Bermuda Soccer Field

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by turf4kansas, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. turf4kansas

    turf4kansas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I work for a small college in south central Kansas where soccer is our "football program". Before I came in May of 2010, there had never been a dedicated grounds position and the decision making process for maintenance was all over the place. Over the course of the 40 years the field has existed it has been a bermuda field, turned to a fescue field, and then finally turned back into a bermuda field about 20 years ago.

    It currently has multiple varieties of bermuda patches throughout it: Yukon, Patriot, Common, Mohawk, Sultan, and Sydney.

    When I started in May over 1/3 of the field was a solid area of crabgrass. I attempted to remove it with postemergants and failed. However, the next year I was able to get my pre-emergergant down and then time some postemergant applications well and I completely irradicated the crabgrass for the most part.

    Now I have multiple issues staring me in the face. I have an all bermuda field, which I've been told is actually one of the better in our league, but I still have massive color patches in the field due to the plethora of varieties I'm hosting. (everyone else has football fields, so that's where there money goes I'm guessing) Any good advice for reaching a uniform field?

    I personally would like advise a field renovation seeing as our field has some drainage issue because the local soil is close to pure clay and was graded by amateurs back in the late 60's. Haha! But if there is a less invasive attack, I may like to take that.

    My second question pertains to mowing. I have to mow the field with a 60" rotary deck mow that I keep well maintained. I can only get down to a mowing height of 2" without causing scalping issues across the field. The east 1/4 of the field had Patriot sod laid on it 5 years ago. Almost exactly where the sod begins, we start having major scalping issues even at 2". The sod was not laid by professionals, but rather the soccer coach and volunteers. Would this be a problem caused by the cultivar or the sod layers? :)

    I will try to post pictures soon to help out.
  2. turf4kansas

    turf4kansas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21


  3. jbcertified

    jbcertified LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    tough situation. short of total kill off and sprig/sod or seed. may want to address 1 problem at a time unless you have budget to rebuild. topdress in late spring just after green up and water in with fertilizer app. 1/4 to 1/2 inch increments don't want to load it up and smother the growth. this will ease some of the mowing issues over time. Looks like maybe thatch could be an issue as well. Ever been dethatched? check thatch layer, I prefer 1/2 to 3/4 inch max layer on sports field to protect crown . deep tine aerifing before topdress with a heavy sand to soil mix would help over time with drainage. have you tried to push the fertilizer to even out color. if offending spots are small enough roundup them and seed rye and plug preferrred bermuda to cover and push fert to cover. If you want to discuss more PM me and we can trade email.
  4. david bailey

    david bailey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    if you want even color try painting the field.
    You need to get a reel mower to mow any athletic field but especially bermuda.
  5. bfd160

    bfd160 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1

    We had a similar problem like you at our soccer field. We had 3 types of common throughout the field so what we did was while installing a irrigation system we cut up the middle of the field which sees the most damage and put in 10 tons of beach sand...which is cheap here but probably not so much up there and then sprigged with TifSport. Not sure if it can grow up there but we are looking at switching to Celebration Bermuda grass to replace the outside and eventually the whole field because we play winter soccer and Celebration allows us to play the entire season (into February) without having to reseed the field. We've got about a 20 yard patch we are testing and going to see if we like it more than the 419 or Tifsport. Let me know what y'all come up with.

    I would try to get a reel mower if at all possible because with TifSport if you cut it with a rotary no matter what height it looks bad but we cut it at 1 inch with a reel and it looks beautiful.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I dont know how a ball would even roll on 2" tall Bermuda!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. david bailey

    david bailey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    very slowly and then it will just stop...........................
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,813

    Judging by the wiggles and squiggles in the lines--I suspect the ground is rather uneven. Try to level it with topdressing with sand. It should help with drainage also.
    Can you mow with a cup of coffee in your hand? If no, then it could be a lot more level. Do you have a good crown for drainage? I have heard about an 18 inch crown down the center is best. You need some laser leveling. Particularly when you decide to do a complete redrainage and renovation. (Using soil that drains better).

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