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.

The Science and Art of Turfgrass Culture

The Science and Art of Turfgrass Culture

With the increase in attendance and participation growth there would be definitely increase in the renovations and new field constructions. Every sporting field requires maintenance and extensive planning. Even if the field is built with highest standards, appropriate grass is used for its establishment and if it is not maintained properly then the standards would not remain the same. The science and art of growing and maintaining turfgrass is the best way to produce aesthetically pleasing and safe playing areas.

The Science and Art of Turfgrass Culture

The Science and Art of Turfgrass CultureThese days’ athletic facilities are being used to the highest and with the growth in population more children are being participating in athletics. There has been an explosion in athletic opportunities for both boys and girls and women as well. Baseball fields, soccer fields, rugby fields, polo fields, football fields, high school athletics fields and gold course greens all require turfgrass. It really doesn’t matter which type of filed surface you have, Commonwealth Sports Turf provides you with the right turfgrass. These are resilient and durable. High-quality services are provided ensuring players’ safety.

At Commonwealth Sports Turf, not only turfgrass is provided but also maintained and repaired. They quickly respond to everybody’s needs and make sure that the services are delivered to meet such needs. With highly component and knowledgeable team, onsite technical expertise is provided. The services offered are: verticutting, to-dressing, aeration and other turf services. According to Keith Kitchen (owner of Commonwealth Sports Turf), they have invested in conducted extensive research, cutting edge equipment and has expert staff members.

The Science and Art of Turfgrass CultureFor giving the best turf services, he makes use of some methods which includes Monthly Strategy Meetings, Scheduled Mechanical Services, Tangible Nutrient Plan and Soil Study. Your field is checked thoroughly and according to the results only that grass is used which, is best for your filed. There are some fields where natural turf can also be grown. To maintain such turfgrass services like grading products, mowers, irrigation systems are provided so that the quality of your filed is maintained.

Various types of grasses used include:

  1. Bahiagrass
  2. Tall fescue
  3. Bermudagrass
  4. Perennial ryegrass
  5. Kentucky Bluegrass

Selection of turf depends on the athletic filed. The determination of ideal athletic field is done by knowing the presence of desired traits which are variety dominance. A good quality turfgrass is the one which grows well with the companion species. Commonwealth Sports Turf specializes in hardscape applications, landscape design and installation and best residential turf management. They have been providing luxury lawns for more than 20 years now. So, if you are looking for the best turf field then you must definitely contact Commonwealth Sports Turf services.

Managing Special Events on Turfgrass

Managing Special Events on Turfgrass

Turfgrass while durable is not indestructible. It takes careful planning and maintenance to keep the surface in top condition. Each scheduled event requires careful planning and execution before, during and after the scheduled event.

Different events create varied impact

The planning begins with communication among athletic directors, coaches, band directors, ground managers, and ground keepers. This communication must include what types of events are scheduled and how those events are likely to affect the turf grass surface. Each event will affect the turf grass in different ways. Marching band practice has more foot traffic whereas a football game is more likely to stress the surface and produce more foot traffic on the sideline areas.

The need for planning

Managing Special Events on Turfgrass (2)

Planning prior to the event allows grounds crews to properly maintain the turfgrass surface to ensure that it has had time to recover from the last event as well as provide necessary treatments and repairs. This maintenance may include surface repairs as well as treatments to provide necessary nutrients whether that is water, fertilizer or steps to reduce compaction or thatch build up. Ground crews will also communicate how the surface should be used leading up to the next event. This may involve sectioning off certain areas to allow repairs to have appropriate time to reach maturity.

Spaced out events help in turf retention

Scheduling is a vital element in ensuring that a surface is ready for each event. Turfgrass surfaces require time to recover from each event. Too many events scheduled too closely together can lead to damage to the surface and increase the opportunity for injuries due to a poor playing surface. Not only can too many events scheduled closely together have a negative effect on the surface the weather during and surround the event will also affect the surface and how it recovers from the event.

