school football field

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by greenleaf42, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. greenleaf42

    greenleaf42 LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 15

    What is the best way to prepare and seed an existing football field? Here's what the district wants to do...1st - mow very short to remove clippings. 2nd - aerate. 3rd - overseed. 4th - roll with a 900 lb. roller. Does this sound like a good plan? They will broadcast the seed, they don't have any special equipment for this. When is the best time to fertilize: before seeding...after seeding...after germination? Thanks for any input.
  2. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    Ok we have done this many of times for many fields.

    First Roll field prior to grass waking up from winter nap.

    Second As soon as seed will germinate plug, seed, and fert with starter fert.

    Third stay off as long as possible and mow at highest height.

    Also water is the key!

    We hit with nitrogen and keep it going as crazy as possible until play!

    When play starts we go to half rate apps every 3 weeks if watered in poperly.
    These apps are something along a 10-20-20 until play ends. Also we flood the field after each game on Saturday and no one uses the field again until Tuesday. Then when play is done we mow short for winter protection, aerrate and winter app. PM me and we chat over the phone and I can really help you with this I am a lazy typer! Plus schools usually have a zero budget so that makes it fun.
  3. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Drew gave some good advice. We primarily do as stated except for in this order. Aerate, slice seed, fert & Roll. As long as the seed makes good contact with the soil your covered. Water is key, and the field cannot be played on till the seed is established. Cut high, and as soon as it need to be cut. Don't wait too long, or good luck!
  4. greenleaf42

    greenleaf42 LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 15

    Hi - That sounds like some good advice. Was wondering what fertilzer do you recommend that won't be too hot for the seed? How long after germination do we wait before fertilizing again. Thanks
  5. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Ideally a slit seeder would be great in this occassion because it ensures soil to seed contact. If thats not available aerate the field, and pull as many cores as possible, then throw seed down, then roll to apply good soil to seed contact. If the field isn't going to be used anytime soon maybe look into applying a fine mulch or penn muclh. The mulch will help retain water so your not running your sprinkler 24/7 and it also insulates the seed and heats it making it germinate quicker. I would only reccomend putting a starter fertilizer down only if your soil is deficient in Phosphorus. Soil test would be best to see if the field is lacking phosphorus and to see what the pH is. You might want to lime the field if the pH is low to get the pH above 6 for nutrients to be more available. If your going to lime I would put the lime down when you aerate, it will have a direct contact with the soil profile that way. If your pH is fine and your phosphorus is above optimum then their is no need to apply more phosphorus to your area, the plant will use the available phosphorus in the soil. In terms of fertilizing I would apply this after the grass has rooted and begins to grow unless your goal is to also feed the existing turf. If this is the case put down a .5lbN/k. If its just mainly for the seed i would wait till its rooted and germinated then apply your nitrogen fert. After you have fertilized make sure you water the product in
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Take a look at the information and recent studies by Alec Kowalewski, Reports/Sand Cap Athletic Fields.pdf

    He found that drainage tubing at 13 foot intervals is best, if combined with application of layers of sand topdressing over a period of several months. Good drainage is absolutely essential for a playable field.

    Then get the "Atheltic Field maintenance Calender"

    Add a top quality seed like "Midnight II", and combine with 10 percent perennial rye like "Zoom" or "Derby Xtreme".
  7. jimsim

    jimsim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Looking to talk about Football and soccer field Striping. I'm new at this Corey

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