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CrabGrass & soccer fields

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by steve18974, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. steve18974

    steve18974 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    trying to figure out the best plan of attack here in southeastern pa

    4 soccer fields with heavy crabgrass infestations .....

    low ph .... hitting with lime at 100# / 1000 sq ft this spring

    will core aerate all fields

    need to overseed this spring / but also need to put down some kind of control for the crabgrass..... we use perenial ryegrass....

    seed then control .....?

    or control then seed 6 weeks after .....?

    the only product that was recomended was tuperson .... but we do not have spray equipment ... everything needs to be a granualar product (broadcast spreader ....

    any ideas ? thoughts suggestions .....

    our fields will start getting pounded in about 2-3 weeks as soon as they are dry enough for play ..... games are already sched for mar 9th
  2. grapeford

    grapeford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    Just asking, why didn't you deal with this in the fall ? I hate seeding in the spring. Tupersan is fine, the seedlings will come, but once the heat comes on, you'll be in the same boat you are now.
  3. steve18974

    steve18974 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    have always been guided to deal with crabgrass is the spring ....

    we overseed in the fall and the spring ....

    seasons ended dec 21st this year and ..... put a hell of a beating on the fields
  4. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Sounds like a rock and a hard place. I vote for doing eveything possible to get your ryegrass started and established as best able. Forget about trying to start turf and stop crabgrass. Lobby real hard to get spray equipment, you'll never control your problems on an athletic field without it.
  5. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I vote to get the grass growing then deal with the crabgrass.You can rent the spray equipment if you need to. let me get backto you on granular. as far as aeration their is a good chance if you do not put out a pre emergence that you will spread the carb grass by aerating. I have not had this problem but it is very possible especially if your fields are infested with it to begin with.
  6. grapeford

    grapeford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I understand, I've got 2 kids playing soccer, and it seems like it never ends. I take care of some baseball fields, *(helping out cause my kid plays) and you can do some overseeding in the fall without any games. Good luck
  7. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    I would definitely get that rye out ASAP. I know Scott's makes a starter fertilizer with siduron (Tupersan). I've seen others but I can't remember who makes it; either Howard Johnson, Lebanon, or Andersons. If you are seeding AND trying to control crabgrass, your best results will be from 2 applications of siduron (Tupersan) 4 to 5 weeks apart this spring. After that you might even consider doing a light application of Dimension. Skip any of these steps, and you'll probably need to spray some Drive 75 in the late summer.

    100# of lime at once is a lot for a surface application.
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I do a number of soccer and baseball fields here.
    And when I started with them, I had big problems with crabgrass, foxtail, goosegrass, nutsedge...:cry:

    (I don't any more.)

    But unlike your situation, the pH level here is HIGH; and the fields are predominately t.t.t. fescue blends.

    I don't know your soil situation...THAT'S key !!!

    The soil is gawd-awful clay-base, that I've had to deal with, with my tractor & manure spreader in the "off season" :laugh: right after core aeration, to help get it loosened up!
    I also broadcast coarse sand annually, as well.

    As far as the annual weeds go...I've found that the best long-term strategy is to compete them to death !!
    Don't leave any room for them to come in, literally !!

    To do this you have to sometimes seed during the season...
    (Let the player's cleats work the seed into the midfield, and in front of the goals...and hopefully you'll get enough time in between games for enough 'cover crop' to develop !!)
    And if your a "rye" field...you have the advantage of a 'quicker' germination than average, assuming there's moisture present.

    And if you HAVE to resort to chemicals...Tupersan is worthless in my opinion.
    I've had much better successes in the past with Drive 75, in situations when I've had to use it...along with 'Manage' for nutsedge patches.

    Behind the secret to my success has been... aerate! seed! compost! aerate! seed! compost!...in various different orders of priority.

    Yours may be somewhat different...because of your seed type, soil type, and pH level, to some extent.

    (P.S...By the way....if you get into the "manure spreading" thing...don't make it a issue at any "sports organization" meetings you might attend !!!
    Soccer moms really freak out :dizzy: when they find out their Emily and Brendon are playing ball on old horse poop !!!
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,724

    Difficult situation.

    My suggestions.

    Apply the lime as soon as you can.

    Double aerate, apply plenty of starter fertilizer, and apply the seed, as early as you can, but you have to wait until soil temps warm up--about mid to late April. Plan to seed at about greenup or at the time of the first mowing. Use strictly top-quality seed which is disease resistant. (especially to gray leaf spot.) Favorites in my mind are Derby Xtreme, All*star, Manhattan IV and Palmer IV--not sure which are gray leaf spot resistant as we don't have gls up here.

    Turpersan (siduron) comes as both liquid and dry--but--it is not long lasting. And it costs double or triple what ordinary crabgrass products cost. Omit siduron.

    Then treat with granular crabgrass control after the new grass comes up, but before crabgrass comes up. In theory, this should be about week of the sixth mowing. Since the crabgrass is severe, apply again about 6 weeks later.

    Then spray any crabgrass "escapes" with Drive (summer-type crabgrass control). Go over the whold field spot spraying with hand sprayers or back pack sprayers. Do this every week. Drive is costly, but it won't hurt new seed.

    Seed additional ryegrass if needed, but you have to wait at least 6 weeks after the last Dimension treatment, (the label recommends a longer waiting period, but they are being cautious.)

    Seed often, letting the cleats work seed into soil. To increase thickness, feed heavily in Sept, October and November.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720


    You obviously will do what you want to do....

    But with all due respect, Riggle, "regular crabgrass control" like Pre-M, Dimension, Barricade, etc has absolutely no place in a 'high-use' sports turf situation like soccer !!

    (I've been down that road !!)

    If there's any hope at all to turn the table against the (apparent) history of weed domination you say you have had...you've got to get serious...

    ...And getting SERIOUS means that you've got to be certain to LEAVE periods of time in place, during CRUCIAL growth / seeding periods, that which your continual supplemental small-scale ryegrass seedings will begin to turn the table against the annual weeds, particularly in the 1st half of the growing season !!

    If you're happy with Tupersan...fine. Maybe it does better in lower pH soil..I don't know. Never did squat for me here.
    (I've heard Drive 75 messes with rye, anyway. I don't use rye unless doing temp seeding)

    But don't close some of your important "seeding windows" by broadcasting pre-emergent everywhere on the fields...you'll regret it later !!

    What general soil type do you have ?
    Sandy ?

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