For this reason, practices, and other non-essential events should be held on separate practice surfaces allowing the primary playing surface the opportunity to be reserved for the main events only.

Role of the ground crew

The success of each event to be held is reflective of much planning and scheduling prior to and after the event to ensure that the turfgrass surface is able to handle the scheduled event as well as those upcoming events. Grounds crews are constantly monitoring the surface to ensure that it receives the appropriate attention whether repairs or other treatments to ensure that the scheduled events are successful and all individuals using the surface are able to enjoy the experience of the event.

Insect and Disease Prevention in Turf Grasses

Insect and Disease Prevention in Turf Grasses

What does one do when they are worried about their turf? A well maintained and healthy turf is a necessity for golf course owners who want to keep their customers satisfied, school athletic departments who want to ensure the success of their teams, and business owners who want to make a good impression on potential clients. The most important thing one can remember is that turf requires consistent maintenance in order to stay healthy, and an unhealthy lawn can lead to disease or pests.

Most turf disease are caused by fungi, some of the most common being slime mold, pythium, and dollar spot. Slime mold is easy to spot, as it looks like a chalk colored powder covering the turf. Pythium is a disease of the roots, usually caused by poor irrigation and drainage. Dollar spot looks like hourglass shaped spots in the turf, and is also caused by poor irrigation practices.

Common Pests That Infect Turfgrass

Insect and Disease Prevention in Turf GrassesCommon pests that infect turf grass are: ants, grubs, and chinch bugs. Ants are fairly obvious to spot, and can take hold in turf that is mowed too close. Grubs feed on the roots of the turf and a common symptom of a grub infestation is spots on the turf turning a bluish color. Chinch bugs are particularly annoying, as they will not only suck the nutrients out of the turf, but inject it with a poison. Proper turf care is a must in preventing all of these diseases and pests from taking root, luckily there are several tried and true methods for keeping your turf in fantastic health, such as: aeration, top dressing, and verticutting.

Aeration, the process by which air, water, and nutrients are allowed through to the roots, is very important in maintaining a healthy turf. In order to aerate small holes need to be perforated in the turf, so it is best to do this during growing season when the turf can heal fastest. It is best to use an aerating tool that actually removes plugs from the turf instead of just poking holes in it, as the second method can cause some of the turf to become compacted which just leads to further blockages. After aeration, the cores, which still contain valuable nutrients, may be redistributed to areas of the turf which are in need of repair.

Insect and Disease Prevention in Turf GrassesTop Dressing is essentially adding another layer of soil onto the top of the turf, this will even out areas which may be lower lying than other dues to erosion and reduce compaction in some areas of the turf. The best time to top dress is during mild weather, usually early in the fall or spring, so that the soil has time to adjust before experiencing severe heat or cold. Not only does top dressing improve the overall health of the turf, it also provides a flatter, and therefore safer and fairer playing environment for golf courses and athletic fields.

Verticutting is a specific method of turf mowing that removes built up thatch, which is a layer of dead shoots, stems, and roots that block the soil from receiving enough air, water, and nutrients. A properly cut lawn will also help prevent ants and other pests from taking hold. Verticutting should be performed once a year, preferably before the growing season, in addition to the regular mowing one does to maintain the height of their turf.

One who regularly employs these methods will find that they have a healthy, safe, and beautiful lawn for years to come.

How to Protect Your Turf From The Scorching Summer Sun`

How to Protect Your Turf From The Scorching Summer Sun

Keeping a lawn healthy under the scorching summer sun can become a challenge. Adjusting your lawn care is important when the temperatures and longer days of sunshine rise. There are; however methods anyone can follow to keep the grass healthy and green until the temperatures cool down.

Keep Mower Blades Sharp

If the blades on a mower are not sharp it will fray the grass. When grass becomes frayed it is more likely to turn brown. Keep the mower blades sharp to attain a nice clean cut.

Let the Grass Grow Longer

Roots from grass extend deeper into the ground if it not cut short. When the roots extend it will also help to keep weeds from growing and competing for water. Longer grass will also become denser and require less watering. A grass length of about four inches is recommended for hot summer days.

