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.

Aeration vs Verticutting

Aeration vs. Verticutting

Aeration Vs. Verticutting

Aeration and Verticutting are two critically important procedures in the turf industry. Stakeholders for whom the procedures are most important might include owners and managers of any athletic or sporting venue such as golf courses, high school athletics fields, private football fields, polo fields, rugby fields, soccer pitches, baseball outfields etc. Other large scale turf operations could be public parks, housing communities and residential planners.

Large scale operations would obviously have the largest monetary interest in turf care and management procedures like Aeration and Vericutting, but they are not exclusive and can impact anyone with grass, really. So it is important to know the purpose and differences between the two. Let’s take a minute to give you a run-down on the two procedures so you’ll have no question about which procedure is right for you. We’ll start with Aeration.

AerationAeration vs Verticutting

Aeration, often called core aeration is the process by which a machine is either dragged or pushed above the turf, and as it turns another rotating mechanism actually probes the soil and pulls out hundreds of cores in an even and consistent manor over the entire area. The purpose for this is to essentially give the grass roots room to breathe. After a few years the soil around roots becomes compacted and causes multiple hardships for the plants by making it difficult to absorb moisture, transpire, absorb essential nutrients, establish roots and providing a shelter for pest insects and fungus. By aerating you’ll allow the grass roots which naturally need unlimited space since they are rhizomes to grow freely, and consequently you’ll have turf that is more established and eventually need less management.

Verticutting

On the other side of aeration is verticutting. This process is similar to aeration in that a verticutter digs into established turf, but the main difference is that this process is required to remove an organic build up called thatch. Thatch is just old dead grass that builds up and compacts on the soil surface. Thatch causes a lot of the same problems associated with those mentioned above, but aerating won’t treat a thatch issue as well as vericutting. Another function of verticutting is preparation for over-seeding. Over-seeding may sound bad, but the “over” part is simply referring to broadcasting seed over the soil surface (after a good verticutting of course). When an area receives verticutting a verticutter is essentially dragged along the surface and creates hundreds of little rows. You could compare it to the way a farmer will dig rows for some crops, but on a much smaller level. Verticutters break up the thatch problem, but it also gives a slight aeration and the valleys of the rows allow water to travel and set into soil instead of evaporating on top of old organic matter. Typically someone will need a verticutter when their turf is in need of a reseed, or have a large thatch problem.

We hope this helps a bit! It’s critical to turf owners of any sort to not only know the difference between these processes, but to know when and why to use them. A quick way to remember is aerating is to help establish smaller plants, verticutting is to maintain and reseed established turfs. See you soon!

Verticutting Golf Course Maintenance

Verticutting: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?

What Is Vericutting?

An extremely viable and valuable disregarded method for boosting sport turf health is the verticutter. A verticutter has many vertical blades, which are normally arranged .025 and 1.5 inches from each other on a dredging disc to dredge up thatch of the turf. The procedure opens the canopy in order to allow turf to breathe well. The process does not stop at removing any excess thatch but also removes the organic material at or below the plant’s crown area. The machine can be confused with the common aerator, but provide different benefits entirely. Verticutters dig deeper into the turf as they are severing stems which maneuver is creating very visible results. After a verticutter, it is important to pass over the area with a mower to remove all residual debris possibly damaging the turf surface.

Caring for sports turf can be a very difficult job, not only due to wear-and-tear from constant use by athletes and racing horses, but because those employees responsible for the turf may not have sufficient expertise or knowledge necessary to keep turf healthy and attractive. Sports turf is all too often managed by small towns, school districts or local park services that have never had extensive training in maintenance of turf used for athletics and active sports. It is important to understand the differences between the many procedures and programs for preparing and maintaining sports turf.

How It Works

Vertical cutting devices, called “verticutters” are well known. An example of a verticutting turf device is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,393,814 to Gorey. Verticutting devices have a number of blades connected to a driveshaft. As the driveshaft turns, blades make vertical cuts in the ground, cutting runners in the turf and removing dead thatch and other dead foliage from the turf. When attached to mowers, a verticutter only penetrates the ground at small depths because it is under powered to cut deeper depths.

