certain sports, aeration can even be needed three to five times a year.

 

When should I aerate?

Cool season turf grass needs can be aerated in both the Spring and the Fall. This aeration in the Spring can be done anytime between March and May, and the aeration in the Fall can be done anytime between August and November. In contrast warm season turf grasses need to be aerated in about the mid Spring through the end of Summer. This aeration should not be done until after the first mowing has been done in the Spring.

 

What kind of sports turf aeration equipment do I need?

Aeration machines allow for turf aeration to be done quickly and easily in large spaces. Aeration machines with solid spikes or tines will only compact the soil more, and you will want a machine that allows for the removal of tube like areas from the turf. Depending on the size of the area, there can be aeration machines that operate anywhere from walking and pushing to tractor drawn units. You can sometimes rent these machines at your local home improvement store, or you can just trust a professional to do the work for you and take away the guessing game!

 

If you have any further questions about sports turf aeration, please contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

upkeep for sports turf

What is Proper Upkeep For Sports Turf?

Sports turf can be used to cover high school football fields, large soccer complexes, and even golf courses.

While a game can’t always be perfect, the turf always can. What some might just see as grass, any athlete knows differently that it can help to make or break the game. Proper upkeep for sports turf can immensely change the game.

So you want to have a beautiful playing field with yards and yards of lush green sports turf. However, it isn’t necessarily that easy and turf carries it’s own list of duties for upkeep. But what are those things? If you are new to the sports turf world, you might wonder what could possibly be worried about when it comes to sports turf – it just gets installed and sits there right? Wrong. Sports turf can last for a long time if it is properly managed and well taken care of. Here, we will list just some of the many things that one should be concerned about when they have sports turf installed on playing fields.

 

Upkeep For Sports Turf

Do you know anything about soil compaction or grade in heavy traffic areas? How about aeration schedules, nitrogen application plans, or standing water? Some seasons can make your turf too spongy while others have the ability to dry it out completely. Some turf needs rest after it has been overused in events such as tournaments, and certain years others might need to be overseeded. Colors can change and even the feel can change. Sometimes turf is supposed to look and feel certain ways, and sometimes it isn’t. These are all concerns that you probably don’t want to be constantly worrying about.

 

Why try to figure out all of these things on your own? It’s not enough to pay somebody to install your turf and then watch the company leave. Use a professional company that is committed to proper maintenance and knows what they are doing. It will save many headaches and give you the piece of mind that your investment is being used to the best of its ability. If you want to learn more you can visit sportsturfonline.org or give Commonwealth Sports Turf Services a call today!

sports turf

Why Should I Use Sports Turf?

Sports turf is an artificial option to use on playing fields rather than real grass. This turf can be installed on a multitude of fields and can come in many different types based on the sport being played.

 

Installing synthetic turf can have many positive outcomes such as less cost, maintenance, and increased playability. If you are considering using sports turf, read below for some more information as well as considerations!

 

It costs less.

By installing sports turf, you no longer have to worry about constant expensive maintenance and labor such as fertilizing, watering, mowing, pest control, and seeding, and repainting of lines. While artificial turf does require maintenance, it is much less work and expense than natural grass.

It saves water.

Sports turf saves water in comparison to the needs of natural grass. The Synthetic Turf Council states that “depending on the region of the country, a typical grass sports field requires between 500,000 to a million gallons of water or more each year. [And that] during 2010, between four to eight billion gallons of water were conserved through [turf] use”.

It helps to decrease injuries.

Having natural grass means a field that can get torn up through play and be ruined in rain. These problems can result in slippery areas of mud, sitting water, or even potholes that can cause sprained ankles as well as many other types of injuries. Without these complications, many injuries are avoided.

It doesn’t need pesticides.

Simply put, sports turf doesn’t need pesticides like natural grass does! This is great for the health of the players, the environment, as well as the cost of the owner. The Synthetic Turf Council says that “the EPA has identified runoff of toxic pesticides and fertilizers as a principal cause of water pollution” and that “synthetic turf eliminates the need for nearly a billion pounds of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides which are used to maintain grass”.

 

It increases playability.

