Football Renovation Under Continuing Use

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by foreplease, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    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.
    BHHS football June 12 2013 typical clover density_low res.JPG

    crabgrass 1 day after spray BHHS Aug 2013_low res.JPG


    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.
    big rake not leveled yet_low res.JPG

    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.
    big rake prep for seed_low res.JPG

    Seed and spreaders:
    300# seed ofr BHHS_low res.JPG

    (more photos - continued in next post)

    BHHS football June 12 2013 typical clover density_low res.JPG

    crabgrass 1 day after spray BHHS Aug 2013_low res.JPG

    big rake not leveled yet_low res.JPG

    big rake prep for seed_low res.JPG

    300# seed ofr BHHS_low res.JPG
     
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    This is a closeup after seeding and before topdressing.
    closeup after  seeding_low res.JPG

    I covered the track to protect it from the 3 dump trucks that delivered compost. This works surprisingly well on grass or asphalt.
    compost 24 yds uncover to dry for weekend_low res.JPG


    This is my topdressing setup. Took a LOT of trips.
    loading topdresser with JD and Fred_low res.JPG

    A couple of pictures of compost coverage.
    topdressing closeup early passes_low res.JPG

    topdressed typical area closeup_low res.JPG

    compost 24 yds uncover to dry for weekend_low res.JPG

    loading topdresser with JD and Fred_low res.JPG

    closeup after  seeding_low res.JPG

    topdressing closeup early passes_low res.JPG

    topdressed typical area closeup_low res.JPG
     
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Still Monday now, around 7 p.m. after dragging it in (one pass)
    dragged in 1 pass_low res.JPG

    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.
    clean up pile Aug 28_low res.JPG

    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.
    freshman game Wed Aug 28 topdressed Mon 2_low res.JPG

    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. :rolleyes:

    topdresser mistake 2 Aug 28_low res.JPG

    dragged in 1 pass_low res.JPG

    clean up pile Aug 28_low res.JPG

    freshman game Wed Aug 28 topdressed Mon 2_low res.JPG

    topdresser mistake 2 Aug 28_low res.JPG
     
  4. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    Nice work.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    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... :)
     
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    foreplease,

    Excellent work in a difficult situation. Love the last photo as I've made the same mistake, too. :)
     
  7. Service 1st Lawn Care

    Service 1st Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 643

    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.
     
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    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.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    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... :)
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    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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