Need Football Field Advice

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by WhiteRiverLawn, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. WhiteRiverLawn

    WhiteRiverLawn LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Messages: 64

    I have been in lawn care for 12 years, but this is my first year with any type of athletic field. Of course I inherited somebody else's work, so I am expected to fix it.

    It is a cool season field, but in this area, common bermuda eventually takes over when things aren't managed right. So, this field is primarily bermuda, with hints of fescue.

    My question is: Is there anything i need to be doing mid-football season other than adding fertilizer and proper mowing?

    Do I hammer it with nitrogen now that the bermuda is starting to brown a bit?

    And, is a 3 week break in games long enough to aeriate and have it actually do any good, or should i wait until the season ends, then aeriate and seed / or top dress.

    thanks for the advice.

  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Three weeks is a Godsend and definitely long enough to aerate, see a benefit from it, and recover. My advice would be to go over it many times with the aerator - to the point where it looks like all it can stand - then drag the plugs in. With as long as you have, normal mowing will take care of the spoils. Fertilizing after you drag is usually a good idea. It's going to need extra water once you have all those holes in it. If you do not have irrigation then you will have to work around the forecast. Even a ten day window until next game day is enough time in my opinion.

    Is it turning brown because the Bermuda is going dormant (I don't know your area or Bermuda, really) or is it hungry? Is there anything else that could be turning the field brown, such as grubs or drought? If dryness is the problem, this might not be a good time to aerate. Here in Michigan we are entering a good time of year for grass and rooting.

    Long term do you plan to nurture the Bermuda or try to get rid of it? The answer to that will determine how you proceed over the long haul. But, yes, over the next three weeks aerate, water, fertilize if it is time.
  3. RD 12

    RD 12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    An easy way to think about Bermuda is the 140 rule. If your temp for day time and night equal 140 then the Bremuda will keep growing. (you need a week of warm weather to get it started). If it getting cold then fert wont help. Down here on my fields, we use a good quality Rye grass. Aerate, seed and water. When it comes up about an 1.5 inches Fert the hell out of it, Should be green in about a week and half.

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