As previously stated, natural grass can be greatly affected by the weather around it. When it rains too much, players either cannot play or are in danger or getting injured. However, if sports turf is installed, it creates a field that can be played any time of the year in any weather condition. Sports turf durability is much higher, therefore giving players year round access to their fields.

 

If you have more questions about sports turf and if it is the right choice for you, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

many uses of turf

The Many Uses of Sports Turf

While some might think of sports turf as solely for a soccer or football stadium, that is not where the uses end! Sports turf is a versatile product as it is synthetic in nature and lasts for much longer than real grass. This allows for those that install it to save time and money while enjoying their field or any other areas where it might be installed.

There are many uses of sports turf that come with a multitude of advantages for the user. These advantages generally include that the owner will no longer have to water their grass or worry about pesticide use. They also will have much longer lasting product and not have to replace it as frequently.

Here, we will explain only some of the many uses of sports turf in more detail for you to consider.

 

 

In Gyms And Workout Areas

By installing sports turf in a gym or workout area, you can create a space that will be safely used for years. The turf helps for athletic shoe grip and helps to prevent injuries.

 

On Lawns Or In Gardens

Installing turf as a lawn is a great alternative to grass that needs to be watered. It is good for all areas, but more specifically ones that are having drought or water usage issues. No more need for pesticides either!

 

In Pet Areas And Kennels

By installing turf in the areas where your pet hangs out, you can eliminate odors, mud tracking, and constant dead grass. This is a useful trade that would last for years to come.

In Play Areas And On Playgrounds

Turf is also a great option for kids play areas for many of the same reasons as pet and gym areas. It creates a mud, water, and maintenance free space for kids to play on in any climate.

On Putting Greens And Put Put Greens

Turf can be used as an alternate for grass on putting and put put greens. Using turf has its advantages – a perfect put every time from every angle, as well as no water and pesticide upkeep.

Events

While most may not think of this option, turf can be used in large outdoor events and parties. It creates a clean, uniform, and beautiful outdoor look that has easy clean up and can last for years in contrast to the upkeep of real grass.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about the many uses of sports turf check out Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today. Learn how you get sports turf installed wherever you may need it – and start living the easier life today!

shade stress

Sports Turf and Shade Stress Problems

Sports field turf needs sunlight to make its own food.

Warm season turfgrass needs at least twice as much sunlight as cool season turf. Without sufficient sunlight, the turf quickly begins to deteriorate and have shade stress problems. Shaded areas of sports fields are especially prone to this reaction because sunlight in the shade is low in the red wavelengths needed for energy production.

Turf growing in the shade of nearby trees or stadium structures reacts by lengthening, thinning in density, and becoming more succulent. It can’t fend off diseases as quickly as sunny turf, and is injured more easily. Weeds grow. The turf must compete for nutrients from nearby shade trees. The ground may begin to look bare or have drainage problems.

Some sports field owners have responded to this crisis with overwatering and overfertilizing, but what the shaded turf needs is half the water and half the fertilizer that the sunny turf receives.

What are some other options for turfgrass with shade stress?

Here are options offered by turf experts and turf management companies:

  • Raise mowing heights; even small amounts can significantly improve turf quality
  • Increase the budget for a fungicide to reduce diseases, algae, moss; use the fungicide more often
  • Reduce irrigation and fertilization in shady areas by 50%
  • Consider plant growth regulators (PGRs); multiple applications at low rates can decrease the elongation of turf shoots
  • Try supplemental lighting in small areas
  • Switch to shade-tolerant turf
  • Prune tree branches to at least 8-10 feet above ground
  • Remove selective trees
  • If all else fails, replace turf with shade tolerant plants, ground covers or mulches in the worst areas.

Another option is a shade study. Since the light that filters through the trees (or stadium roofs and adjacent buildings) is constantly changing by the day, season and time of day, a shade consultant can measure and analyze shaded areas.

Turf management companies like Commonwealth Sports Turf Services specialize in problem-solving these issues for field owners and organizers.

Even without the shade of nearby trees or structures, the weather impacts turf constantly through clouds, fog, smog, rain and looming global climate change. If the heavy rains of the first three weeks of May 2016 continue, Virginia will have its 11th rainiest May since the late 1800s.

