Northern Soccer Field photo and inputs

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by foreplease, May 27, 2009.

  1. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Heavy clay base. Irrigated. Drain tile installed last summer in worst areas. Intensively aerated spring and fall, core and deep tine. Seldom used for practices. Divots filled and seeded after every boys game, girls do not do as much damage. Goals covered last two winters (see mouse damage thread), goals and midfield (at least) topdressed a couple times a year with a predominately sand mix, plus a little compost.

    4/25/09: 13-0-5 25% PSCU w/.29 Cavalcade (Prodiamine) applied at 0.5 # a.i./A; 0.5 # N/M

    5/9/09: 19-0-19 62% MESA, SOP, 3% Fe applied at 1.01 # N/M

    5/11/09: Millennium Ultra 2 applied at 0.88 oz/M

    Mowing: began 4 day schedule March 18, pending temperatures and actual growth rate. 4 day schedule means if it was cut Monday, it will be cut again on the fourth day, which is Friday in this case. Cut more often if it is a game day.

    Beginning with April 14's cut the schedule changed to every third day, more often for home games. May 20 I raised height of cut one notch (from 2.5 to 2.75 on Toro 52 Z)

    Rolling: 5/23 lightly and 5/25 heavily in preparation for hosting District Tournament beginning today, May 26. By Saturday, the last tournament date, the field will have been cut 23 times this spring.

    It is used for girls season JV and Varsity mid-March to end of May and boys season JV and Varsity mid-August to late October.

    soccer May 26 2009 for Districts_low res.jpg

    soccer May 26 2009 for Districts_low res.jpg
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    looks GREAT
  3. brookviewlawncare

    brookviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Field looks great ! It appears that there should not be much crab grass pressure at this time. Would it hurt to skip the pre so that over seeding could be done as the field requires it?
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thanks guys.

    Regarding pre-emergent, I think it is fine to skip it so you can overseed. Really, I think it's too late anyway for per-emergent only. Last year I worked on a baseball field renovation that had heavy crabgrass pressure and used Tupersan (Siduron) in mid-August to buy a window of a few weeks to get the grass germinated. That worked pretty well. The soil had been turned completely on that one.

    This is the first year I have used pre-em on this soccer field. Other years I held off because I was concerned about germinating seed in the divot mix and overseeding goals through the girls (spring) season. I have learned that the girls do not damage the field nearly as much as the boys do, so less overseeding is needed. I now pre-germinate seed in some of the topdressing mix in buckets or an old wheelbarrow if I need it in spring.

    This field has a pretty good stand of grass. I do not feel a big threat from crabgrass and do not care for nitrogen that early in the year. In looking at the bigger picture, though, I know that I plan to stress this field for water through June and July and did not want any thinning I may get to give crabgrass an opportunity to get established. That’s my thinking. Time will tell how it turns out.
  5. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    and they say synthetic is the only way to keep a awesome looking field. Keep up the awesome work and show people what real turf is..
  6. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Bluegrass/fescue turf?
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    There is a little bit of everything in it. I was not around when they put it in 16-17 years ago but it looks to me like it started off as tall fescue. It is very wide/coarse. It's around 40% that. Lots of poa and a little bent invading. Blue and rye too.

    Anything I do to it now goes back in LESCO's premium athletic mix blue and rye. I would like to turn the whole stand to that mix. However, in addition to the cost being an obstacle, the timing constraints present a risk I am unwilling to take, especially considering they are pretty happy with it as is. The only time it could be done would be after June 1 and grown in completely by August 15. So that rules out complete renovation in my book but I think we are going to begin regularly overseeding with an Aeravator.
  8. Bigguy500

    Bigguy500 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 5

    Nice job on the striping! :)
  9. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    As a lawn care operator all I can say is that is a work of art and you rightfully should be proud, I want to see more pictures. As a father of 3 soccer players I can tell you that we have played hundreds of games on many different fields and know that this field is one that you wish for.

    Our home field is a multi use field and of course football beats it to death in the fall. I have girls who play in the spring and you are very correct that the boys soccer players injure the field more as the boys play in the fall but nothing compared to the football games. The grounds crew faces an impossible task in keeping up so you can imagine what a mess we have to play on.
    They are looking into a dedicated high school soccer facility here as the popularity is great. The local "private" school just dug their grass out and will have their new "turf" field installed by the end of summer. $750,000.00 which I find insane. My daughters played on similar fields over the years and it has a big effect on the game. I know that a poorly maintained grass field can do the same thing but I am a purist (and a lawn care operator) and soccer should be played on grass.
    I have often pondered getting into this but it is true that the school districts and park districts are operating on tight budgets and the WAMS that mow everything else in the city also mow the soccer fields. There is little in the way of cash for maintenance and there are no turf grass managers that are employed, just maintenance workers (they are needed too, no slap here) who cut as directed.
    You are lucky to be in an area where you can use your excellent skills. Mayby someday I will get my daughters team to take a trip over the pond to St. Joes. Keep up the great work.
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thanks for those nice comments, MOW ED. I am not a fan of artificial turf for many reasons. Often, I believe grass has not been given a full or fair opportunity to succeed when the decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a synthetic field is made.

    One thing I see in high school soccer games on artificial fields is that as a game that is played largely on the ground the players are not able to keep up with the ball. I see some crazy high bounces and often missed passes run 30 yards and out of bounds. The grading on typical multi-use fields is far from ideal for soccer too. When a field, whether grass or synthetic, that is used for football and soccer both is surrounded by a track, the fact that the soccer field is wider causes several problems. The team benches have to go on the track. There isn’t continuous fall to the sideline, which changes how the game is played. When games are played in the rain, I have seen water accumulate ankle deep in the trough that is behind where the benches would be during a football game. Even great drainage systems can be temporarily overwhelmed. Granted, conditions that bad might cause a game on grass to be postponed, but that is not a given any more than it can be said synthetic fields are always playable. And, let’s face it, these games are played outdoors – sometimes you get rained out.

    I encourage you to keep looking into it because if you know what you are doing or care what you are doing, you will be able to make a difference. Getting soccer and especially football practices off the game field is crucial but sometimes seemingly impossible. The number one thing you can do for any field is mow often and well. Of course that is not going to offset the kind of hard use you mention but fields can be intensively maintained to give them a better chance to hold up well. It has to be done continuously or in anticipation of problems not in reaction to them. You have to have cooperation from the people using the field too. In a dual sport situation, though, nothing is going to mitigate two sets of practices and games.

    Thanks again for your nice comments.

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