October 2006

2006 MLB ALLSTAR SERIES almost ready

Field Maintenance for the  2006 Japan All-Star Tour has already been an easier operation and we just started!  In 2004 we had to fly out on a last minutes notice to remedy some soft mound work at a few of the stadiums for the 2004 All star tour. This year?s event is shaping up to be a much smoother operation on the field management side of business.Dscn0481_2  

Groundskeeping in the Tokyo dome is always an exciting venue to work in.  The ground crew is very efficient, helpful and enjoys the sharing of field management techniques.  On this trip we are actually bringing a ?tool care package? for each stadium composed of the newer type rakes, drags, screens and measuring tools. We are going to give a set to each venue we visit.  Exchanging gifts in this country is a very important aspect to communication.  Even if its tools!

You may ask what is so different about a rake, well in our business we use 4 to 5 different types of rakes for maintenance on any given day depending on the condition of the field.  Check back on the blog as I?ll post something about each field and venue. 


Wukesong_olympic_baseball_center Preparing Beijing?s Wukesong Cultural Sports Center for the 2008 Olympics has started and we have ways to go.  Meeting with the local representatives and touring the site with Walter Liu and Susan Xhang this week was exciting.  The building on the site is the Olympic Basketball Venue.  It?s hard to believe the next summer Olympics is only a couple years away.  The test event will be next August.  It?s really nice to know that team USA has already qualified for this one!  Lots to do Selection of turf grass infield clays, warning track material etc is going to be a little more difficult than Athens.  I am hoping we can find all of the materials on Mainland China. Wukesong_sign 

The Beijing Institute of technology will be helping us out as well with soil tests and turf selections.  Looks like we may be heading for a zoysia baseball field.  It appears they have some different varieties that look a lot like our Bermuda turfs here in China.

The winters in Beijing are so cold, most of the Bermudas get zapped and will not come back.  Bluegrasses work well but the summers are so hot and humid the disease issue becomes a concern.

Wukesong_competition_field_one It?s been a busy fall and not much time to blog?Heading to Japan next week for the MLB All star Tour.  At least this time I will not have to leave my family in the campgrounds like 2004.  It was a last minute call from MLB to get some help with the mounds and plates that interrupted some family time. 

Still paying for that one. 

Time for Your Home Turf Renovations

Sod_repairsEvery year the fall brings you good things.  The World Series and hopefully (if you hurry) enough time to complete your home lawn repairs before winter.  You should plan your renovations according to your geographical area.  Different grasses + different climates = different turf programs.

A little work this fall can improve your lawn for the spring.  Here is a list of projects you may consider for your lawn.

1.  Get a soil sample and have it tested by your local extension office.  This sounds tough but its as simple as it sounds. Every county has an extension agent that can send you in the right direction.  You will get your turf’s PH tested and also see what your lawn is missing as it relates to nutrients.  The sample of soil and root mass goes into a quart sized zip lock bag.  Go to a couple spots in your yard to collect soil. This test takes about 10 days…

2.  The report will give you the specifics of materials to purchase and at what rate to apply the materials. Some even give you the exact brand

3.  Dethatch your lawn. Bluegrass and fescue lawns build thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass between the ground and where before the blade turns green. Average thatch is around 1/2 inch thick. If its thicker than 1/2inch rent a de-thatcher and rake up the thatch layer debris.

4.  Lawns hardly ever receive aerification.  This is a process of plugging holes in your yard with a machine…. (they used to use shoes for plugging lawns years ago… they had long nails on them) The process of renting a machine could get expensive depending on how big your yard is but nevertheless it will improve the root growth and relieve compaction of the soil. If you have the ability it would be good to topdress the lawn with a material like sand.

5.  Seed your lawn at a half rate in the fall.  Some peoplTopdressing e ask why you would seed before the winter because the seed will not germinate.  That is not entirely true because bluegrass, fescues and rye enjoy cool temperatures and you will be surprised at what comes up in the spring.  Broadcast your seed after the aerfication and de-thatching. 

6. Time to fertilize.  The soil test will give you a some direction of types of fertlizer but more importantly don’t apply a pre emergence herbicide to your lawn if you overseeded.  Nothing will pop.  If your lawn is healthy and you are not overseeding…. then put out a granular pre-emergence in the fall with your fertilizer application. This will help control broadleaf and grassy weeds in the spring.  If you didn’t obtain a soil test, play it safe and Fertilize with a well rounded N-P-K product with micro nutrients per manufacturers suggested rates. 

7. Irrigate or water your lawn for a couple days after the renovation is completed to wash the seed and fertilize next to the soil for good contact.

8.  Patch any areas that require sod or new grass in the fall as well

That should get you started for a healthy lawn in 2007!