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 Post subject: Athletic Field comments
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 7:13 am 
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Location: Gun Barrel City,TEXAS
Interested in anyone's comments on care / maintenance of Sports fields, especially Soccer fields.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:36 am 
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If there is a time when the field would not be in use for a few weeks, a layer of good manure compost (about 1/2 inch) spread over the entire field would be a big help. Organically maintained sport fields result in less shin splints and other such problems.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:23 am 
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Hopefully the fields are graded so that water drains and does not stand after hard rains. Other than that, water deeply and infrequently.

What kind of grass do you have? If you have bermuda, mow as low as you can to improve the density of the turf.

Fertilize with organic materials. I like corn meal at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet for both fertilizer and as an anti fungal material. Use compost once and/or compost tea as often as you can do it should really help. You might try 20 gallons of tea in early March and 5 gallons in May, July, and September.

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 Post subject: Turf field watering
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:31 am 
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Dchall,
Thanks for the post. I have more or less taken over maintenance of about 4 acres of playable field. The fields were not created with drainage or level as the top priority. There are a couple of places where drainage is a real issue and I am working on that as money / time permits. Our soil is pretty Sandy here, but it will saturate with a lot of rain. It is impractical to mow as short as I would like to due to scalping. I am using a 6' Finish mower and mowing around 2" high or possibly a little lower. As I get the fields in better shape I will mow lower. This is the one biggest mistake I have seen on fields I have visited. Many are mowing at over 3" high in an attempt to conserve water and the grass becomes very leggy and thin.
Many don't realize that the Bermuda spreads horizontally better if mowed low. Our grass is mostly Bermuda, but a lot of Bahiagrass as well. The main problem I have with the Bahia is its fast growth rate. Ideally we will work towards having totally Bermuda. With nealry 4 acres of playable surfaces I find the Compost Tea idea pretty impractical unless you have a way of getting it in Bulk cheap. I also have not found a good source for Corn meal cheap in my area (Henderson County). I am looking at possibly buying and using one of the commercial organic liquid fertilizers, do you or anyone have any experiences with them?
Every where I read says to water Bermuda deeply and infrequently. This may be fine on a clay based soil, but I have come to the conclusion that in Sandy soil with a limited water budget it is impractical to water deeply and infrequently. In other words I would rather water 3 or 4 times a week versus 2 deep waterings. I do have an old drag type aerator which has hollow spikes. I try and aerate in the Spring when soilds is moist to get good penetration. The aerator has hollow tines, but it does not produce many soil plugs. I have noticed that when the soil down here gets pretty wet we get a lot of natural aeration from small worms.
I appreciate any comments.

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 Post subject: fields
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:01 pm 
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Being involved with a soccer field renovation years ago, we found that the more organic material they put or allowed to stay on the fields, the better the soil quality became. If you can apply compost in either a dry material form or a liquid concentrate application I think you will get very good results. We did. Also, adding molasses to the mix will bump up both your microbial activity to make fertilizer applications more effective and hasten the removal of fire ants from the fields. That was probably the most popular effect we got! The fields are vastly improved from their condition prior to the work, and much easier to maintain now.


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 Post subject: soccer fields
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:46 pm 
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If you can afford one a tea machine will cut the cost of using compost tea by making it yourself and after about 12 batches it has paid for itself. Plus the areated compost teas are better if applied within 24 to 48 hours after making. A layer of compost, some humate, molassis, cornmeal gluten meal to control weeds, green sand, lava sand (helps holds moisture). This can be done in steps.
Try calling martindale feed in you area and see if thecan get the items for you. Retailers will stock what customers buy only if we tell them what we want.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:55 pm 
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Unless you have a putting green, bermuda is not usually a great choice.

It seems to me that compost tea is your only choice. To apply compost to 4 acres would cost you $5,500. Spraying compost tea on 4 acres would cost you $5.50 for the actual tea ingredients. Tea is 1,000 times less expensive than compost. You will have to buy or build the tea maker and buy an ag sprayer. After that, tea is literally dirt cheap. Go to my website to read up on a very clever little tea maker. You should do a spring soil drench at 20 gallons per acre and subsequent monthly spraying of 5 gallons per acre. You might want to scale up your home made tea maker based on the plans on my site.

When I bought my house the back yard was washed out. I back filled with six inches of white sand. Now it is black sand due to the organic material in it. Yes you do have to water when the grass looks wilty but if you do it right, you will eventually get to the point of watering only weekly - it can happen even in sand. All it takes is organic matter provided in the tea.

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 Post subject: Compost Tea
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:31 am 
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Dchall,
Thanks for your reply. The Compost Tea maker is simple enough.
I can buy "organic" compost at Lowe's if need be and it is cheap.
I will definitely be looking into this. Should the compost tea be applied full strength or diluted with water?
If you think Bermuda is a poor choice, what do you think would be better. I can not imagine anything hardier than Bermuda grass.

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 Post subject: Re: grass
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:49 pm 
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gbc wrote:
Dchall,
Thanks for your reply. The Compost Tea maker is simple enough.
I can buy "organic" compost at Lowe's if need be and it is cheap.
I will definitely be looking into this. Should the compost tea be applied full strength or diluted with water?
If you think Bermuda is a poor choice, what do you think would be better. I can not imagine anything hardier than Bermuda grass.


Zoysia. A much slower growing grass, but right for the task.

Buffalo grass is great xeriscape grass for Texas, and soft, but not practical for running. Zoysia is a very close second xeriscape and ideal for grass-fields.

I'm wondering how do you pre-emergence weed? Or do you?

off topic a bit
Scalpers not needed....
carla 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:40 pm 
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I have never heard either of those recommended in a high wear, high compaction environment. I have had one experience with Zoysia years ago and it was very disappointing... I have no preemergent program as yet, but for sure it isn't Corm Gluten Meal on 4+ acres.
Appreciate the comments, but would like to see some examples of Zoysia /Buffalo used on an Athletic field in Texas.... Let me know where I can go see this..
Thanks again!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:09 am 
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Well it seems I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth. Bermuda is fine as long as you are willing to mow it low. You do have to have very smooth surface first. No tillers, only professional grade land graders may be used or you will be scalping it.

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