Construction/Renovation of Athletic Fields

Construction/Renovation of Athletic Fields

When it comes to the construction or renovation of athletic fields, there is much to consider. Factors such as budget and what types of sports and athletic events will be held there will determine what types of field and turf are suitable.

Athletic field construction and renovation is a specialized profession. The contractor must be experienced and knowledgeable about modern techniques, materials and surfaces available for sporting fields today.

Commonwealth Sports Turf has been in business since 2003, and has a total of more than 31 years in the industry.

They specialize in taking care of the details when it comes to field and turf maintenance. Their dedication to quality has given them the opportunity to care for the stadium turf at the University of Phoenix, where perfection is essential.

Different Types of Fields Require Different Types of Turf.

Construction/Renovation of Athletic FieldsBy using state of the art equipment and conducting detailed research that includes an in-depth soil analysis; top field and turf specialists can ensure that every playing surface gets proper care based on what the field will used for.

Different sporting activities require different types of field and turf. Baseball fields use turf that allows the ball to roll unhindered while football fields don’t have that requirement.

Instead they may use a natural grass because the surface is cooler than artificial turf and has a higher aesthetic appeal. The surface area provided by natural grass is also safer for the athletes and usually leads to fewer injuries than artificial turf and it is softer as well.

Field and turf specialists know that natural turf isn’t as durable as artificial turf but that it can perform well with proper maintenance. While artificial grass makes for a very durable turf that can stand up to rough treatment better than natural grass and it is resistant to harsh weather conditions.

Renovation of Athletic Fields

The overuse of sports turf can push its limits to recover but a reputable turf care company can oversee the care of athletic fields and will advise on the needed maintenance to insure a quality surface for any sporting facility.

There comes a point in time when even a well kept ball field needs turf repair. Mother-nature is known to pull surprises and no one can control the weather. Outfields may need new sod or maybe an area needs seeding.

Natural grass can be susceptible to diseases and pests, they need professional care and thoughtfully applied herbicides and pesticides.

A playing field should be level and well drained no matter what sport is played there.

Constructing or renovating athletic fields is no joke. Before making any decisions, get the advice of an experienced professional. The field and turf won’t be the only thing looking pretty, you will to.

Mowing Guidelines for Athletic Fields

Mowing Guidelines for Athletic Fields

If someone is a landscape architect then they will have to deal with mowing athletic fields on a regular basis. This means that they will need to know the mowing guidelines for athletic fields. Mowing guidelines for athletic fields will have a few key components.

The first component will be that the landscape architects involved will want to choose the correct kind of mower to use for the field. A push mower is probably not a good idea. Unless they have many landscape architects working on the field at the same time and push mowers are the only equipment they have available. If that is the case then they could manage to accomplish the task by using push mowers.

Best Ways to Use Mowing Resources for Athletic Fields

Mowing Guidelines for Athletic FieldsA better use of their resources would be to invest in a rider mower. If they use a high quality rider mower then they could have a single landscape architect do the job. This would give them pretty significant savings over hiring a group of landscape architects to do the job using push mowers. There will be the initial investment in purchasing the equipment. However, rider mowers can be purchased for a nominal fee

If they purchase a rider mower second-hand then they could save an even greater sum of money. The issue in this case would be verifying whether or not the rider mower is in good working order. Taking it for a test drive could give them an idea of the functional level of the mower. However, rider mowers are complex pieces of machinery and have many different moving parts. Therefore, they could end up buying a lemon. If they decide to buy used they should make sure they have some recourse if they end up with a non-functional piece of machinery.

Mowing Guidelines for Athletic FieldsIn the ideal scenario they have managed to task one of their landscape architects to mow the field. This landscape architect would be using a reliable rider mower. By mowing the field in an orderly fashion the landscape architect would be able to accomplish the task in relatively short period of time.

The landscape architect should begin at one end of the field and work their way across. They should make a 90 degree once they reach the end of the field and another immediate 90 degree turn once they have moved on the next row of the field. This will give the field a well manicured appearance. The precise nature of the mowing method used will be visible from the final product.

