June 2017

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.

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FACILITY & OPERATIONS 20 SportsTurf | June 2017 ask questions like "Is it grown on plastic? Are the roots massive? Is the sand compatible? How does it look?" All of these are important characteristics, but no one is playing on the bottom of the sod, they are playing on the top. If the top isn't the best possible quality, you will have failure, slips, divoting, shearing, poor performances by athletes, potential injuries, and you may get shredded on the evening news or ESPN. The number one definition of quality sod is sod that has a superior playing surface. Inexperienced sod customers should ask: ■ How much experience do you as a grower have in delivering a thick cut product that is played on instantly? ■ How old (mature) is your sod? Sod grown on plastic (depending on the method) can be mature in 6-12 months. Sod grown conventionally can take up to 18 months to have good maturity. ■ How much sod can you harvest and truck in a day comfortably? ■ Do you have a back-up sod harvester, or a back-up plan if your machinery breaks down? ■ Can you verify the source of your planting stock? Editor's note: We asked some prominent sod farmers the questions listed below about quality thick-cut sod, sod grown on plastic, and preparing to play on recently placed sod. ■ What details define "quality sod" to you? ■ What questions should inexperienced sod customers be asking when visiting your farm? ■ Are your best products always available? ■ What should someone do to prepare their field when fresh thick-cut sod or sod grown on plastic, is scheduled and they intend to play on it immediately? JIMMY FOX, EVERGREEN TURF Chandler, AZ Quality is an overused and under-defined term. As it relates to thick-cut sod that is to be played on, the number one characteristic that defines quality is "superior playing surface." The surface has to be mature, low thatch (if not zero thatch), with great shear strength. So much attention gets drawn to the looks of the sod, or the bottom of the sod, and people always SOD FARMERS: PLAYERS IN THE SPORTS TURF INDUSTRY COURTESY OF OAKWOOD SOD FARM, DELMAR, MD.

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