Sports field owners are beginning to recognize the damage that global climate change can do to the turf on their playing fields, stadiums and golf courses.

So how should sports turf be managed when shade stress already affects the turf’s quality and predicted climate change exacerbates the stress? Article references are listed below for further reading. Consulting with a turf management firm will start the process of preparing for disastrous climate effects in the future.

REFERENCES:

Dr. R.R. Duncan, “Managing Turf With Reduced Light,” April 2001, http://sturf.lib.msu.edu/article/2001apr42.pdf

Dr. Wendy Gelernter and Dr. Larry J. Stowell, “Shade Versus Turfgrass: a No-Win Situation?” Golf Course Industry Magazine, Feb. 2008, http://www.golfcourseindustry.com/article/shade-versus-turfgrass–a-no-win-situation—research-/

“Growing Turf under Shaded Conditions,” UMass Extension, Center for Agriculture, https://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/fact-sheets/pdf/growing_turf_shaded_conditions.pdf

Dr. John Sorochan, “Understanding, Assessing and Managing Shade Stress Problems.” Presented at Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia, Pattaya, 2014 http://www.files.asianturfgrass.com/2014_sorochan_shade.pdf

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

National Weather Service – NOAA, www.weather.gov/akq/climatepns May 20, 2016

 

MANAGING TURFGRASS UNDER HEAT STRESS

Managing Turfgrass under Heat Stress

Throughout Virginia, cool season turfgrasses experience problems associated with summer heat stress. Typically, heat stress is most acute on turfgrasses under conditions depicted by extremely high temperatures and humidity levels that persist for several months. The summer heat with high humid conditions comes with stress on how to keep grass intact and endure the harsh weather conditions. Turfgrass becomes more vulnerable to both biological and mechanical damage that accompanies the hot season.

The Virginia Extremes

According to Virginia‘s weather reports, daytime temperatures move up to 90 degrees and 70 degrees during the night. During this warm season, artificial turf fields are considered unsuitable for play since field surface temperatures levels during the day usually reach up to 150o F; levels that pose safety concerns to field users.

Sustained heat stress greatly increases soil temperatures; thus, affecting root health, growth and function. Less damage is experienced to the roots during high spring temperatures since the soil temperature is usually cool. However, as summer reaches, the night temperatures become less cooling on the soil, resulting in a significant soil temperature rise.

High soil temperatures cause reduced root production, minimal new roots production, faster maturation and die back of the roots. Eventually, the turf thins and become more spindly.

Measures Taken to Curb Heat Stress

Managing Special Events on Turfgrass (2)

It is indeed a challenge to maintain turfgrass under heat stress.However, that does not mean that it can’t be managed. The following tips are associated with alleviating most of the problems that accompany excessive heat:

  1. Mowing heights: For the warm season, cut the grass to 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller mowed turf typically thrives compared to grasses cut at heights that are ideal only in optimal growth periods. Interchange mowing practice and rolling out greens with consideration to skipping a day if the schedule of play allows.
  2. Watering modes: Watering to supply enough soil moisture, but avoid over-irrigating since the saturated soil will result in rapid weakening of the turfgrass. With more rain during early summer, water 1 to 1.5 inches per week taking two different days. If the turf shows stress due to lack of water, field managers should water the entire green using the overhead sprinklers.
  3. Aerify using smaller tines: A superintended should use smaller tines when gasifying if the putting surface is sealed since the ones with larger diameters may penetrate deeply removing even parts of a soil core.
  4. Little amounts of fertilizer: Small doses of fertilizer should be applied with observation being done before fertilizing again.
  5. Monitoring traffic patterns to minimize stress on the turfgrass.
  6. Mower Selection. During the heat stress period, managers need to consider switching from a triplex unit to a walking greens mower or a solid roller to minimize wear stress when recovery of shoot growth is compromised by heat stress.

Better turfgrass during summer

From golf owners to superintends, it should be known that maintaining turfgrass during summer is still a challenge. Common practices like mowing and irrigation either before or during summer make turf perform better.

Irregular irrigation during spring gives room for roots to grow and preparation is also brought for the summer by leveling cooling process. When the weather is hot, irrigating frequently and light is essential since transpiration is high. What is prohibited is over-irrigation. Moderating the counter on some of the effects of hot weather, keeping the right measures will see the turf become healthy to survive the summer season.