Top Dressing Uneven Lawns

Top Dressing Uneven Lawns

Top dressing adds layers of fine quality soil to the surface of the lawn thereby building the quality of the underlying soil overtime and may allow the soil ability to retain more moisture and also drain better allowing for proper root development. Top dressing an uneven lawn helps get rid of any lumps and bumps by filling any hollows on the lawn surface. Another great benefit of lawn top dressing is that it stimulates the turf to produce new shoots resulting in denser grass.

Different sporting complexes need to take care of their grounds to ensure they remain in top quality and the turf remains strong. Any sport complex director needs to ensure that their grounds are flawless and good looking but at the same time ensuring the players safety.

Listed Below Are Some Of The Turf Services Offered By Common Wealth Sports Turf Services:

  • Golf course grounds.
  • Baseball fields.
  • High school sports grounds.
  • Rugby and soccer fields.
  • Polo fields.
  • Country parks.

Commonwealth sports services works in collaboration with the directors, superintendents and maintenance department heads of the above institutions to ensure that the grounds are well maintained and up to standard.

Methods Used By Common Wealth Turf Services

  • Top Dressing Uneven LawnsThis is the first step and is conducted to know the needs of the soil bed in question. The study helps to identify the soil composition as well as what needs to be improved. A recommendation is then made on what needs to be done to ensure the soil is able to support high quality sports turf. This study will then be an annual process to evaluate that year’s performance and plan for what need to be improved.
  • Determining a nutrient plan. Once the soil study results are received then a plan is personalized based on the soil needs. This covers what chemicals are needed and how often it will be needed.
  • Scheduling mechanical services. The top dressing team will come up with a mechanical schedule for the grounds depending on the condition of the surfaces.
  • Strategy meetings. Each month a meeting is scheduled between the client and a representative from common wealth sports turf services to review the site and address rising concerns.

Top Dressing Uneven LawnsUneven lawns are a problem to every manager as it affects the quality of play and may lead to injuries to players. Repairing such uneven lawns may seem like a difficult task but common wealth sports turf has the solutions to all this problems. The top dressing of the uneven lawn will be tailored based on the level of depressions in the lawn to achieve the best results.

Any manager, director or superintendent looking for long lasting and vibrant looking fields should get in touch with a representative so he can have their ground look at and advised on what is needed. If the grass has problems growing or you have water pooling in certain areas of the ground when it rains then that should be looked at and therefore one has the best expertise to have handle such issues than common wealth turf services who offer products and services that are unparrarelled.

Some Of The Benefits Of Top Dressing Turf Include:

  • It keeps the turf aerated and gets rid of dangerous dips and bumps.
  • It improves the drainage of the turf.
  • It strengthens the root system of the turf.
  • It makes the lawn appear more appealing.

With the level of expertise and experience acquired by commonwealth sports turf services mangers will not only have professional looking lawns but also ensure safety of the players which is the most important.

Proper Turf Care Will Prevent Excessive Recovering of Turf Later On.

Proper Turf Care Will Prevent Excessive Recovering of Turf Later On.

Athletes aren’t concerned about the damage they do the the earth beneath their feet. They’re competing for physical and competitive supremacy — they’re out to be their best. A single high-school athletics department has the ability to displace hundreds, if not thousands of turf divots in a given day. Proper turf management is the route towards a beautiful and resilient surface.

How To Take Care Of Turf

Proper Turf Care Will Prevent Excessive Recovering of Turf Later On.1In theory, the field should be a completely neutral element. Too often an athlete will find himself struggling to deal with the landscape of the field, rather than the gameplay elements evolving upon the field. Commonwealth Sports Turf Services realizes the importance of high-tech cutting edge turf management efforts. At the same time, they never lose sight of tried-and-true methods like effective aeration. The more attention and focus that goes into promoting turf health, the better the results will be. Turf grass replacement will never become a major concern for those tasked with turf management at any organization, if they are attentive.

Every professional turf manager will attest that there is a given limit to the amount of traffic a piece of turf can sustain without getting torn apart. One pro-tip that will save a ton of mess and a bunch of labor later is to schedule field use around times where the turf is at its most dry. The more wet the turf, the more damage it is likely to sustain during activity.

