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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Cisco
I have been reading this message board for a long time and would like to thank everyone for all of the great information.
My question is this, what is normally used as grass for a soccer field, or what might be good for that application, and how soon would it be possible to play on this field after it was planted? The field will be in Cisco TX, the ground appears to me to be sandy clay. I intend to add the suggested soil ammendments before and after planting and will have a question or three along those lines soon. Thank You in advance for help with this matter.


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 Post subject: New Soccer Field
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:22 pm
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Location: Gun Barrel City,TEXAS
Tracedun,
Although this is just my 2nd. season being involved with Soccer I have learned a lot. I have not put in any new fields from scratch, but I will tell you what I have seen. I saw newly sodded Bermuda fields in Corsicana in the late Spring/Summer and they claimed they were going to use them that fall.. I haver not been back to see what they look like now. Personally I would want to wait a year to let the Bermuda get established. It all depends on your availability of water etc. I would think that if you started from seed you definitely would want to wait at least a year. If you have plenty of water to put on the grass in the Summer you might get it established in time for Fall Soccer, but I wouldn't want to personally. Our fields are a combination of Bermuda, Dallisgrass, Crabgrass, Bahia and whatever else grows... Interestingly enough the Bermuda becomes more dominate in the high traffic high compaction areas. I guess the weeds can't handle the traffic. I just finsihed aerating our after the recent rains and am interested to see if it helps a lot. Our fields have some spots that are pretty hard because of neglect. I think aerating is one of the keys to having a good stand of bermuda. Down the centers, sideline and goal ares get really compacted and need extra attention. Especially on the smaller fields. I can't be much help in the area of soil amendments / fertilizers as I am just getting started with that end and currently standard fertilizer is being used. I have not seen anything used as the main turf other than Bermuda on the fields and most of them are just standard Bermuda, not any of the Tiff or other stuff. I do recommend using the Bermuda because of its durability and drought tolerance. I would recommend tilling the soil up pretty loose to start seed or sod. Don't expect to get a good stand of grass on poorly prepared soil. And remember that the Bermuda loves water. I believe one of the biggest mistakes I see being made is mowing the Bermuda too high, you get a very thin grass density that way.
I know of one field that mows about 3" or higher and the Bermuda looks just terrible... I mow ours during play as low as the mower will go which is around 1.5" and I would really like it a little lower, but that is as low as the mower will go. During the hot summer I do raise it a notch.
I did see something new this year. We went to a tournament in April in Waxahachie and they had the prettiest green fields you have ever seen. I talked to a guy involved with the fields and he told me they scalped their fields and seeded Perennial Rye Grass mid October. The only problem I saw with the Rye was that it looked a little slick. If you think about it though it makes pretty good sense. The Bermuda doesn't get going good till late Spring/Early Summer after play is over with anyway. Our Spring season ended 2 weeks ago and Bermuda was barely coming out, green on fields was weeds. We will try the Rye on 2 smaller fields this next year. He also told me he aerated once a month and raked the fields when he mowed. It looked like they had plenty of money and people devoted to grounds maintenance, that makes a big difference. The Rye might actually help choke out some of the spring weeds. My other fear with the Rye is that it may require too much mowing in the Winter/Spring even though I was told it wasn't bad...I think the raking part will be out for me as I am not looking for extra work and very limited help. I plan on going back down there soon to see what the fields look like now that the Rye has probably died out.
I hope this helps some... I got pretty wordy....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:06 am 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
If you do plant rye for the winter, both perennial and annual rye die out here in the summer, so you can save a lot of money by getting annual rye.

Mowing bermuda low enough pretty much requires a reel type mower. They do a great job.

Common bermuda is just as nice as anything else in a sports environment. It's not like people are looking at the grass. You need a good footing for the players. Bermuda also likes lots of fertilizer. If you can handle it, I would fertilize with corn meal or alfalfa pellets at a rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet every 60 days. For a 2 acre soccer field that's 850 pounds of fertilizer. Something else to consider is to mix clover in with the bermuda. If the clover can withstand the punishment, it will fertilize for you. You can also mow clover much higher if the mower is an issue.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:22 pm
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Location: Gun Barrel City,TEXAS
David,
I did not get to ask the huy I talked to about why he used Perennial versus Rye. I may try and contact him again. From what I have read there are 2 reasons for using the perennial:
1. Better wear tolerance
2. Perennial doesn't grow as fast

Like I said we will try it on a couple of small fields.
I am worried about the competition in the late Spring with the Bermuda.
He told me that last year the rye did not die out until June.
I am hoping the overseeding will give us 2 beenefits:
1. Protection of the Bermuda in the early Spring from heay wear during early spring (March-early May) play times when the Bermuda is fairly dormant.
2. The Rye grass will crowd out some of the normal spring growing weeds.

I have found a little of my info. on the overseeding on this web site:
http://www.sportsgrass.com/
I really can't vouch for the accuracy...

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 Post subject: New Soccer Field
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:22 pm
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Location: Gun Barrel City,TEXAS
Tracedun,
I forgot to mention that one thing that we do which is good from my viewpoint is to not allow practice on the game fields. We provide seperate practice areas.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Cisco
Thank Ya'll for the info, I will make sure and post later on how things turn out.

Thanks Again
Trace


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