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 10 // October 2017 surface as possible with the conditioner and eliminate any ridges from previous dragging or play. It is also at this point that we will sometimes "clean" the conditioner. When cleaning the conditioner, I will start at one edge and pull the lute rake very lightly across to the opposite edge. By doing this, the majority of sunfl ower seed shells, grass clippings, or any other debris should pull off the surface to a pile at the edge that can be scooped and discarded. Once we have the conditioner as smooth as possible and have attained optimal moisture, we will roll the infi eld skin with our 1.5-ton roller. This is done to compact and tighten the infi eld as much as possible, as well as to "lock" that moisture into the top 3 inches. We will almost never use the vibratory function on the roller, as I've found that to create layering that will lead to eventual chipping when played upon. It also tends to allow that surface layer to dry out more quickly and separate from the clay below. I will sometimes also see this if the infield is rolled two different directions. My experience has shown that a single pass over the entire infi eld creates the best result. We are also very careful to come to an extremely slow stop every single time the roller comes to an edge of the grass. If you are going too fast and come to an abrupt stop, you will push a little bit of infi eld material. This will begin to create a lip and lead to the chance of bad hops at your transition points. Right before rolling The reason we want the conditioner dry while rolling is so that material does not stick to the drums of the roller. But it is important that the skin has good moisture when rolling to achieve the desired compaction. Rolling dry infi eld material will not accomplish your goal and may even fracture the surface, leaving it even looser than before. Once the infi eld has been completely rolled, we will start the nail dragging process. We have two nail drags; one that attaches to our infi eld groomer and is controlled hydraulically, the other tows behind and is wider, but allows us a little less control of pressure. As long as our infi eld hasn't gotten too damaged from an event or play, we are careful to nail drag at only a very shallow depth. We don't allow the nails to go more than ΒΌ inch into the surface. This will loosen the conditioner up which was rolled into the infi eld skin and will just barely scratch the surface to eliminate any ball marks or cleat marks that may exist. We will nail drag in one, two, or three directions based upon how damaged the infi eld was. Once we have fi nished nail dragging, we will let that loosened material dry enough so that any clumps will break down when

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