Smoothing out wavy athletic fields

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by maintenanceguy, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 156

    I've got an uneven practice football field. You can feel the waves as you bounce along on the mower. Most of our other fields sometimes get a low spot that we fill in by hand and it comes out pretty good. This one field will be a big project to do by hand.

    But I've got sprinklers and don't want to till it up and start over.

    Is there a good way to add an inch or two of topsoil only where it's needed without spending a week with shovels and rakes? I really want to topdress but only the low spots. Most of the spots are close enough to final grade that most of the grass will survive and with a little seed I'll be in good shape. But I need a way to place the soil in the right places.

    Does somebody make a machine that would do this without tearing up the rest of The field?
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We put down sand or loam and then "float" it in. The float scrapes off high spots and drops soil into the low spots. The float is basically a blade that has wheels on it and is attached to the three point of a tractor.
  3. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    I'd say this is fairly common practice, especially on the golf side. The one thing he forgot to mention is depth for a single dressing. You don't want to bury your turf completely if you expect to keep a dense stand. you may have to do it in pieces, putting down 1/4 to 1/2 of dressing each time and dragging it out, either with a screen or a rake. It generally only takes a few weeks for turf to reset height to the new grade if worked this way, depending on variety and current growth conditions. then you can do it again until you get to the grade you are after site wide. Like everything else in the green world, it's a matter of patience or cost.
  4. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    First of all, make sure to change mowing patterns every couple of cuts. Also, don't drive your trucks on the outfield when your sweeping off second base. If other workers or firms are driving their trucks on YOUR turf, try and discourage them from doing so. A half inch of sand(during peak growing season) will also help immensly.
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    When I worked fo rth epublic highschool system that is exactly how we did it too but we had a pintle hook on the back of the blade set up and would hook our screen drag up behind it. Depends really on your budget, soil type, time you have available and how lumpy it is.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    It does take some time for the turf to grow back in. Our guys normally do this in the fall or winter so verything looks nice come spring for baseball. If it's a football field then it's done and overseeded in early summer for the same reason. We have two football practice fields right now that have been done and are looking quite nice. If I think of it I'll take some pictures and post them.

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