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Old 08-28-2013, 11:01 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Football Renovation Under Continuing Use

This field is on heavy soil and has had no fertilizer or chemicals in 7-8 years. It has a good irrigation system and a good long term employee who mows and paints lines well. As a first step I sprayed for grubs 7/31 to buy some insurance for the two-year plan for its care and renovation about to be undertaken.

It looked pretty rough. Crabgrass and clover were the two worst weeds.
Name:  BHHS football June 12 2013 typical clover density_low res.JPG
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Name:  crabgrass 1 day after spray BHHS Aug 2013_low res.JPG
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August 8 I fertilized with 200# 30-0-10, 3%Fe plus 75# urea based on relatively cool weather we had that week. August 17 (Saturday, to work around two-a-day practices) I sprayed for weeds (Onetime/BASF). I will be fertilizing two more times and spot seeding high traffic areas twice during the "away" part of the varsity schedule.

Between Sunday and today (Wednesday) I scratched the field aggressively, overseeded, topdressed with 24 yards of compost, and dragged. The school's man, once I was out of his way, mowed and painted lines for a 4:30 freshman game today. Thankfully the weather cooperated - other than being hot. Some photos of the process are below.

This is a big rake I had made. A friend converted an old row cultivator I had. I scratched the field in two directions with it. It had not been leveled on the tractor yet when I took this picture.
Name:  big rake not leveled yet_low res.JPG
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Here's one showing what kind of penetration I can get with the rake. The tractor was not moving here, obviously. It is a little more impressive when it is being pulled forward.
Name:  big rake prep for seed_low res.JPG
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Seed and spreaders:
Name:  300# seed ofr BHHS_low res.JPG
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(more photos - continued in next post)
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:11 PM
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This is a closeup after seeding and before topdressing.
Name:  closeup after  seeding_low res.JPG
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I covered the track to protect it from the 3 dump trucks that delivered compost. This works surprisingly well on grass or asphalt.
Name:  compost 24 yds uncover to dry for weekend_low res.JPG
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This is my topdressing setup. Took a LOT of trips.
Name:  loading topdresser with JD and Fred_low res.JPG
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A couple of pictures of compost coverage.
Name:  topdressing closeup early passes_low res.JPG
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Name:  topdressed typical area closeup_low res.JPG
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:25 PM
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Still Monday now, around 7 p.m. after dragging it in (one pass)
Name:  dragged in 1 pass_low res.JPG
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Here is where the pile was. Picture is from today. I still have some work to do on this. I had it dumped on a 30' x 30' tarp. It didn't work as well as it usually does for me. Usually I work with mostly sand mixes with some compost. That Kitty-Litter bucket in the back is my "seed trial" for the field. It was planted August 2.
Name:  clean up pile Aug 28_low res.JPG
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And here is how it looked for the first freshman game of the year this afternoon at 4:30, less than 48 hrs after I finished topdressing.
Name:  freshman game Wed Aug 28 topdressed Mon 2_low res.JPG
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Finally, proving that if you can laugh at yourself you will never run out of good material, a mistake I made late today moving the topdresser off the field. At least I got good coverge.

Name:  topdresser mistake 2 Aug 28_low res.JPG
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:34 PM
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Nice work.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:31 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Isn't it risky to create thousands of divets at the beginning of the football season??? It is likely to be all mud by Homecoming Game... Keep us posted...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:40 AM
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foreplease,

Excellent work in a difficult situation. Love the last photo as I've made the same mistake, too.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:54 AM
Service 1st Lawn Care Service 1st Lawn Care is online now
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Should be proud on that one, really nice work. Football fields are a challenge when it comes renovation time and games needing to played at the same time great work.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:18 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Thanks guys. The challenges are as you described. It's a numbers game now with trying to grow it faster than they destroy it. I would have preferred to begin a week earlier but this was the bestI could do.

Axe: I do not foresee any problems from divots. while I expecttohave to repair some, I did not make any that I am aware of.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:55 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreplease View Post
... Axe: I do not foresee any problems from divots. while I expecttohave to repair some, I did not make any that I am aware of.
Cool... there must be some well rooted grass there... plz, keep us up to date, becuz this is definitely great challenge... that compost is worth its weight in gold...
I also add,,, great job...
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:44 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Thanks Axe, I appreciate that. That comes to 30 tons of gold by my count! Re: well rooted, I am not above throwing the first punch in the natural selection battle!
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