Leveling Bermuda ball field

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Coachbob, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    One of our lesser used baseball fields had become so overrun with gophers that it looked like a mortar range. We finally controlled the gopher problem but are left with a Bermudagrass and weed field with dozens of crowns and low spots. Looking for a way to renovate with limited equipment on hand. We have a hydraulic pedestrian aerator (greensaire 24), garden tractor with positive down force sleeve hitch and scraper, various rollers, a walk behind Bluebird power rake. The field is irrigated as well. Any thoughts on this appreciated. My rough draft thoughts were either pull lots of cores and roll with heavy roller or power rake and pressure wash out high areas. Thanks for the help guys.
     
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  2. Renob

    Renob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    You would be surprised what pulling cores, dragging and a good heavy rolling may do, I'd try this several times before I went to heavier measures. If its really bad you may have to bring dirt in to fill in the low spots and level with a box blade or something similar. The power rake would be good for smaller areas but I would think it would take a long time to go over a whole field.

    If it's not going to be used for quite sometime, you could go to the extreme measure of tilling the whole thing up and then rolling it back down and just letting the bermuda come back up on it.
     
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  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,618

    I am not in your part of the country. This is opinion. You are on the right track.
    I think, kill the weeds first.
    Then maybe, cut it short. This scalps the bumps--shaves them off. Throw away the blades and then get new ones. Power-raking does about the same; scratch off the bumps. Ease soil residue into the low spots as best you can. I am not sure if topdressing soil can be added before this or not--maybe. Sorry--sounds like you will have to fix the worst spots with a wheelbarrow of soil and a shovel. Be careful to not add too much soil--you don't want a mound after a thick stand of Bermuda grows on top.

    Use laser-guided leveling equipment if you want it to be perfect. I know you want it right.

    Then try to get grass to grow in the low spots--Bermuda to fill in--I mean. If needed, use a high-rated rye until the Bermuda starts to run. Extra fertilizer and water until the density is restored.
     
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  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 15,917

    Im not a bermuda guy...but if youve got a crazy tight root zone you could flood the field and roll it.
    IF I was going to aerate a field like that id find one of those lesco aerators that goes on your hitch for that tractor, work the price of the attachment into your field price.
     
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  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,618

    Long wheel base equipment is best for leveling. I hope it is not this extreme.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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  6. OP
    OP
    Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Thanks guys. For some reason i didn’t get emails that there were replies to this thread. Just seeing it now. I think i will scrape the few really high crowns down with the box blade and rippers, broadcast spray, aerate and roll. The district has a huge Ryan Renovair aerator that i have to pull with my truck (see below). I forgot about it, but that might be the ticket here. I assume i can do this during Bermuda dormancy?

    4F639F32-5E75-4BEE-AA16-960EF469D3A4.jpeg
     
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  7. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    The bluebird pulled backwards will help to obliterate the high spots. This may take time but if you have some king of small riding tractor, for instance, you can tie it off and drive around and pulverize these high spots. Then take a backpack blower and disperse the loose dirt. Then aerify and drag. Just a couple thoughts with what you have on hand.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    I like the idea of attaching the bluebird to the tractor. I also use the backpacks blower as a mulch spreader. It’s a good trick to know.
     
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  9. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Depending on how many mounds are in the field, it might be easier to just walk the bluebird around and just spend a moment or two on each mound. You have a major challenge either way!
     
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  10. Renob

    Renob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Right now you could tackle these issues if the bare areas are not to be used until mid/late summer. It will take some time for the bermuda to grown into the areas that you fill/level unless you plan on seeding those spots with something to just fill in (Annual Rye would give you quick green and hold until it burns out in the heat of the summer).

    You will have to watch for weed germination in those area also as there won't be any competition from the bermuda. If you can, I would get the areas leveled and then plan to put out a preemergent in the spring to help stop the weeds/crabgrass and just wait and let the bermuda run.
     

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