July 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 51

FIELD SCIENCE 18 SportsTurf | July 2015 "I think the resiliency of the grass, and what we had been able to do to it in the 3-4 months prior from the initial grow- in, helped. That's what we prepare our fields for, to be able to withstand something like that. The integrity of the field, the drainage, and all work put into the field, it's really a tribute to our staff and the job they do," he says. Field preparation includes solid tine aerification "to help water and moisture to get through, to get the water off the sur- face as fast as possible." Salmond says their fertility program is also an important factor. "We have backed off of synthetic fertilizers and moved more to a carbon-based fertility," he says. "The grass does well on its own. What we're trying to do is keep the grass growing and going. It is doing well with this kind of fertility plan. So far, that's what we've seen." At Oklahoma, Salmond oversees a crew of eight full-time professionals and three part-time student workers. Together, they maintain Memorial Stadium and the John Crain Soccer game field, as well as baseball and softball fields, the track facility and tennis courts. Latitude 36 was chosen for the soccer field and football stadium, Salmond says, "For its durability and cold tolerance, and its early spring green up to compete with overseeded perennial ryegrass." Native soil foot- ball practice fields are grassed in the center of the fields with NorthBridge bermudagrass. Another consideration of the grass selection, Salmond says, was the close proximity of the sod farm, Riverview Sod Ranch, just 2 hours away in Leonard, OK. "Latitude was grown on a sandier soil at the farm that closely matches our field. The NorthBridge was grown on heavier soil" which is similar to the soil at the football practice fields. In Norman, deep in the heart of the transition zone, over- seeding is critical to maintain a thick, green stand of turf during the winter months when the bermudagrass goes dor- mant. Also because of the location, where weather can change from cold to warm in an instant, properly timing an overseed program can be a challenge. "Last fall we overseeded when we saw temperatures were coming down to help provide good germination and a good stand. We got great germination. However, temperatures went back up and so the Latitude took back off with a flush of growth," Salmond says. "So for the rain game in November, we were playing on semi-dormant bermudagrass with a light cover of ryegrass. But it provided excellent footing."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SportsTurf - July 2015