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 8 // October 2017 MOISTURE MANAGEMENT TO IMPROVE YOUR INFIELD // By WES GANOBCIK I t is almost impossible to describe proper moisture management without going into great depth on the many considerations made regarding every aspect for infield mix management. This will be a description of how we approach the infi eld over a 24-48 hour period of time. Leading up to a home stand, we are working toward proper moisture at least 2 days in advance. The preference is to maintain good moisture at all times, but some situations call for the clay to dry out. At our facility, we have two dirt zones in our irrigation system, one on the inside edge and one along the back arc. Several times over those two days leading up to a home stand, we will run the dirt zones for 15-25 minutes at a time and "fl ood" the infi eld. To fl ood the infi eld, we irrigate to a point where there is standing water on the surface of the material. We allow that water to soak in, and then go through the process again. A depth of 3 inches is what we are maintaining and trying to create proper moisture within. We will use our 1-inch hose to supplement areas that the irrigation doesn't get as evenly while the team is on the road. All watering is done by hand with the hose on game days. At our facility, we use well water and our pump gives us 90-100 PSI. A big factor that must be taken into consideration is whether or not the clay was allowed to dry out before reintroducing moisture. If the infi eld was able to dry out and become dusty, much more care must be taken when watering because the dirt will then become soft and muddy until rolled tight again. If moisture was maintained within the material, it is much easier to get back

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