Soil Heating Systems

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by bigslick7878, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Anyone know anyone that has a heating system for their soil?

    Probably not,but last night I was randomly thinking about what it would take to keep the grass green deep into winter and the only thing I thought of was to keep the soil warm.

    Professional sports teams who have natural grass have these systems in place in the stadiums and practice facility to aid in growth year is an article I found on the Denver Broncos field....
    The crazy SOB like myself who is obsessed with grass would consider it for my house if the price wasn't too ridiculous. I can keep my grass looking good longer than everyone else in my neighborhood by a long shot,but even longer would be nice.

    So anyone have any knowledge about these systems?

    One other interesting thing...aeration at the end of Chicago!!

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Hmmm lets see we have a radiant snow melt system for 2 8000sqft auto courts......last january we burned $13,000 in nat gas....and that is to maintain 36 degrees.
  3. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    I'm guessing it is a lot harder to transfer heat to concrete than to soil.Im thinking because of the density of the material it wouldnt be nearly the heat needed to keep a slab of concrete warm.

    Also if you read the article the new systems use water heating with natural gas which lowers the operational costs significantly.

    Thats why I was asking if it would even be possible to do on a residential property with the costs involved.I'm not an energy specialist so I don't know.
  4. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    we have 10 inches of concrete covered by paver stones.....not sure but i would think our heat loss would be less than that of a lawn. Keep in mind I idle it at 33 and only crank it (to 36)before a snow fall
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Considering soil stays about 55 degrees when you get to a certain point, I would think if you could harness that heat someway it maybe possible. What about some sort of compost heater, make compost, make heat and pipe it? My guess is if you were using compost it would have to be a huge pile.

    Just throwing out some ideas here...I myself have no plans of ever heating the soil beneath my turf to keep it green, if I wanted my lawn green all season I would plant fescue.
  6. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Thats what we have up here,I dont even know why you would need to do it in the south with the temps down there.You could just overseed with fescue going into winter I would imagine.

    There really isnt any other type of grass that can withstand the cold temps that I know of.Rye a little bit but similar to fescue in coldhardiness but not much better.

    Up here in the mid atlantic I can keep mine growing up until mid December,depending on the weather.After that the ground is pretty much frozen with average highs in the lower to mid 40's and lows in the low 20's most nights in Jan/Feb.

    Around mid March is when you start to see some life again,temps back in the low 50's.Just looking at my records the first mow this year was Mar 26th and that was more of a debris chop up and clean up rather than growing grass.

    I was just throwing it out there as well,would be cool to look at my yard in January and see green grass when everyone elses is brown and dormant.

    Still wondering how much a system like that would cost like they use in the stadiums,I'm sure it is astronomical but one can always dream I guess.
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    The last thing you would do in the south is overseed bermuda with fescue...I have spent 2 years getting those pesky clumps out of my beutiful bermuda!! Here your are either bermuda and brown in the winter, or fescue and brown in the summer!
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  8. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    My bad I didnt know!

    I am an avid golfer and I thought they overseeded some of the dormant grasses down there,could be wrong though.

    I just found a comany in the UK that sells these systems,a lot of the "football" fields over there have them.

    I emailed them for the hell of it,told them I wanted to heat my lawn and no it is not a joke.:laugh:

    Wonder if they will respond.
  9. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    Well, if you are going crazy anyway you might as well just get a geo-thermal heat pump for your home and tap into that for your turf. It will probably only cost around $30G for the whole thing and it will keep your home and turf a nice 65-68deg year round!
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Those are actually becoming popular around here...all you need is the AC compressor. Great idea, that or a large pond or lake.

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