Depending on the turf condition, aeration is preferred over verticutting and vice versa. Also, there are situations when the need exists to use verticutting to process cores removed by the aerator. There is no device that links an aerator and a verticutter into a single useful beneficial unit. One must switch back and forth between an aerator and verticutting machine. As a result the industry is in need for a device which can perform both aeration and verticutting. Still one additional object of this necessary and essential time and money saving invention is to provide a verticutting turf service device that can be adapted by workers for use in conjunction with existing aerator devices.

What Is Needed For EfficiencyVertiCutting

Both the aerator 12 and the verticutter 14 could be operated at the same time either by drive shaft 16 or by individual separate drive shafts. The verticutter 14 cutting depth is thereby able to be raised via adjusting the height wheels 33 to a position slightly off the ground as the aerator 12 pulls plugs or cores directly from the ground. These cores then would engage the blades 34 of the verticutter 14. The device would now perform the functions of aeration and core processing.

Summary

By the use of a verticutting device connected to a conventional aerator, this invention could save money and labor with both the aeration and use of verticutting of soil by a single device.

Who Needs Turf Services

Who Needs Turf Surfaces?

When asking yourself who needs turf surfaces, the basic answer is that you need them, depending on your profession! If you are a groundskeeper, superintendent at a golf course and club, or run a high school or college athletics field, than you could use turf service. This includes analysis, soil study, fertilization, and cutting services such as top dressing and aerating.

Faster Rolls & Better Breathing

We all love the view and performance of Bermuda turf, however with normal yard cutting and discharging of the grass upon the lawn, we yield to the inevitable and let nature take its course of growth and decay until it is time to wield our push mowers and garden tractors for another cut of growth in a few days. The science of verticutting does not yield to the inevitable. Layers of grass clippings slowly decaying form a type of matt which actually stifles more grass growth. Properly removing that matt and thinning active blades of grass, allow for more grass rooting to occur and allows the grass to breathe better and balls to roll more evenly. Commonwealth Sports Turf wants both the turf to be spectacular and ball performance to be outstanding. Before Peyton Manning and Drew Brees stroll out onto the field, they became the beneficiaries of companies like Commonwealth Sports Turf and so do Virginians. The first place to envision your diamond or gridiron is also the best.

Channeling The GrassWho Needs Turf Services Golf

The American playing field, public parks and specialized outdoor venues have come a long way since dusting off an empty lot beside the gas station or supermarket in town. Thanks to innovations such as top dressing, the soil is blessed with more of the nutrients it needs along with increased oxygen. The science of this technology lies in the insertion of sand or compost (sometimes even a blending of the two) into the soil. These elements create a channel making it easier for air, water and nutrients to do their job. Besides properly feeding the soil, this insertion of sand or compost creates an additional benefit for the player by keeping the soil from becoming hard-packed and perhaps just a bit softer to land on. That’s what Commonwealth Sports Turf does. In Virginia, they transform ordinary land into extraordinary experiences. Photos and contact information can be gathered at http://www.cwsportsturf.com.

A Misconception Worth Poking Holes Into

It is a commonly held belief that the two times of the year that lawn aeration should take place is during the spring and fall. While it is true that during those times the soil and weather conditions are generally optimal for aeration, reserving such practices for just twice a year might just be a mistake. Sometimes the soil gets so hard-packed through constant use or climate conditions that a process known as deep tine aeration is greatly needed. Using a machine that moves at under two miles per hour, solid core tines that are several inches to nearly a foot in length and spaced just a few inches apart are inserted into the ground with great force. This plan for turf maintenance creates a grid of holes in the ground that feed the ground what it needs to remain healthy. But it should be utilized as necessary which is decided by soil compaction and how much use the ground is enduring throughout the season. Whether it’s poking holes into myths or the ground in Virginia, landowners want Commonwealth Sports Turf creating a beautiful landscape out of their ordinary ground.

Before Hitting The Soil, It’s Time To Hit The Books

Books Turf

For all the expense that is placed into America’s turfs today, it is not wise to just roll up the equipment and begin raking, aerating, mowing, clipping or performing any other activity until a study is made of the soil. Will soil change that much from season to season? Probably not. But even slight shifts in soil composition that occur over time will show up later in coming months and years when the turf is harder to maintain or becomes less effective over time. If the university, high school, public sports field or park has never installed turf before, then a proper soil study is mandatory. Acquiring a proper soil sample/study will provide the new turf owner with what he needs to process with a qualified turf installer. Such an installer like Commonwealth Sports Turf can build the right profile for the organization needing new turf and they are based regionally right here in Virginia. Commonwealth Sports Turf has 31 years of combined experience and is a leader in their field.

