Preparing Turf Grass For Spring 2015
Ideally, sports turfs should be maintained all-year-round. Even in the summer when sports activities are at a fever pitch, you must still find ways of keeping the grass green and healthy.
Spring is quite a challenging time for sports managers. It’s a time when turf grasses are not actively growing yet you still have to provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing playing field. Many times you are forced to wait until temperatures are consistently warm before the grass resumes active growth. Although nature dictates many aspects of field recovery, there are still several steps you can take to optimize your fields in preparation for spring.
Start by developing a plan. And in a good plan, preparation for spring starts in fall. This is because spring often finds most fields in the same condition or worse than they were left in fall.
During this period, common or hybrid Bermuda grass may not need mowing at all because Bermuda goes dormant during the cold seasons. However, perennial, annual, or intermediate Ryegrass must be mowed. When mowing, cut back the grass to 1 – 1.5 inches.
A general rule when mowing turfgrass is to remove no more than 1/3 of the total leaf surface at one time. Removing more than a third of the leaf surface can negatively affect photosynthetic production of food and depletes carbohydrates reserves in the grass ultimately leading to root growth restriction and graying out or browning of leaf tips among others.
If there is excess rain; do not mow. Mowing at this time can cause rutting and compaction. Also, do not mow when there is early morning frost as traffic during frost tends to rupture leaf blades.
While non-over-seeded Bermuda grass fields don’t need irrigation between December and February, over-seeded fields do. The recommended frequency of irrigation is once or twice every week. The best time to irrigate is at the first sign of wilt. You can tell that there is wilting if leaves start to fold or curl and become blue-green in color. Also, if footprints are visible after walking on the turf, there is likelihood of wilting.
It is important to know a soil’s physical properties including; complexion, soil texture, soil structure, water holding capacity, water infiltration rate, and soil drainage in order to fully understand the root zone and establish an effective maintenance program. Moreover, knowing the pH, Phosphorous, and Potassium levels of a soil helps when applying fertilizers to achieve a healthy field.
We also test for macronutrient content of the soil. Macronutrients required for healthy growth of turfgrass include Iron, Copper, Chlorine, Manganese, Zinc, Nickel, and Molybdenium. In order to maintain adequate proportions of these macronutrients in a soil, it is important to ensure an appropriate soil pH.
Turf Dye Application
Finally, winter is also the time when we apply turf dye/colorant. Also popular as pigments, dyes are basically dry powders than can immensely improve turf quality. Applying the right turf dye at the right rates results in increased color longevity over the winter season making the winter-to-spring transition a smooth one.
CW Sports Turf is the preferred turf management company in Virginia. Visit us today on 247 Wylderose Ct. Midlothian or contact us on 804-594-6911 and let’s help you prepare your turf for spring 2015.
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