Organic & Synthetic Herbicides for Athletic Fields

Crabgrass (Digitaria sp.)on football field

One of the routine maintenance tasks for athletic field management is the control of weeds. This is not just for aesthetic purposes. Sometimes the weeds can result in reduced lateral shear strength and increased chance for athlete injury. Herbicides, when used according to the label, have been shown to present minimal risk to end users and are typically employed by athletic managers to selectively remove different weeds. However, we are increasingly seeing laws and regulations being passed aimed at reducing exposure to pesticides, including bans of pesticide use on public lands or on school property. In these areas the use of synthetic herbicides is not permitted and alternative management strategies need to be used. Continue reading

Emergency Field Repairs

By Pam Sherratt

It’s Friday night and it has been raining all day. Your high school football team has just finished winning a big league game and emotions are running high. After all the high fives and congratulatory hand shakes, you turn your attention to the field. What you see is a 100-yard mud hole. You start thinking about what needs to be done to prepare the field for next week’s game. So what do you do? Continue reading

Seeding During the Play Season

By Pam Sherratt
The official date for turf renovation in the Midwest is August 15th to September 15th. These dates offer the best opportunity for timely rains, warm soils, little weed competition and enough time for the new grass to get established before the first frost.
On athletic fields, there are several heavily-worn areas that will need constant over-seeding between now and the end of the playing season. Those areas include soccer goal mouths, sidelines, entry and exits points and between the hash marks on American football fields.

Continue reading

2017 Turfgrass Pathology Disease Day

On Thursday July 13th, 2017, the Turfgrass Pathology team at The Ohio State University will be hosting a Turfgrass Disease Field Day.

Attendees are invited to spend time looking at disease trials and hear about current and new fungicides. There will be an update on the diagnostic clinic and time for a Q&A session.
This is an ideal opportunity for turfgrass managers to spend time with Joe Rimelspach & Todd Hicks and get the most up-to-date information on turfgrass disease issues.

The event is free.

For more information, download this flyer, call (614) 778-9172 or email hicks.19@osu.edu

Starting a New Chapter

By Amanda Folck

Hi Everyone!

Today is my last day working with Pam Sherratt as a Turfgrass Student Assistant. It is a huge honor to work with Pam and many of the students, people from the turfgrass industry plus faculty and staff that I get the pleasure to work with during my two years at Ohio State. I am graduating on May 7 and receiving my Bachelors of Science degree in Turfgrass and minor in Plant Pathology. I have accepted Continue reading

Field Crowns & Surface Drainage

What is a field “Crown“? – The elevated center portion of a sports field, raised to promote the runoff of surface water. (Puhalla, Krans, & Goatley, 1999)

If surface water is not removed from the field:

  • Surface becomes slippy and unsafe, as well as providing a poor spectacle
  • Soil compaction will occur more readily on cohesive native soils, increasing surface hardness
  • Oxygen is excluded from the soil and roots will not grow = grass pulls out during games & grasses will not be as stress tolerant (e.g. drought stress)
  • Anaerobic conditions develop, leading to black layer problems & lack of important nutrients
  • Cancellation of events/games
  • Delayed maintenance practices e.g. mowing
  • Increase in pest & disease problems (annual bluegrass etc.) because of wet favorable conditions or reduced grass health
  • Soils take longer to warm up, so seed germination is delayed in spring

Continue reading

Ohio State Turf Club Update

By Amanda Folck

On April 21, the Turf Club was represented at the Ag Olympics competition. It was an event that had 12 other college fraternities, sororities, and organizations from CFAES competing for the top prize. Events included best uniforms, tug of war, backyard jenga, water balloon toss, etc. For their first appearance at the Ag Olympics in 28 years, the Turf Club came in 3rd place!

The Turf Club also sponsored the golf outing held at Homestead Springs Golf Course on April 23rd. During the event, over 28 sponsors and 24 teams participated at the outing. The total money raised at the outing was $4,500! The money raised will go toward the OSU Turf Club for expenses such as taking students to represent Ohio State in Turf Bowl competitions at GIS and STMA conferences in 2018. Thank you for those that came out for the golf outing. Continue reading

Irrigating Soccer Fields Prior to Play

Some soccer field managers are asked to apply water just prior to a game. Why is that, and how much should be applied? During my own experience as a soccer player, and also as an agronomist, I have seen a variety of watering requirements from coaches, managers, players and grounds managers prior to a soccer game. Continue reading

Mowing Heights for Athletic Fields

By Pam Sherratt and John Street

Mowing is a turf stress. Removing leaf tissue reduces the turfs ability to produce photosynthate (sugars) that are needed for healthy growth and recovery, so getting it right is critical. Turfgrasses mowed too low have limited leaf area to sustain photosynthesis rates necessary to maintain good plant vigor.

In addition to leaf area, a direct relationship exists between the height of the turfgrass and the depth and total mass of the root system. Continue reading