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How to Get Your Overused Field Ready for Fall 2010 - STMA

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Evaluation and Preparation of
Fields for Heavy Use
Grady Miller
Background
“Evaluation and Preparation of Fields
for Heavy Use”
• Title suggest the field is “not ready”.
• So, does the field need:
– Total Overhaul?
– Major Help?
– Minor Adjustment?
• Then, field management “after it is ready”
Evaluation Component
Turf Condition (Coverage & Density)
Surface Hardness
Surface Uniformity
Drainage Capacity
Infiltration
Irrigation
Weed Population
Safety Issues on Field (e.g., obstructions)
Area outside of field (fencing, signage, etc.)
Measuring Soil Hardness
Measuring Soil Water Infiltration
Measuring Soil Water & Hardness
Measuring Irrigation
STMA Evaluation Resources
• Use the STMA PCI Evaluation Tool
(Playing Condition Index)
• STMA Safety and Maintenance Checklists
(page from: Playing
Condition Index)
So, what do we do about
Wear and Tear?
We, get moving!
We, take action before
it gets too painful?
Addressing Problems
-Timely
-Symptom & Cause
Sports Field Success Formula
Water Management
Proper Design
and Construction
Maintenance
Limited Use
Division I College Field in Summer
Division I College Field in Summer
Division I College Field in Summer
Division I College Field in Summer
Pro Field in Summer
Management To Correct Problems
• Ask yourself, “What is really causing the
problem?” Follow that trail back as far as you
can and you will be at the primary problem.
• Focus on the primary problem as you can, but
deal with the secondary problem (symptoms)
as they occur.
Don’t forget the basis. Turf needs the following to
live:
– Light to drive photosynthesis
– Water uptake
– Oxygen for respiration
– Carbon dioxide to assimilate carbohydrates
– Absorption of mineral nutrients
– Suitable temperature
– Space
Treat symptoms as fast as possible to correct the
limiting factor.
Why Did it Fail?
1. Poor Construction
2. Poor Decisions
3. Neglect
4. Overuse
5. Environment Influences
6. Combinations of first 5
7. Secondary Influences
Physical --- Chemical --- Biological Causes
NC Publication
www.turffiles.ncsu.edu
Maximize Wear
• Begin sporting season with 100% turf coverage.
– Schedule recuperative times during the season
• Adjust maintenance practices to address field conditions as
dictated by environmental conditions and growth of turf.
• Manage high wear areas differently than the rest of the field.
– Extra fertility
– Extra aerification
– Spot irrigation
– Additional seeding
– Additional (light) topdressing
• [Controversial] Less aggressive cleat patterns be worn by
athletes.
Maximize Wear
• Open communication among the field manager,
schedulers, and users.
• Safety should be paramount.
Reduction of Traffic Damage
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Restrict use when soil is very wet.
Restrict use when soil is very dry and turf is wilted.
Always have coaches rotate heavy play areas during practices.
Use portable goals when possible and move them around the
field.
If possible move soccer field sidelines of field during the year
On game fields, restrict all practices to a minimum.
Have a reduced game schedule when grass is dormant.
Have regularly scheduled rest times that are used to repair
minor damages.
Do not allow unofficial play.
Use tarps (covers) on bench areas to reduce severe wear by
coaches and team members, and on sideline areas used by the
cheerleaders.
Managing Users
Don’t get upset with field users unless YOU have made an effort to
educate them! A field to a field user is like heroin to a drug user.
While it may be obvious to you that the field is too wet to play, it isn’t
obvious to most field users particularly when they are there with
twenty of their friends or have fifteen kids in tow wanting to get their
weekly exercise. “Field Closed” signs on traffic sawhorses in the
middle of the field are inexpensive and necessary. A community field
hotline is helpful. We put a notification by 2:00 PM weekdays and
8:00 AM weekends. We actually have an e-mail group entitled
“RAIN” which we send out when fields are too wet. A local law that
equates playing on a closed field with destruction of public property
allows the police department to assist you in your maintenance
efforts. On our fields we charge users $250 if any coach or player
associated with their organization is found on a closed field.
Wear: Yearly Usage Maxims
(2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10 Rule)
200 hr or less – sustain good field conditions
400 - 600 – good field conditions with some thinning and
localized wear areas
800 - 1000 – fair field conditions; expect thinning and
wear
1000 or more –expect significant thinning, turf loss, surface
damage, increased risk of athlete injury
Does this Work?
