August 2016

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 39 of 52

40 SportsTurf | August 2016 STMA IN ACTION News from the Sports Turf Managers Association TOOLS & EQUIPMENT N E W P R O D U C T we're learning is that the more you do it, the better the fields are. They're stronger. They're healthier." His crew of 13 full-time staffers and 20 students maintain not only the field at Neyland Stadium, but also two grass football practice fields, baseball and softball fields, two soccer fields, a 60-acre, three-hole golf course facility with large driving range and practice facility, plus tennis courts, as well as the grass at the track facility and landscaping around all sports facilities. The grass at all of these facilities are varieties of bermudagrass (mostly 419, but also some Latitude 36 and Northbridge), with bentgrass on the greens of the golf course. Managing all of this turf is a big job and "aerification is huge," says Seybold, "especially for SEC football." Coaches, who always want the facilities to "look good for recruiting and camps," request frequent re-sodding of the stadium and practice fields. This means that the soil subsurface is graded, sod is laid, then rolled, causing more compaction. Almost immediately, Seybold runs the Air2G2 over the new sod, fracturing the compacted soil and creating air flow in the soil below. On the new sod, "we had a noticeable green-up faster, it came out of shock faster, rooted down faster." Now, the Air2G2 is a part of his sodding process because it "allows the new roots to grow down deeper, quicker. And that's what we're all looking for, to get on the field faster." In the winter months, Seybold and crew cover the University of Tennessee baseball fields with tarps. Those 10,000-square-foot tarps not only hold in heat and protect the fields, but they hold moisture and rainwater on the tarp surface that must be dumped in order to move them. All of that water, 10,000-square-feet of it, usually lands in the same area of the native soil outfield. "That area is constantly getting more water than anywhere else," Seybold says. To help it drain, he TEMPLINE PREMIUM GRASS Eco Chemical TempLine, the original manufacturer of synthetic turf paints and removers, has developed a new Premium Grass paint to be introduced under the TempLine brand. This new product sets a new standard for brightness, opacity and durability in an eco-friendly formulation. TempLine Premium Grass will be sold in 5-gallon pails as a concentrate that is safe for both grass and soil while providing a durable coating that stays on the field and off of uniforms. If you want a field paint that works as hard as you do for a price that won't break the budget, you need TempLine Premium Grass Paint. Free samples available at Eco Chemical uses the Air2G2. "It lets the water go down. It lets the water release and the compaction release." Seybold also notes that he'd generally hesitate to use a core-style aerifier in the winter, for fear of damaging the turf with "a big, heavy tractor" as well as getting too much cold air into the ground. In fact, all last winter, Seybold's crew used the Air2G2 to aerify through the cold winter months, saying that the machine leaves "not such a big hole in that we would be worried about cold temps." Perhaps an unexpected benefit of fracturing the soil so deeply which encourages deeper root growth, is a decrease in water use. "With this kind of moisture management, you're allowing your roots to go deeper and your water consumption should go down. I would agree with that," Seybold says. "I know we're going at least a day or two longer in places between irrigations." In the past year, Seybold has noticed an overall improvement in his turfgrass health. "I notice the grass isn't stressing as much in high traffic areas. I'm not seeing the yellowing that I'd normally get," Seybold says. "In the soccer goal mouths and some outfield positions in softball, we saw a difference. They just don't wear out as fast as they did. The grass is just stronger. It's at a better root depth so the grass is healthier." Above all, at a college football stadium where tens of thousands of fans and millions of dollars in television revenues and donor support hinge on field conditions, Seybold has come to rely on the Air2G2 for game prep. "You can use it (during) game weeks. There's no surface disruption so you can keep it tight. It doesn't soften the top but it allows the bottom to still be able to drain, which is obviously important. It's been an invaluable tool for us so far." The Air2G2 machine.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SportsTurf - August 2016