The Tiny Enemies of Turfgrass

The Tiny Enemies of Turfgrass

Why is the turfgrass important? To whom its essence is effective? What are the tiny root-feeding insects which infect the turfgrasses?

Tiny Root Feeding Insects Inflecting the Turfgrasses

The Tiny Enemies of TurfgrassThe value of the turfgrass cannot be overemphasized. It is effective in various ways by various kinds of persons. For homeowners, it is used to beautify home lawns. For golf course owners, it specifically provides golf sport surfaces on athletic fields and recreational fields. For those who want to gain economically, like the seed and solid producers, landscapers and law care operators, the use of the turfgrass is an answer to achieving their desired gain.

It is not only important to know the uses of the turfgrass. It needs to deal with an issue which pertains to keeping it healthy, pristine and pest-free. This is true with some of the underlying benefits of the turfgrass to golf course owners, business owners, and even to school athletic departments.

In turf it is also equally important to find out the kind of insects which generally can cause its aesthetic and economic loss and is responsible for producing diseases.

Few Common Insects Inflecting the Turfgrasses

The Tiny Enemies of TurfgrassAmong the common pests which generally infect turfgrasses are: grubs, ants and chinch bugs. Each of the insect has its own characteristics which makes the differences of the way it takes hold in turf. Moving too close to turf makes the ants as enemies of the turfgrass. The way they move makes them easier to be spotted. They have the ability to take hold in turf. Grubs are commonly attached to the roots of the turf. The turf turns into a bluish color once the grub becomes the reason or symptom of an infestation of the grub.With the sucking of the nutrients out of the turf by the chinch bugs, it leads to infestation of a poison.

With the bad effects of these kinds of pests, the proper care is essential to avoid the diseases and pests from taking the root. Recognizing the importance of maintaining the turfgrass in its healthy state, there have been proven methods such as the aeration, the top dressing, and the verticutting.

Aeration is an effective method of maintaining healthy because its process is manifested by how the air, water, and nutrients are absorbed through the roots. With the aeration process, the small holes are distinctly perforated in turf. The best time to do this is during growing season, the period with which the turf is proven to have healed faster. The areas of the turf which are repairable will absorb the cores. Such cores contain the needed valuable contents. This process is done after the aeration.

Dressing is the process by which it is permitted to add soil to the turf. The effect of which is the erosion and reduction of the compaction in some areas of turf.

Verticutting is a process of removing the hatch which is built up through turf mowing. To prevent the ants and other kinds of pests from taking hold on the turf, it is essential to have a proper care of the lawn. Before the growing season is the ideal period to perform the verticutting once a year.

What Composes the Top Putting Green Turf?

What Composes the Top Putting Green Turf?

What Are Green Turfs?

While talking about green turf, first let the word be a bit more understandable. Green turf grass is nothing but a lawn gardening or landscaping grass used on a particular area which in contrast to ornamental grasses are smaller in proportion.

The green turf is usually used to soften the playgrounds for sporting events to take place primarily apart from being used as a material to decorate the lawns and gardens as well.

The Various Aspects of Putting Green Turf Into Use

What Composes the Top Putting Green Turf?While the uses of the green turf are immense including their usage in the terms of sports field as well as in various organizations where the usage of green turf can be made to beautify the lawns and the outdoors, these can also be considered by officials of various government organizations who finds it difficult to maintain the natural grass grounds all over the region. In a place such as Virginia, the usage of these have increased manifold over the years and thus a lot of companies have emerged in giving special services to the customers in giving them the best of putting green turf services according to the affordability and choice.

The Uses of Green Turf in Terms of Sports

As discussed above, these days putting green turf as a base for varied sports events are in vogue and thus, there are various kinds of advantages associated with various games that they are used in. Some of the major sports in which green turfs are used are discussed below.