A Properly Balanced Turf

Your car needs the right balance of fluids such as oil, gas, coolant, etc. The body needs water, proper minerals and vitamins to operate effectively and remain healthy. If the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence then it is likely that there is an owner on that side of the fence that takes his lawn so seriously that he can tell any visitor about the chemicals and the pH balance of his yard. Commonwealth Sports Turf is just as dedicated when it comes to being green, lean and mean. Before the first patch of turf is even installed, the new owner will know for sure just what his soil is truly made of. Yes, it’s dirt, but match the wrong type of turf and maintenance methods with that dirt and that owner might just as well lay down twenty dollar bills and water them and pray they become functional grass. When the team from Commonwealth Sports Turf comes to install someone’s ‘Field of Dreams,’ they will display all the wonderful models of turf available. Before the next Russell Wilson or Tiger Woods takes the field however, it all starts with carefully taking the right type of samples to study. These and other turf processes are seen at Commonwealth sports Turf Surfaces, Contact Us for more information!

Enahnce The Beauty Of Your Sports Turf

Enhance The Beauty Of Your Sports Turf

Commonwealth Sports Turf has been improving and maintaining sports turf since 2003 and has 31 years combined sports turf experience. Keith Kitchen is president, with success in both residential and commercial landscape, for sports turf companies in and around Richmond, Virginia.

Keith began Luxury Lawns, a residential turf company, which was then contracted by high profile sports turf complexes in and around the Richmond area. His vision is to approach playing sports turf surfaces with unique and innovative services by facilitating basic turf science to produce unique and pristine sports turf.

Each sports turf has its own scientific chemistry and will be evaluated using science to come up with the best strategy possible to enhance and maintain your turf.

What Type of Aeration Services Are Needed?

Your soil is checked for proper nutrients and evaluated for what type of aerator services are needed to allow nutrients into the root of the soil.

If you have played on a golf course that has high traffic areas or you start to see spots that are brown while the area around it is still green, your turf is beginning to compact.This is only the obvious signs of compaction. Your sports turf could already be in the beginning stages of compacting before visibility occurs.Compaction takes time and aeration is a process that will allow oxygen into the roots of your turf making it stronger, thicker and greener.

The type of aerator services depends on your golf course, football field or park. Each turf has individual needs for playing or wearing ability which can contribute to the amount of compaction. For removing thatch or deep tinning greens, the most natural aeration that leaves you’re playing field in tact is core aeration also referred to as coring, spiking, slicing or soil cultivating.

Core Aerator Services Maintenance

Core aeration is usually recommended once a year, depending on your needs two or more might be needed. The type of grass is important to when maintenance proceeds.

Cool season grass: Kentucky Bluegrass and perennial rye grass. Core aeration time is during spring and fall.

Warm season grass: Bermuda and zoysia grass. Core aeration time is the middle of spring to summer. Do not aerate when grass is dormant

RecommendationEnahnce The Beauty of Your Sports Turf

Commonwealth Sports Turf Services recommends one extra service following your core aeration. Using a turf sweeper to collect cores will be distributed along areas to repair. Cores can grow almost immediately and is a better option making your sports turf green and healthy.

Deep Tine Aeration

In some cases, where the ground is getting hard from compaction, for the health of your sports turf it may be recommended to have deep tine aeration services. If that is the case the same process of using the turf sweeper may also be needed. The same rules apply to maintenance of aerating times for the type of grass you have on your sports turf.

If you live in Virginia and need services for your sports turf Commonwealth Sports Turf Services we will be glad to maintain your sports turf and help you save money in the long run.

If you would like to know more about Commonwealth Sports Turf Services we invite you to see our demonstration. Have a happy healthy sports turf that is durable, beautiful and green.

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.