How to Protect Your Turf From The Scorching Summer SunLess Cutting

Mowing less frequently and doing it early in the day is better for grass when it is hot. If morning time is not an option, doing it in the early evening when it starts to cool down would also be a good alternative. When cutting during a cooler time it will reduce brown spots and protect the fresh cut grass from the hot sun.

Replace The Bagger With A Mulcher

When mulched grass settles on a lawn it keeps the moisture trapped. This trapped moisture will provide the lawn with better hydration and keep it cooler. Mulched grass will actually benefit a lawn all year, but especially when it is hot.

Skip the Fertilizer

Most grasses do not need to be fertilized when it is hot. Fertilizer can “burn” the grass. Fertilizer kills the microbes that grass needs. If the lawn is in trouble it would be best to have a soil test completed to make sure there are no deficiencies. If fertilizing is the only solution then an organic product with a time release formula would be the best option. Read the label on the fertilizer chosen as some are only recommended during certain times of the year.

How THow to Protect Your Turf From The Scorching Summer Suno Water When It Is Hot

To keep a lawn healthy takes about an inch of water per week. Choosing the time of day for watering is important. There are a lot of stories about not watering when it is hot as it will “burn” the grass. It is not the temperature that causes the damage during this time; it is the amount of water used. If not enough water is given it will evaporate quickly. When watering during a hot time of day it is important to give adequate water to soak down to the roots of the grass. Shallow watering causes the roots to come much closer to the surface where they are exposed to the heat. Watering in the cool morning hours is the best option as there is little evaporation concerns during that time.

Basic Turfgrass Management Calendar

Basic Turfgrass Management Calendar

Every sporting field requires high-end maintenance and management services. Regardless of the type of field surface that is used by any given team, it is essential to have the right turfgrass services provided for durable and resilient fields. Whatever the field situation, Commonwealth Sports Turf has got it covered by providing high-quality services to ensure a perfect turf that provides optimum safety for the players. We maintain, repair and consult on ideal and quality outdoor playing surfaces for athletic fields, baseball fields, football fields, soccer fields, golf fields as well as parks.

At Commonwealth Sports Turf, we respond quickly to everyone’s needs and deliver services that are tailored to meet specific needs. We provide our clients with a knowledgeable and highly competent team to provide onsite technical expertise with the best equipment in the industry. Some of the commonly offered services include;

Soil Analysis

Basic Turfgrass Management CalendarWe start by carefully analyzing the soil of each field so as to determine the field’s conditions and come up with appropriate recommendations. By studying the soil texture one can identify the root causes of under performing fields and address the right deficiencies with minimal costs. Therefore, analyzing the current nutrient soil composition is the first step in turfgrass management. Field hardness testing is also crucial at this stage to assess the natural turf’s hardness as the soils harden commonly due to soil compaction. This is done to enhance the players’ safety by reducing injuries arising from hard playing surfaces.

Aeration

Basic Turfgrass Management CalendarAeration is a working solution to combating soil compaction. We offer deep tine aeration as well as core aeration that helps to allow better penetration of air, water, nutrients and fertilizer into the root zone. Aeration opens up the soil channels and increases the pore spaces making the soil move easily upon impact thus softening the surface of the ground. Our deep tine aerator uses a series of 7-10 inches of coring tines and helps replenish the surface and deep soil issues. To produce long lasting results, aeration options will be determined by factors like weather conditions, turf growth patterns, soil compatibility and field use schedule.

Core Redistribution

A turfgrass sweeper is used to collect the core pieces removed during aeration that are later distributed to the areas that require immediate repair. Core redistribution helps maintain healthier grass as the core pieces contain vital nutrients and roots that start growing immediately as compared to using seed and fertilizer only.

