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sports turf maintenance process

Turf Fall Overseeding

What Is Fall Overseeding?

 

Fall overseeding is something that many homewners might not know about or take the time to do. However, it creates a beautiful, healthy lawn year round. Overseeding is the act of seeding an already growing lawn with grass seed. It helps to grow more turf where it is thinning without starting over with completely new grass installation. Usually, this damage is created from heat, heavy foot traffic, or even lack of water. Overseeding is part of a comprehensive plan for your turf that can create a lush green lawn.

 

Based on geography, type of grass, and time of year, there are differences in overseeding techniques.

 

 

When Do You Practice Fall Overseeding?

 

Home Depot says that “Fall is the ideal time to overseed cool season grasses, because the soil is still warm enough to germinate seeds and the cool air invites grass to grow a strong root system. Cool season grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescue…[and] late spring or early summer is ideal for overseeding warm season grasses in the South.”

 

Fall overseeding should be done earlier in the North because cooler weather happens sooner, whereas it can be done later in the South. By overseeding at this time of year, you are giving your grass a head start before the weather gets too cool. Overseeding, paired with the right amount of sun, fertilizer, etc. can create the perfect lawn.

 

 

How Do You Practice Fall Overseeding?

 

Overseeding your turf in the fall can be a great investment.

 

The steps to overseeding are:

 

  • Choosing the right seed – Make sure to choose the right seed for both your grass and the climate that you live in.
  • Preparing the turf area – Make sure to mow your lawn before seeding so the seed can come in contact with the dirt and doesn’t go to waste by getting stuck in thick grass.
  • Seeding the turf area – Spread the seed across the turf area evenly.
  • Watering the turf area – Immediately water the seeded area to help grow the seeds. Also make sure to water more frequently (1-2x a day) as you are waiting for the seeds to grow and match your existing lawn.
  • Mowing the turf area – try no to mow as frequently while the new seeds are growing up to the same height as the existing lawn.

 

 

 

If you want to improve the quality and look of your lawn by Fall overseeding, but need some help or would like more detailed information, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

sports turf aeration

Sports Turf Aeration

What is sports turf aeration?

You may have heard the term aeration before when talking about sports turf. But what exactly does it mean? It’s the process of removing plugs of grass from the lawn in order to aerate the turf. These plugs go deep enough to core out a small section of grass and underlying soil in order to help the turf aerate (or exchange of air between soil and atmosphere) naturally. Turf aeration is best received by the grass when plug spaces are deeper and tine spacing is closer.

 

Why should I aerate?

Why should one aerate their soil? Because by removing these plugs of grass, the soil is allowed to breathe, promoting less compaction and therefore root growth. Both of these things equal healthier grass! When turf and soil are compacted, water and fertilizer cannot correctly reach the roots. This compaction can happen from regular use such as walking, mowing, or playing a sport on the turf.

 

Some other benefits of lawn aeration are:

 

  • Better intake of water into the soil
  • Improved air exchange
  • Stronger roots in soil
  • Less compaction within soil
  • Better intake and use of fertilizer
  • Less harmful puddling of water
  • Less water runoff
  • Higher resistance to drought and heat stress
  • Better cushioning and resiliency to other possible issues

 

How often should I aerate?

Aeration to most turf grasses should be done annually. However, if the lawn is in heavy use, some turf can benefit from twice a year aeration efforts. In some cases for certain sports, aeration can even be needed three to five times a year.

 

When should I aerate?

Cool season turf grass needs can be aerated in both the Spring and the Fall. This aeration in the Spring can be done anytime between March and May, and the aeration in the Fall can be done anytime between August and November. In contrast warm season turf grasses need to be aerated in about the mid Spring through the end of Summer. This aeration should not be done until after the first mowing has been done in the Spring.

 

What kind of sports turf aeration equipment do I need?

Aeration machines allow for turf aeration to be done quickly and easily in large spaces. Aeration machines with solid spikes or tines will only compact the soil more, and you will want a machine that allows for the removal of tube like areas from the turf. Depending on the size of the area, there can be aeration machines that operate anywhere from walking and pushing to tractor drawn units. You can sometimes rent these machines at your local home improvement store, or you can just trust a professional to do the work for you and take away the guessing game!

 

If you have any further questions about sports turf aeration, please contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

upkeep for sports turf

What is Proper Upkeep For Sports Turf?

Sports turf can be used to cover high school football fields, large soccer complexes, and even golf courses.

While a game can’t always be perfect, the turf always can. What some might just see as grass, any athlete knows differently that it can help to make or break the game. Proper upkeep for sports turf can immensely change the game.

So you want to have a beautiful playing field with yards and yards of lush green sports turf. However, it isn’t necessarily that easy and turf carries it’s own list of duties for upkeep. But what are those things? If you are new to the sports turf world, you might wonder what could possibly be worried about when it comes to sports turf – it just gets installed and sits there right? Wrong. Sports turf can last for a long time if it is properly managed and well taken care of. Here, we will list just some of the many things that one should be concerned about when they have sports turf installed on playing fields.

