Football Renovation Under Continuing Use

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

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    Way to go, Fore! What was the seed mixture? What rate 1000 sqft?
    How did the weed control work?
    Does the field have a crown? Good drainage?
    Can you make the band practice in the parking lot? Keep the practice workouts off the field?

    Will you add more seed later in the year? crabgrass control in spring?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Clover is gone. Some crabgrass hanging on but it is ailing. I may have to rely on frost to finish taking it out and make a mental note for next year. I plan to drop 50# of seed in heavy traffic areas as needed during each of two away game slots in the schedule. If it is supposed to rain I may drop it just prior to a home game and let the players cleat it in. Not sure yet.

    I do not use pre-emergents very often. It seems like every couple years the chemicals for taking out crabgrass post-emergent get better. Generally, I don't like the idea of root inhibitors on sports turf (baseball - maybe). Also, they tie my hands for seeding repairs such as a driving range tee that drops seed every night, soccer goals that are getting seed spring and fall every couple weeks, etc.

    The band practices on the tennis court, then on practice football area and rarely on game field. It is a heck of a band, by the way. One of the perks of working around there is hearing and watching them practice. Band members run the stadium steps as part of their practice!

    Field crown is adequate. It is not as high as some but it was graded well and has good surface drainage to several sideline drains. The soil is heavy and black, likely river silt. 50-60 years ago this was a marsh that was filled in. The entire athletic field facilities are on that lower level taking around 20 acres. The football field sits higher (more fill) than anything else down there. I rebuilt their baseball field about 3 years ago. I don't remember if I posted anything about that. While digging a hole to put in a gravel column at the lowest point where water leaves the infield dirt, I hit what appeared to be a car hood at about 16"!
     
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Seed mixture is top secret for now. If it works I will post, if not I don't want to be mocked and ridiculed :) There are hints in the photo if you can't wait.

    300# within 120 yard field length, which if I remember right is 57M.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I like your idea of seeding before the game and letting the cleats plant it during each game... you might do well putting down annual ryegrass between games...
    Anyways keep us posted... If you can prevent mudbath games by the end of the season,,, we'd like to see how... I hope you can do it... :)
     
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    More on that as the season progresses. I can't take credit for the idea. My college friend and turf supply rep has been suggesting it for years. This is the first time I will be trying it on football. I have used it in soccer goal boxes.

    Update: the seed is germinating. I have photos taken several times a week during the first 3 weeks of the seed trial I did (planted Aug 2 vs Aug 25-6 on the field). This gives me a good idea of the optimum growth that can be expected. Results on the field will not be as good due to traffic, water, mowing, etc.

    I should have taken a picture today. I will definitely take some Friday before the first home varsity game. Overall color is not as good as I had hoped. I still think it could see a pop from all that compost. The field is getting irrigation but we need rain badly. Today I noticed the last time the school's man mowed he went with what I call 'the Zamboni pattern" - large ovals end to end. That and I still would like the height of cut increased. It will be mowed again before the game, probably tomorrow He may run over it Friday again after the field paint dries. Under the lights with very white paint, it will probably look better than it did this afternoon.He likes the classic crosscut light and dark stripes, changing every five yards. That is fine, but it is already short (2.25 on Toro Z). I am concerned the Zamboni pattern will still be able to be seen. He is a good man with 42 years service there so I am trying to handle it tactfully.

    We are running a couple short sets of water per day to get the seed up. At the same time, we want to all we can to have it play firm Fridays so the normal plan is often 'no water after Tuesday.'

    Clover is substantially gone. Results vs crabgrass were not quite as good, but I have done all I am going to do about CG there for this year. Main goal is doing what favors getting the seed established well, which will boost the field's recuperative capability.

    Moved my equipment and that plywood out to tidy things up as much as possible. No rain in forecast through game time. We will run an extended set late Friday night and go from there. Meanwhile I need to determine what date will be best to put the next fertilizer application down (next few days), I have a soccer park to do next so I want to knock that out and get the tractor and spreader back to this football field.

    My contact at school has been excited, appreciative, and content or patient. He will get an earful - good and bad comments - from people at the game. Bottom line is we did not re-sod it, we simply began taking care of it after several years of mo fertilizer or chemicals.

    Thanks to all of you for your interest. More info and a photo on Friday.
     
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Nice work OP - nice looking field.
    Now the work begins to see if you can keep it that way throughout the fb season.
     
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    First home game tonight:

    The clover is gone but there is still some crabgrass. I am not going to spray anything else becasue frost will take care of it and I do not want to harm new seedlings.
    crabgrass some still_low res.JPG

    There is some germination in the large bare and thin spots
    shoots 5_low res.JPG

    Many new shoots are doing well. I plan to fatten them up
    new shoots 4_low res.JPG

    The overall color is not as good as I would like but we have pretty good contrast.
    field colors 2_low res.JPG

    Halftime. Mid field under the lights. The school's man free-handed the eyes!
    midfield eyes night 2_low res.JPG

    crabgrass some still_low res.JPG

    shoots 5_low res.JPG

    new shoots 4_low res.JPG

    field colors 2_low res.JPG

    midfield eyes night 2_low res.JPG
     
  8. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 977

    Having gone by that field many of time on my drive to the boat launch I must say its no surprise you once hit a car hood while digging. Hell I wouldn't be surprised if you found Jimmy Hoffa!
     
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Now most importantly...who won?
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Below are some before and after pictures of the field for September 20 third home game in a row. We had just over an inch of rain the day before the game. Field is heavy soil in low lying area with good surface drainage. There were 73 points scored in the game, which translates into a lot of trips up and down the field! I was out of town for a wedding Fri-Sun.

    Earlier in the week my sales rep visited the field with me. We had decided against spot seeding in already worn areas and anticiapted high traffic areas because the field was in good shape. Prior to Thursday's rain we had only 0.35" from September 1 - 18. Late Thursday, knowing I would be gone Friday, I decided to spread some seed in the rain because conditions had changed. If I had a roller available I would have rolled the field too.

    I made some of the photos smaller so they load faster.

    Before September 20's 3rd Game
    9/18 broad view of southwest end following 9/14 fertilizer app of 30-0-10 3%Fe 50% UFLEXX @ 1.1 #N/M
    Sept 18 after fert 9-14_low res.JPG

    9/18 sideline view of northeast end of field
    east red zone 9-18_low res.JPG

    9/18 visitor sideline has had 2 varsity, 2 middle school, and 2 freshman games so far (no JV team here)
    sideline 9-18_low res.JPG

    9/18 this was the most bare spot I could find on the field
    muddiest spot 9-18_low res.JPG

    Sept 18 after fert 9-14_low res.JPG

    east red zone 9-18_low res.JPG

    muddiest spot 9-18_low res.JPG

    sideline 9-18_low res.JPG
     

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