Top Dressing

This involves the addition of sand and composts into the soil profile to enhance the absorbency rate of water, nutrients and oxygen through the soil and into the roots. Top dressing will therefore, enhance drainage, improve the crowns of existing greens resulting in denser grass, allow better root development and even level out uneven field surfaces. Uneven fields can be a huge obstacle to achieving optimal players’ performance. However, Commonwealth Sports Turf makes it their business to get rid of all the bumps and hollows in the field services. We keep detailed records of top dressing and aeration procedures applied each time and thus help to make a great impact on the turfgrass management calendar.

Verticutting

This entails removing all the unnecessary thatch and top coatings from Bermuda grass that grow after some period of time. We have competent personnel who will carry out the procedure cautiously and increase the chances of faster turf recovery. Verticutting will lead to a well groomed and vibrant playing field that is not only pleasant to the eye but provides a wonderful game experience.

Sports Turf Industry Outlook for 2015

Sports Turf Industry Outlook for 2015

No matter what kind of turf surface used by any team for their sporting fields there will have to be some kinds of general maintenance performed after each game. It is very important to have the right turf services for the type of field and finding these services should be as easy as picking up the phone and calling Commonwealth Sports Turf!

Commonwealth Sports Services

Aeration

Proper aeration of the soil in a natural turf field is very important to the turf’s ability to grow properly. This allows for air, water and fertilizer to reach the roots of the turf and provide the best growth environment for the turf. No one wants to play football on a brown field, and no one wants to watch a game on a brown field. Having a lush green field whether it is football season or baseball season can be a game changer for the home team as they will feel more important and will work their hardest to maintain that feeling.

Sports Turf Industry Outlook for 2015Core Redistribution

This is a process which uses the core pieces removed during aeration to repair any parts of the turf that may be damaged from over use, bugs, or other sources of turf damage. This process is generally better than using seed alone because this core pieces carry vital vitamins, minerals, and nitrogen which is uniform to the entire turf surface making for a better repair than using seed and fertilizer alone.

Top Dressing the turf

This is a process using compost, sand or a combination of the two to allow the soil a better absorbency rate of water and other essentials for the health and prosperity of the the turf. This surface is performed either pre or post season and provides the lawn time to grow as it needs to grow or recover from a a great and busy sporting season.

Verticutting

Sports Turf Industry Outlook for 2015A process used with Bermuda grass remove unwanted and unhealthy top coatings which grow yearly. This process is best left to professionals. There are many technical issues which must be taken into consideration with this type of turf services and only a professional can recommend when to perform this procedure.

Making sure the turf is perfect for the next season following a great one is a must. The playing field should always be ready for the sporting warriors to step out and feel like master of their universe. Not only does a well groomed and taken care of lawn feel great to step on but sometimes is what the great athletes need to win the game. When looking for someone to provide great turf services with great customer service look no farther than Commonwealth Sports Turf!

Types of Grass Used on Local Football Fields

Types of Grass Used on Local Football Fields

Most football fields rely on natural, as opposed to synthetic grasses, as the playing surface. Although artificial turfs are also very reliable, the popularity of natural grass is understandable. Natural grass provides better aesthetics and a cooler playing surface. It also promises fewer athlete injuries.

Artificial grass is mostly used to minimize the impact of adverse weather on the playing surface. However, this usually comes at a cost. Artificial turfs are hotter and not only need to be crested to shed water, but are also very resistive to shear forces from the feet. Natural grass is a living plant that can be destroyed by regular stamping. Yet, with a proper root zone and good management, the grass often performs very well.

Types of Grass Used In Local Football Fields

First, it is important to note that unlike other sports the grass used in football fields is selected based primarily on adaptability to the local environment. In baseball for example, the effect of grass on the movement of the ball is very important. For football however, the ball is mostly either flying around or wrapped in players’ arms; it has very little interaction with the grass.

In the US, there are 5 main types of natural grass used for football fields. They are categorized as either cool or warm season grasses.

Cool Season Grasses

There are three main cool season natural grasses; the Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Types of Grass Used on Local Football FieldsThe Kentucky Bluegrass is considered the highest quality grass for football fields in cooler seasons. It is mostly grown in the far north, extending into the temperate regions. The grass germinates pretty quickly, takes a bit long to establish, but establishes a thick carpet quality. It has a creeping growth and ranges in color from emerald green to dark blue. It has a very fine texture and most of the varieties are low growing.