 

Upkeep For Sports Turf

Do you know anything about soil compaction or grade in heavy traffic areas? How about aeration schedules, nitrogen application plans, or standing water? Some seasons can make your turf too spongy while others have the ability to dry it out completely. Some turf needs rest after it has been overused in events such as tournaments, and certain years others might need to be overseeded. Colors can change and even the feel can change. Sometimes turf is supposed to look and feel certain ways, and sometimes it isn’t. These are all concerns that you probably don’t want to be constantly worrying about.

 

Why try to figure out all of these things on your own? It’s not enough to pay somebody to install your turf and then watch the company leave. Use a professional company that is committed to proper maintenance and knows what they are doing. It will save many headaches and give you the piece of mind that your investment is being used to the best of its ability. If you want to learn more you can visit sportsturfonline.org or give Commonwealth Sports Turf Services a call today!

sports turf

Why Should I Use Sports Turf?

Sports turf is an artificial option to use on playing fields rather than real grass. This turf can be installed on a multitude of fields and can come in many different types based on the sport being played.

 

Installing synthetic turf can have many positive outcomes such as less cost, maintenance, and increased playability. If you are considering using sports turf, read below for some more information as well as considerations!

 

It costs less.

By installing sports turf, you no longer have to worry about constant expensive maintenance and labor such as fertilizing, watering, mowing, pest control, and seeding, and repainting of lines. While artificial turf does require maintenance, it is much less work and expense than natural grass.

It saves water.

Sports turf saves water in comparison to the needs of natural grass. The Synthetic Turf Council states that “depending on the region of the country, a typical grass sports field requires between 500,000 to a million gallons of water or more each year. [And that] during 2010, between four to eight billion gallons of water were conserved through [turf] use”.

It helps to decrease injuries.

Having natural grass means a field that can get torn up through play and be ruined in rain. These problems can result in slippery areas of mud, sitting water, or even potholes that can cause sprained ankles as well as many other types of injuries. Without these complications, many injuries are avoided.

It doesn’t need pesticides.

Simply put, sports turf doesn’t need pesticides like natural grass does! This is great for the health of the players, the environment, as well as the cost of the owner. The Synthetic Turf Council says that “the EPA has identified runoff of toxic pesticides and fertilizers as a principal cause of water pollution” and that “synthetic turf eliminates the need for nearly a billion pounds of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides which are used to maintain grass”.

 

It increases playability.

As previously stated, natural grass can be greatly affected by the weather around it. When it rains too much, players either cannot play or are in danger or getting injured. However, if sports turf is installed, it creates a field that can be played any time of the year in any weather condition. Sports turf durability is much higher, therefore giving players year round access to their fields.

 

If you have more questions about sports turf and if it is the right choice for you, contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!

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 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.

The Best Turf Products of 2014

The Best Turf Products of 2014?

Criteria For Buying The Best Turf Products

Golf ball on green grassGoing to a riveting sporting event promises hours of scintillating excitement and for players, coaches and spectators, every facet of the event has to be beyond reproach. The best turf products of 2014 have undergone intense research. This ensures that each sporting event is played fairly and safely and that high quality results are achieved on beautiful fields which enhance the entire event for players and spectators.

The turf surface for a sport field is important because the height and condition of the turf can determine ball response and ultimately how the game is played. FIFA for instance, as the world governing body of football, adheres to recognized international standards for their turf, and one of these is that they use real turf which meets with stringent quality criteria.

Different Criteria For Selecting Sports Grasses

Adaptability To An Area – turf will only grow properly in an area that has the correct temperature range the best turf recovers fast from the traffic damage caused by participants

Suitability Of A Particular Species To The Sport – some grasses grow well at higher mowing heights while others handle low mowing. Tennis for example is played at different grass heights to soccer. The best turf products of 2014 offer optimum playing comfort as well as maximum safety for players, low maintenance costs and longevity.

So Much Goes Into Turf on Which Champions Play

Schools, sport clubs, golf courses…you name it, they worry about providing decent fields that can enhance the game. Will the root depth of grass, the soil compaction, the amount of rain the area receives, the particularly heavy traffic areas be able to cope with the needs of the sports people?

Understanding the Science Behind Beautiful, Healthy Turf

The Best Turf Products of 2014What about the color of the turf? Nobody wants to play on yellow, dry grass. What about fertilization, aeration and watering? After all good sport facilities are fundamental for all the games people play and give good return on the time and money invested in them. Commonwealth Sports Turf Services have combined sports turf experience of some 30 years and their creative and innovative turf surfaces ensure pristine fields. They understand the science behind natural turf; they understand the different soils, drainage systems and how the turf surface depends on the health of the grass.

Without excellent knowledge on turf, the grass won’t thrive and it certainly will not be able to recover from the stress of play. The best turf products of 2014 are able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Commonwealth Sports Turf Services offer improvements in grass breeding with advances in drainage and nutrition, and with their knowledge on turf, they offer sportsmen amazing experiences on the field.

How-To-Prepare-Your-Turf-For-Winter

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.

Compost

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.

Overseeding

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.

 

IMAGE CREDIT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_spreader
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost