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.

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.

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.