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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Page 22 of 51 June 2017 | SportsTurf 23 Make farm visits as much as you think is necessary; most turf managers make a trip out 3 months before delivery and then another 2 weeks before installation. If necessary, a few come out when we are harvesting their sod. Possible questions include: ■ How old is the material? ■ When was it planted? Seed or stolons? ■ Has this material been harvested this year? ■ What is the mowing height at the time of harvest? Can I have it mowed at the same cutting height as my fi eld? ■ When was it last fertilized? What product was used? ■ What is it grown on? (analysis of growing medium) ■ Do you use plastic netting to help grow in? ■ What varieties do you grow? All our products are not always available; it depends on time of year and how much work this is. Best policy is to reach out to sales staff and give them a heads up on project and depending on quantity, we request a deposit to hold the material in inventory. When preparing for thick-cut sod, plan ahead; make sure you have all the contractors scheduled, make a visit to sod farm, and have a plan B if bad weather is in the forecast, especially when dealing with the sod farm. It might not be raining at the facility but might be at sod farm. Typical thick cut sod ranges from 1 to 2 inches in depth; most like 1.5 inches if a quick turnaround is necessary. Cost plays a big factor, due to thicker cut the sod weighs more and the trucks carry less material, so more trucking is necessary which not only increases costs but also increases the chances something might go wrong on delivery. If you have a quick turnaround it makes for a stressful time waiting on trucks. Your fi eld must be prepared for the thick cut depth, so if you have existing turf you must prep the fi eld so it matches up correctly. We don't want any uneven surfaces. The fi eld must be graded and fi rm so no rutting occurs during instal- lation. Depending on access to fi eld, plywood must be placed in areas where unloading of sod onto the fi eld is placed to help with damage. Also to help speed up install process, a plywood path is placed on the fi eld to the far end so the forklift can drop sod closer. Once all sod is installed and you have a quick turnaround, water in the sod with a hose, roll, and mow if necessary. JAMES GRAFF, GRAFF'S TURF Fort Morgan, CO Quality sod covers three major areas for us: strength, density and color. Lacking in any of these areas makes for an unhappy customer and a project no one is proud to have his or her name on. Re questions, ask about soil, ask about seed, ask about fertility plans, ask about age of turf. The answers don't have to be complicated but there should be answers. Make sure no corners have been cut. You must have a supplier you trust and one that views your relationship as a mutual partnership. You must help each other out to be successful. Listen to each other. Learn the difference between maintaining a playing fi eld and producing a fi eld of turfgrass and respect the differences. Our best products are in high demand. Our inventory runs tight and making plans far in advance is critical. Grades are the most critical point. If the grade is solid, level and stable it will be a safe playing surface. The best sod on a poor grade will be diffi cult to get right. After the turf is down, don't complicate it. Don't turn the fi eld into a science project. And as my dad has always said, "Relax…it's just grass." 1-800-363-8780 • • VC60 VERTI-CUTTER The VC60 is designed for use on golf course fairways, tees and all types of sports fields. Unique swing hitch allows operator to turn while using. New "optional " double roller gauge system is now available, which allows for 1.5" spacing. Skid shoes are still available.

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