  1. What Composes the Top Putting Green Turf?Golf Course Greens: While talking about sports events, the most important place that the green turfs are used is in the golf courses which otherwise are hard to maintain. A lot of companies are available in Virginia with the expertise in giving the customers the perfect green turf as per necessity for the golf courses. These turfs are specially devised so that they are shock proof and thus making them ideal to play the game on.
  2. High School Athletic Fields: There are various schools across the world who are fast adapting to the idea of putting green turfs at their playgrounds due to the fact that they are easy to maintain, easy to drain during the rains and also summer season or damage while play does not really impact the quality of the grasses as it does to the normal ones.
  3. Football & Fields: Even though the use of turfs in football grounds is an affair from the past, in the earlier times the quality of turfs used to be matter of dread for the footballers. However the great news is that the scenario has changed over the years and now, the turfs are made so that the rate of injury and the advantages of longevity and resistance to climatic changes have made matters easy and more practical. Thus, football fields and the soccer fields made of green turfs are a great idea to make the game even more enjoyable, with much low maintenance.
  4. Others: Along with the other sporting events, the polo, baseball and rugby games have also taken up the great benefits of putting green turfs onto their grounds in order to make the games more easy to play on, with much less maintenance costs as was required early on.

The Uses of Green Turf in County Parks

The uses of putting green turf is not limited to sports filed only. It can be also be considered for the county parks which makes the residents feel great with the experience, and climatic ease factors too.

 

The Evolution of Turf Grass

The Evolution of Turf Grass

Since the practice of sodding using natural sea grass turf was first pioneered in Scotland for early 17th century bowling greens, natural grass has continued to be the natural choice of professionals creating sports pitches. However, maintaining those flat, green lawns over 200 years ago was extremely labor intensive, especially before Edwin B. Budding invented the lawn mower in 1830. Green keepers in Scotland then, pioneered methods of maintaining their grass and by the time the first 18 hole golf course was designed in the 18th century, the evolution of turf grass had already begun.

From the basic necessity of sodding, practiced in Scotland from 1663, grounds men had developed a method of harvesting seaside salt marsh sites where salt-tolerant bent grasses, growing in fine silt soils, could be easily cut and lifted manually with their turfing irons. They also developed the method of rolling, and used heavy stones carved for the purpose. as well as the practices of sand patching and manuring to provide nutrients to stimulate growth and recovery.

Natural Biological Mowers of the Grass On The Greens

The Evolution of Turf GrassSheep and rabbits were the biological mowers of the grass on the greens, golf courses, and upper class playing fields at that time. Green keepers had to sweep the grass before play. After horse drawn and manual mowers, the development of the motorized multi gang, reel, tractor mower was a welcome technological advancement.

By the 19th century sports, including lawn tennis and rugby, baseball and American football were being played across Europe, the United States and in the wider world. This led to the emergence of new lawn care industries for the more commonly used pitches and sports fields, and to the further study of turf grass seeds.

More intensive use of playing fields and pitches created some problems with soil compaction and this led to the practice of graping, or forking, manually to prevent impaired internal soil drainage. In Scotland, root zones evolved to improve bowling green drainage.

Vastly Growing Sports Business

The Evolution of Turf GrassThe vastly growing leisure and sports business and the new 40 hour week, inspired more hard working Americans to enjoy their 20th century sports pursuits including country clubs, and golf courses. Post war suburban residencies with their neat lawned gardens kindled interest in the care and maintenance of grass and the lawn-care industry began to boom.

Related industries, like seed suppliers, quickly saw the opportunities that the sports and leisure businesses provided, and they began to invest in the scientific study and development of grass seeds suitable for specific environments, soils, and pitch purposes. Twenty first century grass service providers, have also advanced the evolution of turf grass. Their understanding of the world’s soils, seeds, and its atmosphere, has led them to provide services that benefit both industry and the planet.

New seed developments, such as enhanced grass seed coatings that comprise of blends of nutrients for healthy root development and quick germination, has advanced this evolution further. Getting the right seeds for the right soils and environment is vital and that’s why innovative companies in Virginia, like Commonwealth Sports Turf, who are masters of turf maintenance, should be brought in at the planning stage of any new sports surface plans – for their specialist knowledge of soils, drainage, and agronomy.

Grass is vital for the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in the soil reservoir. Every year, turf grass sequesters more carbon into soils than woodlands. Through the evolution of turf grass, our understanding of how beneficial to the planet grass is has evolved.