(Further Considerations)
• Size of athletes
• Level of play
• Weather conditions (especially just before
and during games/matches)
• Time of year
• Maintenance practices
• Recuperative periods
• Grass (including overseeding)
Excessive Use
Abuse
Construction Issue
Construction, Management, Environmental
Photo by Jim McAfee
When a Field Needs Help!
Get People Involved
Is it the grass’s fault?
Field Middle
End Zone
Bermudagrass Cover throughout Football Season,
Knoxville, TN 2006.
100
Tifway
% Cover
90
Patriot
80
Miss. Choice
70
Riveria
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
3 4
5 6
7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Traffic Events
Number of football games required to lower the turf
cover to 70-75%, Knoxville, TN 2006.
Riviera
MS Choice
Patriot
Tifway
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
Games
14
16
18
20
w/ P. Rye
w/o P. Rye
July18, 2006
September 8, 2007
52 days
September 8, 2007
January 4, 2007
Under a Watchful Eye, Most Fields
Can Be Re-grown Within 60 Days!
Days After Sprigging
1
3
7
14
28
42
Ryegrass Overseeding
The problem is often not growing the grass,
but getting rid of it.
In transition zone, often best to remove
ryegrass for optimum bermudagrass health.
Overseeding Study
1.
2.
3.
4.
NC State Study
Bermudagrass shoot density in summer reduced
because of overseeding.
Cultural practices moderately quickened
disappearance of perennial ryegrass.
Early or late applied N enhanced bermudagrass shoot
density.
Air temperature and relative humidity data were
effectively used to predict ryegrass disappearance.
***Cultural practices alone may not consistently enhance
natural transition.
Overseed Removal Products
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Kerb (Pronamide) – Dow AgroSciences
Manor [or Blade] (metsulfuron) – Nufarm Specialty
Products
TranXit GTA (rimsulfuron) – Griffin LLC
Revolver (foramsulfuron) - Bayer
Monument 75WG (trifloxysulfuron) – Syngenta
Corsair (chlorsulfuron) – Nufarm Specialty Products
[Riverdale]
Certainty (sulfosulfuron) – Monsanto
Katana (flazasulfuron) – PBI Gordon
Use Signs
Can you target your user’s habits?
Moveable Goals
Drill Area
Referee Damage: Education?
Bored Little League Outfielder
• Trainer Shoe – 37% less turf damage than standard
shoe
• Standard Shoe – has 12 or 13 rubber studs per shoe
• Screw in – 34% more damaging than standard shoe
• *trainer required 47% less force to break traction than
standard
Irrigation
Not Enough
• Renovation (fix or add)
• Hose reels (supplement)
• Wetting agents (disperse)
Too much
• Time (reduce & wait)
• Sensor & Shut-off devices
$30. - $80.
Supplemental Irrigation
Too Much!
Drainage Options
• Surface movement – soil consideration
• Subsurface movement – soil consideration
• Management – design and management
Heavy Native Soil Fields
• Primary need surface movement to remove
excess water
• Consider perimeter water removal
Person standing against wall
Minimum Drainage for Native Soil Soccer
or Football Field
Tile line
6 to 12 inch center crown
Tile line
To outlet
Calculations – Hooghoudt’s Equation
Used to determine :
• Drain line spacing
• Necessary hydraulic conductivity of the soil
• Drainage rate between subsoil drains
• Drain line discharge rate
Reference:
Design, Constructing, and Maintaining Bermudagrass Sports Fields
by McCarty, Miller, Waltz and Hale
Soil Percolation Rates or Ksat
(in/hr)
Sand-Capped Soil Fields
• 3-6 inches of sand capped over native soil and
not rototilled into the subgrade.
• Still requires some surface flow and helps to
have percolation into subgrade otherwise
have a bath tub effect.
• Deep tillage and light re-compacting before
capping helps.
Drainage for Sand-based Soccer Field
Tile line
0 to 8 inch center crown
Tile line
To outlet
Drainage for Baseball Field
10 to 20 foot drain spacing typical for 4-inch drain lines
Drainage added to established turf area
Greenshield Systems
Maintenance
• Management Factors
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
Mowing (often)
Cultivation [as needed]
Fertility
Irrigation
Weed control [and other pest as needed]
Rolling
My rank in order of importance in
terms of field impact.