The Tall Fescue

The Tall Fescue is another very good grass for the cool seasons. Just like the Kentucky Bluegrass, it is mostly used in the north and transitional areas. The perennial, branching grass germinates quickly forming a dense, thick sod that can remain green for a whole football season. Newer, shorter, disease and pest resistant varieties are now available. Tall Fescue fields are reseeded twice a year to maintain a thick sod.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial Ryegrass has been improved over the years and now comes in varieties with better texture, color, and enhanced resistance to both pests and diseases. It is an upright growing grass that forms a thick, dense, quick growing sod. The quick growth means that it repairs pretty fast. It is a high maintenance grass often mown at 1 ½ – 2 ½ inches.

Warm Season Football Grasses

There are two main warm season natural grasses; Bermuda Grass and Bahia grass.

Bermuda Grass

Types of Grass Used on Local Football FieldsBermuda is probably the best grass for all-around athletic fields. It is grown in the south and up into the transitional areas. If grown in the transitional areas the grass has to be over-seeded in fall with other grass for early spring greening. The most popular grass for over-seeding is the perennial ryegrass. Bermudas have medium to fine textures and form dense, fast growing and fast repairing sods, with medium to dark green color.

Bahiagrass

Bahiagrass is also very popular. Its ability to withstand and recover from foot traffic, combined with it’s low maintenance requirements makes it a huge attraction for most field managers.

Summary

There are other grasses not discussed here such as the Creeping Bent Grass used in cool seasons and the Zoysiagrass used in warm seasons. To learn more about these grasses, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services on 804-594-6911.

Field Hardness Testing

Field Hardness Testing

Field Hardness Testing Focuses on Reducing Sport-Related Injuries

Field Hardness Testing1Leisure- and professional sportsmen rely on sports fields for a host of activities. Schools, universities, and sporting bodies have different sport fields in use and these all require turf grass management. Knowledge about growing turf is critical to assess the state of the field’s conditions and determine whether the field is suitable for use. This is because field safety problems exist when the fields are perhaps overused and they become too hard from compaction. Field hardness testing is important because it focuses on reducing injuries. Studies show that a significant number of concussions in football are caused by the head hitting the hard field surface.

Monitoring field hardness is critical, and in fact the National Football League of America actually requires field managers to test for surface hardness before each game.

Many Professional Athletic Fields with Natural Turf

Richmond is the capital of Virginia in the United States and has plenty of free parks and fields for kids and adults with walking trails, soccer- and baseball fields. There are also many professional athletic fields with natural turf which require irrigation systems, mowers and grading products to ensue world class sports turf. Field hardness testing is an important task and is executed by knowledgeable people and with industry-best equipment.

Experts Who Know Turf Science Like The Back of Their Hands

Field Hardness TestingEstablished in 2003, Commonwealth Sports Turf have seasoned specialists who work closely with different enterprises who require world-class turf services in Virginia. From football fields to school athletic fields to polo fields, golf courses, baseball- and rugby fields, the skilled and passionate team work with superintendents, directors and managers to present turf management strategies toward outstanding athletic surfaces.

Keith Kitchen of Commonwealth Sports Turf has more than a decade of walking different turfs, and as a renowned turf care and landscaping company in Richmond, Virginia, they know turf science like the back of their hands. Their mission is to simply produce pristine fields in virtually any sports turf environment. Keith is also a member of the VA Sports Turf Managers Association, the Virginia Turfgrass Council, Virginia Recreation and Park Society, and the VA Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

The company has also been tasked with ensuring exceptional turf conditions for the University of Phoenix Stadium. This is to ensure a superior Superbowl experience to host world class events which take place throughout the year.

