Athletic field repair

Robert Burnham

LawnSite Member
I have been approched by a school district to repair a football field. It has many areas that are bare or very thin. I have a Mataway overseeder. How should one approach a job like this? Do you overseed the damaged areas or try to overseed the whole field? What would be the best type of seed to use in this application? I have from March to about August for the repair to remain unused, then the field will be used heavily. Thanks for your help.


LawnSite Silver Member
Athletic Field
I was just looking thru some notes on an athletic field that they bid for hydroseeding to help give you a ball park for acreage pricing. There's a notation about .07 cents per square foot.

For 80,000sf we used:
(1) bale of Conweb Enviroblend
(125) Bales of Straw per acre
(500) lbs Starter Fert. [19-19-19] per acre

I will try to find out the exact figures after the install.

Hope this helps.

Your mataway should work fine. Those bare and thin spots are caused by compaction. You'll gain nothing unless you aerate and top dress sand. Slice seed it several times cross directions. Aerate often, three to four times in that time span and try to top dress twice.

Big time surface tension, water won't penatrate. Been there and done that. I take care of several fields and we aerate once to two time per month.


LawnSite Silver Member
What about those systems where they shatter the earth by blowing so many psi into the ground while aerating. Would something like this help as well. I've heard it penetrates the ground to 8" in depth.



LawnSite Platinum Member
Ask Larry Stone about this. He takes care of a lot of athletic fields.


LawnSite Member
Southern CT
Aeration is crucial, I take care of a private schools' fields and I use and Aeravator (AE-50), This machine hooks up to my Kubota and is PTO operated. It's pretty intense the way it breaks up compaction. I usually will hit the field once, then overseed, then hit it again to drive the seed in, then fert (12-22-18 with Tupersan). This is a great chemical to avoid crabgrass and still be able to seed in the spring. I will usually aerate 4 - 5 times before foot ball starts. Over seed 3 times, Topdress 1- 2 times. It really all depends on the type of soil you have, my fields have poor soil conditions, so they require attention.


LawnSite Silver Member
Here were the specifications for the turf composition.

34.52 Manhatton 3 Perennial Ryegrass
34.37 Secretariot Perennial Ryegrass
14.85 Gnome Bluegrass
14.79 Barron Bluegrass

Other Crop Seed: .42
``````Weed Seed: .00
```Inert Matter: 1.05

Hope this helps
Get those roots going! You need massive areation, dressing and good phosphate. In Hawaii its common to use 10-30-10 to start and then switch to a good general 3 to 1 to 2 once established. However, factors such as local climate, soil conditions, and the form of nitrogen in the fert. can influence whats is best in local climates, as you know. Hope it goes O.K. Surfs Up!



LawnSite Member
I would definitely slice the WHOLE field because doing just parts will only lead you to see more holes and therefore do more anyways. It is just easier to do the whole thing at once,and probably will take less time than doing bits and pieces. And like the others said, aerate as much as possible.
That AE 50 is a great machine. Works very well on fields. I like to top dress with sand before using the Aeravator and then use the seeder drop atachment and sand brush to do a really good job. Do that a few times a year, fert well, mow well and you should have a great field.

As for the water injection aeration, Toro, Deere and Land Pride have those machines. I have used the Toro a lot and it works great on golf greens and surrounds, but you need to be close to water supply. Might work ok on atheletic fields, but I prefer a more aggressive action on the field, because it gets more aggresive use.

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