Athletic use of dormant and saturated fields

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by John B Laidlaw, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    you might also look into a an aerification machine. golf courses use them on greens to relieve compaction there is less turf disruption and can penetrate 12-16" depending on the machine
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I think he said he already tried aeration but can't get back to that post right now so I may be wrong. One major difference on golf course greens is that if they're built to PGA specs then they will be on nearly 100% sand base and contain drainage tiles/pipes. I gotta hand it to good greens superintendents for the terrific job they do even if my damn ball won't go in the hole. :)
  3. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    aeration and aerification are two different things. aerification is basically a drill, versus a spoon+fling method. There is also a machine that utilizes high pressure water to aerate too.

    a lot of greens are near 100% sand, esp in CA, however older courses / traditional courses have a bit more OM & other materials that are going to compact more.
  4. John B Laidlaw

    John B Laidlaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Thank you to all that responded. Special thanks to BSD... for the ides of an aerification machine. This looks to be the best way to go for now.

    This is a good topic for the future as we all face degrees of this problem throughout the year. Managing athletic fields can be a thank-less job. We are expected to have fields of the highest quality for those all important conference games but tough luck when they use the same field for practice after a two inch rain!!! I'm fortunate to have a sense of humor and a mellow perspective so it does not bother me to much. Thanks again for the responses. Keep 'em coming!
  5. Investorguy

    Investorguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    What is a drill and fill machine?

    I'm looking for advice on how to maintain my paintball field. I'm only going to use it from May to September b/c it is just too wet those other months.
  6. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    See if you can hire somebody with a shattercore aerator. Tines are up to 12inches long and they're driven into the ground on a camshaft. If the field has an irrigation system or other utilities, this won't be possible. Is this the soccer field or one of the others?
  7. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    Ahh yes, you can't upset the contractor!! They are probably good friends with the mayor or head of the city council, which is how and why they got the cotract to begin with. Dr. Indyk, a professor at Rutgers and one of the leading authorities on athletic fields once told me this:
    "There is never $250,000 to do it right the first time. But they will always be able to find $500,000 a few years later to fix it"
    Try and work with your coaches, and the athletic directors. The drill and fill is a great method. I would use sand, not Turface though. Buy a good, evenly sized particle, like greens grade sand. The Turface is a clay product and will break down over time, forming back into clay. Sand will stay sand. I know some guys whio have tilled crumb rubber into the soil too, mostly in the goal mouths. This was supposed to help alot with compaction.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157


    we had the same problem at GU. two natural fields and one astro guesed it, no one wanted ot practice on the fake stuff...

    we would have a contractor com in each your and resod between the hash marks and the same contract aldo repsprigged and did a small 6" deep sand filled trench every 12-18". it helped. but bythe time any season started, the field was crap.... they just finished field on a new facility.

    sports turf.

    neat stuff....but still almost as mutch maintenance as a grass field. Glad I don't have to do it...
  9. John B Laidlaw

    John B Laidlaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    That's good advise UPIDSTAY. I like the idea of crumb rubber because we have some and it makes better sense as it won't compact over time. Shattercore or deep tine aeration is a quick fix but we have to contract that out. I plan to do this in the fall at the end of the season along with top dressing. This field is used by students for general rec, the soccer teams (men & women), and the lacrosse teams. It's in the middle of campus and is also the main highway between dorms and class/food.
    I have read some stuff by Dr. Indyk but Dr. McNitt, Penn State, is who I follow when it comes to turf management. He's very practicle and speaks in a laymans way. And, small point, he's less expensive to seek advise from.

    Marc, we also had the sand laterals for drainage and in the beginning they worked. But after time, rain and use, they became less effective in moving water away from the center of the field. Now, we are looking at other more permenant drainage. Yep... $150k more to fix a problem that should have been fixed (and the main reason for the project in the first place) the first time. Ahh, the wisdom of the powers-to-be!!
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    just be glad its not YOUR money they are spending....:) the sand thing is a temp fix at best your right...

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