Choosing the Right Grass for your Baseball Field
There are numerous types of grass that is used to cover our baseball and softball fields.
Blue grass, Bermuda grass, Zoysia, Buffalo, Rye grass, bent grass, Tifsport, 419, St Augustine, Bahia, 318, k-31, Limousine, U-3, Tifway, Fescue, Creeping red etc… I could go on for days…Which one of these is not a real grass? U-3 is what you call three grasses in your yard and you don’t know what they are!
Breaking it down to the basics: Grass selection is based on Cool Season and Warm Season grasses and the mysterious transition zone. Every country has different grass growing zones but they all are defined by cool and warm season grasses. Cool season grasses is what you have in your lawn from about the Maryland/Pennsylvania border north and warm season grasses start in Virginia and go south South. The transition line varies across the states. There are pockets in Virginia, Maryland, Texas and even Utah that you can grow both types…which explains the “transition zone”. Picking your grass should begin with the zone you are in.
From that point you can get really creative with 1000’s of varieties of grasses. The bottom line…keep it simple. Don’t go crazy with a bunch of different seed choices in your lawn. That could lead to a fungus problems. 2 or 3 varieties different is OK but more than that is probably not necessary.
Here are some fun grass facts you can throw at the neighbor while you are out shopping for seed at the seed stores!
FACT– The first white house lawnmower. George Washington and Jefferson used sheep to keep the lawn under control!
FACT– “There are over 200 varieties of of tall type fescues in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware. The type everyone knows about in the store and one of the first types…was K-31.
FACT– The grass seed state in the US is in Oregon with sales over 300+ million per year.
FACT– In the 1800’s golf courses in the UK were infected with a pests called ….. Earth worms! This resulted in some of the great courses in Scotland developing along the seashores. Worms do not care for the salty/sandy soils. In the US, night crawlers are actually good for the earth!
FACT – Next time your significant other asks you if you are going to the mall and you want to work in the yard say:
“And let the earth bring forth grass..and the earth brought forth grass” Genesis 1:11-12
FACT– First lawnmower. invented by Edwin Budding in the early 19Th century. In 1870, Elwood McGuire designed a mower that made a big impact on the homeowner. By 1885, the USA was building 50,000 push mowers a year and shipping them everywhere.
FACT– A survey in 1994 listed 43 million acres of turf in the US.
FACT– The cooling power of grass! 8 average front lawns have the cooling power of 70 tons of air conditioning. (The average home has a 3 to 4 ton central unit)
FACT– Fresh Air… a 50×50 square pieces of grass generates enough oxygen for a family of four. As mother natures filter it absorbs carbon monoxide, nitrates and hydrogen fluoride and releases oxygen.
FACT– Last one – A test was conducted by dropping 12 eggs onto a dense small piece of natural grass from 11 feet. NONE BROKE! On a thin turf piece 8 broke…. and all 12 broke when dropped from 18 inches onto a rubberized track.