Best Practices To Take Care

Proper Turf Care Will Prevent Excessive Recovering of Turf Later On2Another useful practice to reduce the amount of turf recovery necessary is to attempt to rotate the field often. If a field is large enough to section off into four or more zones, it is wise to consider adding this increased organization to the deployment of field activities on the turf. Proper advance planning is a sure-fire way to achieve excellent results and to get a bit more quality use out of a field.

Whether the game is football, soccer, field hockey or something else — there’s plenty that goes into turf recovery after a game. Golfing activity poses a large threat to turf health and simply trying to treat the pock marks that show up all across the course after a day on the links isn’t a lasting solution. Commonwealth has a pro-active approach that includes advanced turf assessments. Starting a relationship with any field involves an in-depth soil study. Keeping that relationship strong entails understanding the soil, grass and mineral components of the turf on a scientific level. For athletic managers who are eager to get out and work in a lot of practice on the field as the weather gets warm — exercise caution! Activity on turf that hasn’t fully defrosted and come back to life from a dormant winter is even more damaging than the same activity done in Spring-time. Proper turf management and care will optimize the benefit any particular field can offer.

Preparing the field for Superbowl 2015

Preparing the field for Superbowl 2015

Exceptional turf condition for the University of Phoenix Stadium is vital in providing a successful Superbowl experience for both fans and athletes. Especially after the Pro-Bowl was held on the very same field just a week before the big game, it takes the concentrated effort of hundreds of scientists and labourers to ensure the turf is ready for this week’s world class event. Most businesses do not have the resources like the NFL and the University of Phoenix to employ specialists with that level of expertise. Commonwealth Sports Turf, serving the Richmond, Virginia area, has those resources. With over 31 years of education and experience, Commonwealth Sports Turf partners with businesses big and small to take turf care as seriously as if they were preparing to host the next global sports event.

Successful Superbowl Experience For Both Fans And Athletes.

Preparing the field for Superbowl 2015The uniqueness of The University of Phoenix Stadium’s moveable field is exactly the type of innovative thinking the professionals at Commonwealth employ when working with clients. The solution to a world-class turf surface is not simply a few sessions of nutrient application. Soil study and analysis, careful planning and long-term visioning, monthly specialized client meetings held on the field, and other studied techniques ensure the best quality service that fits all turf care budgets.

Commonwealth knows that turf science is much more than making a field look good. The condition of the turf impacts the quality of play, athlete safety, and the speed of turf recovery. Contrary to what other field care companies claim, studying the soil make-up to understand its current condition is essential in knowing exactly what is needed for optimal performance. How can a business truly know why their field of play is under performing without identifying the root of the underlying problem? In the absence of this information, businesses without the trusted guidance of a company like Commonwealth Sports Turf continue to rely on topical applications that provide no more than short-term cover ups.

Commonwealth Sports Turf Experts

Preparing the field for Superbowl 2015Whether the field is a golf course, baseball stadium, or city park, the specialists at Commonwealth Sports Turf excel at anticipating and problem-solving field conditions so the customer doesn’t have to. Is Core Aeration or Deep-Tine Aeration the best for a competition polo field?When thatch thickness interferes with the field’s playability, will Verticutting provide the right solution to increase proper circulation of nutrients to the root? The experts at Commonwealth not only work with each client to anticipate and plan for these variables, but they also provide businesses with proven solutions that support long-term turf excellence.

The next event held may be as big as a high school championship football game or as small as a recreation center soccer camp. Either way, don’t settle for services less than what the University of Phoenix Stadium would accept for the 2015 Superbowl. That’s what clients will find with the experts at Commonwealth Sports Turf. They are second to none in providing innovative, top of the line services individualized to ensure maximum performance for every sports turf environment.

Make Your Athletic Field A Grass Carpet

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

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

Test For PH

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

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


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

Mowing And Maintenance

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

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


How to Prepare Your Turf for Winter

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

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

Football Fields in the North

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

Early Spring Healthy Field

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

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

Aerification is Needed

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

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


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

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


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


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



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.


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.


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.