October 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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www.spor 16 // October 2017 new rooting media on top of the existing soil. Applications of 1/4 inch per application, four times or more per season can be used, but again monitor the process to prevent layering. Those who have inherited fi elds with layering due to improper construction or poor topdressing practices will wonder what to do about the problem. Sometimes the problem is so bad that reconstruction is the only solution. More minor problems can usually be improved by core aeration and topdressing. Choose the new material properly, fi ll aerifi cation holes with the new topdressing and begin to build up a new layer that is connected to the topdressing holes (Figure 4). Sealing these sand fi lled holes with a fi ner material is a bad mistake. It is important to build up a uniform layer of topdressing with the sand-fi lled holes extending to the new topdressing layer. Again, once the process has begun, you can never quit. A common problem occurs when one sports fi eld manager begins a good, well thought-out program and then leaves for another job. If the new manager begins a totally different program or stops topdressing, the results will not be good. This of course happens all the time and we usually see the results after it is too late. Topdressing after installing new sod is also a great practice to follow. It will help the seams of the sod grow together quicker, and prevent damage on the sod edges from being exposed to the elements. Ideally the topdressing material, sod rootzone, and existing rootzone will all match, or try to get these to be as close as possible. Recycling sand study In one of the studies at Iowa State University, we are looking at is how much sand can we reuse by recycling aerifi cation cores without lowering the performance capabilities of sand-based rootzones. The Wiedenmann Core Recycler has demonstrated the ability to separate the organic matter from a hollow tine core from the sand particles in that core (Figure 5). This means the sand that is in the core that would typically be swept up if the entire core is removed is now returned to the fi eld, and the organic matter can still be removed from the rootzone. Typically, around 40% of the sand from the core is returned, which can be a real savings to the topdressing budget. Some organic matter is also returned with the sand particles, but early Figure 3. Improper intervals between topdressing applications can result in a barrier to root growth.

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