With more than 31 years turf experience, they know that field hardness testing is important for natural turf fields because the field harden when the soil below the surface becomes compacted. As games are played, the air is pushed out and the fields become ever harder. Dry conditions as well as compacted soil result in high Gmax values as measured with the Clegg Impact Tester. One of the best ways to alleviate soil compaction is aeration as it creates more airspace in the soil.

Don’t Push The Limits of Natural Turf

Beautiful natural turf has many advantages over synthetic surfaces, one of them being that natural turf doesn’t receive the complaints about the heat and high temperatures of synthetic surfaces. Well maintained natural turf areas are cool, they offer high cushioning and lower surface hardness, and this reduces injury in contact sports.

The overuse of sports turf can push the limits of turf to recover but a reputable turf care and landscaping company oversees the care of athletic fields and will advise on what is needed to maintain a quality surface for your particular facility.

Turfgrasses Commonly Used as Athletic Turf

Turfgrasses Commonly Used as Athletic Turf

Growing grasses for athletic fields essentially require one to have an extensive knowledge pertaining to the different turf grasses. One should also understand the importance of high maintenance practices in providing a quality playing surface for sports. The grasses on athletic fields are often subjected to severe abuse. Finding the appropriate turfgrass or mixture of turf grasses is therefore important, coupled with providing proper maintenance for the turf.

Athletic field grasses must essentially be dense, sod and thick to be able to withstand impact, while being able to repair expediently. Athletic grasses are often seeded mixtures, which allows for optimum coverage for the longest period of time.

Some Of The Most Commonly Used Grasses For Athletic Fields Include:

  1. Turfgrasses Commonly Used as Athletic TurfKentucky Bluegrass: This turfgrass can easily produce a premium athletic field surface, especially in the northern regions of the U.S. This is because it germinates and establishes relatively quickly. Kentucky bluegrass has a dark green turf coupled with medium leaf texture, as well as a rhizome system that enables it to spread laterally while recuperating from wear and stresses. It is however very poor in enduring traffic, especially during the hot weather. The grass is commonly used while mixed with Tall Fescue or perennial ryegrass.
  2. Bermudagrass: This is the most ideal choice of turfgrass for warm season athletic fields. This is attributable to its high resistance to wear coupled with the ability to recover rapidly from damage by traffic and cleats. The grass is however best suited for areas that receive full sunlight; it responds very well to maintenance under fool sunlight and hot temperatures. However, this turfgrass has a long dormancy period after a frost. It therefore renders over-seeding necessary to satisfy green requirement.
  3. Perennial ryegrass: This grass with a fine to medium leaf texture and dark green color establishes extremely fast. It is easily the best cool-season turfgrass in tolerating wear and mowing heights of up to 2 inches. However, this grass is quite intolerant to droughty conditions and while it can be used alone in cooler climates, it is often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass. The grass is often preferred due to its striking striping patterns, which can be achieved by mowing in specific directions.
  4. Turfgrasses Commonly Used as Athletic TurfTall fescue: This grass is an ideal choice especially for the transition zone, owing to its combination of cold and drought tolerance. It is important to go for the newer turf types that have dense growth habits and a fine texture. It is advisable to cut the grass when it’s 2-3 inches in height; mowing lower could cause the grass to form a clumpy, non-uniform turf. However, Tall fescue is relatively susceptible to diseases and thinning in warmer climates, and it doesn’t mix well with warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass. Consequently, Tall fescue athletic fields will often require overseeding to promote turf recovery while maintaining an ideal playing surface. Some people prefer renovating heavy traffic areas with perennial ryegrass.
  5. Bahiagrass: This warm season grass is ideal for athletic fields owing to its ability to withstand and recover from foot traffic. It also has relative low maintenance requirements, making it an ideal choice for budget limited sports organizations.

Selection of an ideal athletic turfgrass should ideally be determined by the presence of the desired traits that are dominant to its variety. A good athletic grass should also be capable of growing well with the companion species. While choosing a seeded grass for an athletic field, one should determine the grass type that does well in their particular area. They should also be knowledgeable on the planting techniques, including preparation of the site for planting and subsequent maintenance.