Athletic Fields – Natural Turf
Natural turf athletic fields require specialized attention to keep them safe and playable. A standard “lawncare” approach to maintaining natural athletic surfaces is a recipe for disaster. SPS’s approach to athletic maintenance is to develop a strategy for keeping your natural grass surface thick and uniform so it plays well and the soil profile loose and well drained reducing risk of personal injuries and rainouts. When SPS manages your facility, we take it personally. We will monitor watering schedules and mowing and advise if adjustments are needed. Additionally, we will visit your facility at least once a week during the growing season just to make sure all is well! P.S. Our personnel are as familiar with warm season Bermuda Grass as they are with cool season grasses!
Aeration / Top Dressing
Aeration is the most important process in keeping a natural turf field responsive and playable. Thatch management, good drainage and deep rooted grass plants are all results of a comprehensive aeration program. Deep-tine aeration is the first step to having a well drained field.
Our VERTIDRAIN deep tine aerator has the ability to penetrate the soil up to 16” deep. Its patented kicking action shatters the soil down deep to help reduce compaction and improve drainage. Surface aeration is managed using a JOHN DEERE AEROCORE to aggressively open the soil and reduce thatch by removing ¾” cylinders of soil up to 4” deep. The resultant core debris is broken up via dragging and worked back into the surface. We highly recommend taking advantage of the open surface from aeration to top-dress with Compost or sand. It is important to use only clean washed sand that meets USGA standards. Top Dressing is uniformly applied with a top-dresser.
SPS IS A “CERTIFIED REDEXIM CHARTERHOUSE CONTRACTOR” for VERTI-DRAIN AERATION
Custom Spraying and Fertilization
Disease, nutrient management, weed, and insect control are processes that should be left to a professional. The accuracy of our computerized application equipment will give you peace of mind knowing that pesticides will be applied to your facility precisely at label recommendations for maximum effect. We can custom design an annual program, work “on call” or apply your pesticides for you. Additional custom applications include plant growth regulators (PGR) specialized nutrients and drainage/soil enhancers.
Turf nutrition starts with soil testing, making it possible for us to formulate an effective nutrient program. The basic nitrogen source for all of our programs is POLYON fertilizer. The unique action of Polyon makes it possible for us to apply a full year’s worth of Nitrogen with a single application. That means fewer applications, uniform color throughout the season with no flushes of growth and fewer chances of application setbacks. Deficiencies in Phosphorus, Potassium and pH levels are addressed on an as needed basis. When you call, we respond. In most cases we will be on your property in 24 hours or less to meet your needs.
Grading/ Sodding/ Goal Repair
All natural turf athletic fields require renovation after a season of heavy use. Fields should be kept safe and playable by rehabbing face-off and goal mouths after each season. This is a simple process of stripping the existing surface, verifying grade to avoid puddeling and re-installing new sod.
Eventually, no matter how much maintenance is performed, your playing surface will need to be replaced. Like an inner tube in a tire, after too many patches it becomes ineffective! SPS has all of the tools needed to give your field a face-lift. Our Rotadairon Soil Conditioner is the must have tool for tilling under an existing field and preparing it for fine grading and big roll sod installation. We only use “big roll” sod on our sod installations no matter if they are 500 sq. ft. or 50,000 sq. ft. Big roll sod is delivered to us in rolls that are 42” wide and 120’ long (420 sq. ft.) versus palletized sod which is typically cut in strips containing 9 sq. ft. Fewer seams help the sod grow in much faster and provides a smooth, uniform playing surface.
Whether it’s repairing a goal or replacing an entire field, SPS has the expertise and equipment to provide tilling, fine grading, soil amendments and sod installation on your facility!
There’s more to athletic fields than just grass! Proper infield maintenance on baseball/softball diamonds is paramount! Ball reaction, drainage and good footing are considerations when formulating an infield maintenance schedule. We fine grade our infields to assure proper movement of water from the playing surface. We then apply only the finest clay based mix using a top-dresser to assure a uniform layer which reduces the risk of “bird baths” in the play area. Regular rolling and careful dragging is a must throughout the season.
The two major wear areas on a diamond are the batter’s box and pitcher’s mound. We build the entire mound from our special infield clay mix, then inlay clay bricks to specification in the kick and landing area. These clay bricks are inlayed into the batter’s / catcher’s boxes to insure good footing and eliminate the wear of “digging in”. A properly built and maintained infield, using quality products, will reduce rainouts and provide a safe uniform surface for many years.
Natural Turf Services
|Preventive spray programs for disease
Undesirable grass & weed control
Polyon fertilization programs
Over (slice) seeding
Big roll sodding & goal repair
Synthetic rubber dressing
Synthetic turf cleaning
|Infield dressing & maintenance
Pitching mound & home base building
Verti-drain deep tine aeration
Standard core aeration
Synthetic turf grooming
Synthetic turf seam repairs
Synthetic turf snow removal
Athletic Fields – Synthetic Turf
Maintentance Steps for Synthetic Fields
We recommend 3 steps to maintain your synthetic fields and can provide other services if needed.
Playing surfaces should be brushed using a factory approved drag type brush every 1-4 weeks. This interval is dictated by the type and frequency of use. Example: a grade school using it for phys-ed and recess (light weight feet) requires a brush grooming once a month. A college field used for men’s football along with several other sports and practice needs weekly attention. Brushing in precise patterns should be avoided and special attention to infill levels should be given to the center of the field and around goals and face-off areas. When infill depths diminish, excessive wear will occur, shortening the life of carpet fibers.
Just like natural turf, your infill field can become compacted affecting drainage and playability. Infill fields start showing symptoms of compaction after 3-4 years without proper maintenance. Our specially designed “spring tooth harrow” will loosen, agitate and level the crumb rubber infill. The depth of penetration into the infill layer is closely monitored not to compromise the base layer of sand. We recommend this process be performed once per calendar year.
Our final maintenance procedure is a topical sweeping and debris removal. Our “Verti-Top” synthetic turf cleaning machine has spring tines that reach into the rubber infill and work foreign matter to the surface which is then sweep into the machine via a rotary broom. Once the debris is brought into the Verti-top it is then separated from the crumb rubber which is returned to the field. Finally, a high powered magnet passes over the surface to extract any foreign metal objects that may remain in the field. A trailing brush then sweeps over the surface to leave a clean, smooth, loose surface. When a topical cleaning (sweeping) is needed for debris such as leaves, pine needles, seeds or grass clippings an abbreviated version of this cleaning can be done at a lower cost! The entire Verti-Top is outfitted with a vacuum system to keep dust and contaminates from returning to the field. We recommend this cleaning be done at least quarterly or on an as needed basis.
Services available for your synthetic turf are:
- Routine Brush Grooming
- Infill De-compaction
- Surface & Deep Debris Cleaning
- Seam & separation Repair
- Anti-bacterial Spraying
- Snow removal
- Supplementing infill