Commonwealth-Sports-Turf-Drainage

Drainage and Irrigation For Your Sports Turf

Drainage and Irrigation for Your Sports Turf

Commonwealth Sports Turf Services has improved and maintained quality sports turf since 2003, with 31 years combined sports turf experience in Richmond, Virginia. Keith Kitchen, president, started a residential turf and landscaping company, Luxury Lawns, who were contracted by several high profile sports complexes to maintain their turf. Keith’s vision grew and his creative approach to innovative services supports the basics of turf science facilitating pristine fields for any turf environment.

Turf Services in Virginia

Commonwealth Sports Turf Services include golf course greens, high school athletic fields, football fields, soccer and baseball fields, rugby fields and county parks.

CST analyzes all details of your unique sports turf situation. Your root depth, soil compaction and heavy traffic areas are all relevant to the health of your sports turf. Aerating impacts your greens but do you know to what degree is too much or not enough? Knowing what your sports turf need are questions that have scientific answers. Each turf needs a different and varying approach.

First Things First: Soil StudySoil Health

Before maintenance for your sports turf can be initiated it is important to study the soil in each field area noting that each soil bed is unique in its own level of nutrients. By studying your soil we can comprehend nutrient composition underlying the medium of growth and supply you with a deficiency report. A discovery document including a graph which represents your soil nutrients where they are now and where they should be in the future for the most durability. An application study is reevaluated each year for good health. Maintenance without a soil study may result in unnecessary treatments or costs.

Mechanical Services: Strategy Action

After your soil study a personalized plan is initiated with needed granular and liquid nutrient chemicals and recommended quantity applications action. Your sports turf may be scheduled for core aeration, deep core aeration, top dressing or verticutting, whichever fits your maintenance needs.

Maintenance

Commonwealth Sports Turf uses cutting edge equipment, investigates in-depth research and their employees, with proven abilities, make CST both professional and gives them the ability to provide best maintenance practices.

Monthly Strategy

Communication is a key factor to our client’s field progress addressing concerns and planning project strategies. Meeting once a month helps to ensure evaluating health of sports turf through planned usage.

Core Aeration: Improvement and Predictability

Your strategized services to maintain your turf may vary from removing thatch or deep tining greens. However a main factor for peak performance, in any sports turf, is core aeration also referred to as coring, spiking, slicing or soil cultivation.

Deep Tine Aeration

Allowing maximum aeration with the least impact for turf usability is deep tine aeration. Core aeration lessens possible soil compaction which can result in hardening the surface being played.

VerticuttingMechanical Services

Verticutting removes thatch from Bermuda turf, a necessity to plant health. Thatch is an excessive build-up of clippings prohibiting the penetration of oxygen, nutrients and water to root area. Vericutting thins grass increasing drainage allowing leaf blades therefore improving aesthetics for ball roll and playability.

Core Distribution

Cores are collected using a turf sweeper then reapplied to areas needing viable roots, which can grow immediately.

Top Dressing

Sand and compost or a combination of the two, are inserted in the soil profile creating a cha decreasing soil compaction and leaving a better playing area for oxygen and nutrients to drain into the soil root.

Keith’s vision grew and his creative approach to innovative services supports the basics of turf science, facilitating pristine fields for any turf environment here in Virginia.

Braves-New-Turf-Under-Close-Scrutiny

Braves’ New Turf Under Close Scrutiny

The Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves, in the not to distant future, will be playing in a new stadium on new turf. This has many fans, players, and coaches quite nervous, and excited. The turf played on at Turner Field was always one of the Braves advantages. Other teams would visit Turner field and not be able to handle how the ball would play off the turf. The Braves knew how to play it and this is why so many great fielders played on the Braves ball-club.

Many companies are most likely bidding on this project. the question comes back to the best turf to use. Do they join the likes of many other ball fields and use artificial turf, or do they use a grass like they have been using in Turner Field. For your information, the sod they have used at Turner Field is a Bermuda Grass that is drought resistant. This is a good grass to use on Southern stadiums, where in Northern stadiums, Kentucky Bluegrass is usually the choice.

A wise choice would be to seek advice from a turf provider in Richmond. Commonwealth Sports Turf Surfaces is the leading authority on the best playing surfaces for stadiums. They can not only advise on turf choices, but they can provide a comprehensive maintenance plan that would make the players and owners proud of their turf.