#1 fertilizer
#2 mowing (maybe #1)
#3 herbicides (unless field is not “weedy”)
#4 aerification
#5 irrigation
[since labor is involved in all these, must first
consider ways to get by with less labor]
Manage All Your Surfaces
Moisture Management with Aerification
Aeration
Limitation: Perhaps Equipment, but
MOSTLY – YOUR DESIRE!
You almost can’t aerify TOO MUCH!
Aerification
• Core fields regularly
– Low traffic – once or twice per year
– High traffic – two to five times per year
• Use hollow tines when possible.
• Heavily compacted areas may require deep
tine or shatter tine aerification.
• Plugs are either to be removed or let dry and
then worked back into the turf.
Aeration Methods
• Core
• Solid Tine
• Deep Time
• Deep Drilling
• Grooving
• Slicing
Large Cores
It does not have to be so Aggressive
Continuous Grooving
Aeration Methods
• Rolling – use what you have available.
Hand Spiking
Rollers
• Can be used to smooth playing surface
• Often used to repair divots left in athletic fields
and horse race tracks
• On soil, never use when soil is wet
Types of Rollers
• Self-contained rollers
• Drum rollers
– Pull behind; fill with H2O...why?
• Triplex attachment (lightweight)
– mount in lieu of reels
• Advantages:
1) same motorized equipment
2) no special training
Question - Topdressing
• Do I have to topdress my fields?
• What is the best material to use for
topdressing?
• What about using _________?
– DOT sand
– River sand
– Builder’s sand
– Crumb rubber
– Inorganic amendments such as Profile, Turface,
etc.
Topdressing Fields
Not just for thatch control and smoothing
fields, it can also encourage lateral growth
and a light topdressing may help with
player traction when field is overseeded.
What is best Fertilizer?
•
•
•
•
Most N for the $$$
Consider soil test
Local supplier.
Slow release (e.g., SCU, PCU, MU, UF, organics)
if your budget can afford it or if required.
• Quick release N sources (e.g. ammonium
sulfate, ammonium nitrate, urea, calcium
nitrate), most effective way to promote
recovery but should be applied at lower rates.
What is What?
Comparison of Fertilizer Equivalents based on 5
pounds of N per year or 215 pounds per acre per
year and the “per application” rates
Equivalent
Urea
Amm
sulfate
16-4-8
Milorganite
Lbs fertilizer per 1000 sq ft
11
24
31
83
Pounds fertilizer per acre
470
1,050
1,361
3,630
Bags needed for one soccer
field per year
20
42
56
146
Pounds of fertilizer per field
per app
188
420
544
1,450
4
8
12
29
Bags per app for field
1 – 2 – 1 ratio
1 – 1 – 1 ratio
1 – 0 – 2 ratio
52 days after sprigging
Weed Management Begins
With Good Turf Management
Wear: Mowing Height
Proper Mowing Height - bermudagrass
 Raising from ½- to 1-inch
• improved impact adsorption
 > 1 ½-inch
• shoot density declines
• blades more prone to wear
• fewer plant to recover
Plant should be conditioned for the height chosen!
PGR Use
• Reduce mowing
• Increase density
• Logos/lines last longer
• “Bronzing” potential
• Application accuracy
• Cost
Can you change your environmental conditions?
Grow covers?
Summary Suggestions
Late-season fertilization (don’t stop at Sep 15th).
You need recovery during the season!
Topdressing – more aggressive in off-season
 Field Covers (protect or accelerate growth)
 Aerification – fit it in every chance you get!
Adjust mowing height – (up or down?)
Overseeding (if appropriate)
Summary Suggestions
Field Layout (move soccer sidelines each month)
Use portable goals when possible, and move
them around field often
Have coaches rotate heavy play areas during
practice
Players that work on the field, have a greater
appreciation for “their field”. Position work for
baseball.
Summary Suggestions
Do not allow unofficial play
Scheduling – restrict use when soil is wet or
very dry
Schedule rest times or repair periods
Cleat use alternatives (not normally an option,
but try it)
 Track the field use over time
(week/month/year)
grady_miller@ncsu.edu
NC STATE UNIVERSITY
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