New Turf Considerations

When installing turf on baseball, football, and other sport’s fields, there are many factors that need to be considered. Commonwealth Sports Turf would consider:

  • Player Safety. This must be the first and foremost factor. No team can afford to have injuries because of the turf used on the field.
  • Durability. The turf gets a lot of abuse from cleats and other actions. It needs to be able to withstand all of it.
  • Irrigation. Real grass needs water. Consideration needs to be given on how the grass will be watered and fed.
  • Drainage. Too much water can kill grass. There needs to be a good drainage system.

A plan needs to be put into place for the best turf to install in the Braves new play area. The best way to do this is to first study the soil that exists there now. From that study, choices will be narrowed down. Will the soil handle a Bermuda grass? Does added soil need to be hauled in? What sort of maintenance plan needs to be instituted for the best results depending on the climate?

All eyes are upon the owners and managers of the Atlanta Braves to see what the plan will be. Will the new playing field be fast like Turner Field was in the days that Chipper Jones played? Will they slow it down with a longer and thicker grass that could also cause injuries?

Yes, it is true: the Braves’ new turf is under very close scrutiny. Commonwealth Sports Turf Surfaces.

Image Credit:

Turner Field: Home of the Atlanta Braves by Geoff Livingston

Core Aeration

Improve Your Turf with Core Aeration

From golf courses to football fields and county parks, each turf requires a slightly different touch. Maintenance services can vary from deep-tinning greens to removing thatch from fields; however, there is one task that is crucial for keeping every form of turf in peak performance condition. Core aeration, also known as soil cultivation, coring, spiking, or slicing, is this key maintenance task.

Turf_aerationAeration is a natural process where air is exchanged between the soil and surrounding atmosphere. Core aeration, the mechanical optimization of this process, allows sports turf managers to step back and relax while an aerator machine maximizes the natural gas exchange. Additionally, aerator services can reduce the amount of soil compaction, which can harm a turf’s soil profile and harden the playing field. While compact soil is a crucial element of building construction, the reduction of air pockets in a playing field can lead to serious injuries in athletes.

 

Ensuring athlete safety starts from the ground up, and the aerator services of Commonwealth Sports Turf Services are indispensable in this aspect of turf maintenance. Since the type of aeration often determines the effectiveness of turf treatment, Commonwealth Sports Turf Services utilizes the John Deere Aercore, which pulls three to four inch cores on two by two spacing. This aeration type generates core holes that are close and deep, allowing oxygen, water, and nutrients additional access to the root zone. Benefits of aerator services expand to include reduced water runoff, improved fertilized uptake and use, and improved resiliency and cushioning.

Perennial_RyegrassKeep in mind that aerator services should be scheduled depending on the extent of turf usage and the grass type. The majority of turfs greatly benefit from annual aeration; however, some heavily utilized sporting fields may require two or more aerations per year. To plan an aerator service, pay attention to the grass type. For cool-season grasses such as perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, spring and fall are the best times to aerate. For warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda grass and zoysia grass, the time recommendation is mid-spring to early summer. To prevent weed competition, do not aerate when warm season grasses are dormant.

Following core aeration, Commonwealth Sports Turf Services recommends an additional service where a turf sweeper collects cores and redistributes them to areas in need of repair. While topsoil and seed are often the primary products used for distressed areas, cores, which contain viable nutrients and roots, are a better option as they begin growing immediately with proper care.

Maintaining a sports turf does not have to be a difficult or lengthy process. Commonwealth Sports Turf Services invests in cutting edge equipment and highly trained individuals to provide all businesses with the best options in aerator services. We would love to show you how these products work, and how we can work with your turf. If you are interested in a demo, click the link at the bottom of the page.

Image Credit:

Rock Dennis tackles Taylor Wardlow by John McStravick
Ear of Rye by Arthur Chapmen within Wikipedia Commons

Soccer-Field-Turf

Winning the War on Weeds

Winning the War on Weeds

Several products have been introduced over the past few years that promised to control broadleaf weeds. Several of these products have shown promise in fighting weeds in sports turf, although the use of one, Imprells, was suspended in 2011 due to suspected injury to pines, spruces and other ornamental plants. In fact, the number of products registered to control broadleaf weeds in sports turf has doubled since 2000. Before using any herbicides, however, it is important to consult the label to be sure the product is safe for the type of turf it will be used to treat.

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