When seeding a new sports field or over-seeding an existing field, choosing the right grass is very important to the field appearance and playability. There are several steps that go into choosing the correct grass. Some of these include determining field usage, maintenance level, use periods, and what you want the appearance of the field to be.

You can spend a lot of time and effort on site prep, but without the right grass for the right situation, your end product will not be satisfactory. Go through the following list and choose the situation that best fits yours. After determining these items, go to the tables and determine the grass that is right for you.

1. Determine main usage

  • Playground (P.E. classes, general)
  • Soccer Field (Spring and/or Fall)
  • Baseball Field (Infield or Outfield)
  • Softball Field (Infield or Outfield)
  • Football Field (Main and/or Practice)

What is my maintenance level? (High, med, low)

  • Fertilizer Program
  • Mowing Frequency and Height
  • Water Usage

When will my field have time to rest and recoup?

  • Summer
  • Spring
  • Fall
  • Winter

Which is most important, appearance or durability?

  • Showcase – e.g. Elite
  • Tough- e.g. Playground
  • Happy Medium- e.g. Lo Gro
Bluegrass Perennial Ryegrass Fescue
Growth Periods (what your field’s rest period)
Spring & Fall Early Spring – Late Fall Spring, Late Fall
Dormancy Periods (choose one that’s not dormant during peak use season)
Summer & Winter Winter Summer & Winter
Recommended Mowing Height (if short height is desired, choose one that can tolerate close mowing)
1 1/2″ to 2″ 1/2″ to 2″ 1″ to 2″
Water/Fertilizer Levels (What appearance do I want?)
Show case v.s. (Tough)
High/Med (High/Med) Med/Med (Med/Med) Low/Low (Low/Low)
Germination Time
15+ days 7-10 days 10-15 days

 

 

Use % Bluegrass % Fescue % Ryegrass
Playground 15 10 75
Soccer
  (Spring) 20 20 60
  (Fall) 25 20 55
  (Spring
& Fall)
15 10 75
Baseball
  (Infield) 30 70
  (Outfield) 20 30 50
Softball
  (Infield) 15 10 75
  (Outfield) 20 30 50
Football
  (Game) 20 30 50
  (Game &
Practice)
15 10 75
  (Practice) 15 10 75

Overseeding helps bring a declining turf back to its full, thick, original beauty. It’s most commonly used in the following areas:

Golf Course Fairways
Sports Fields
Parks
Older Lawns
Thinning Lawns

Steps to Overseeding:

Preparation of existing stand of grass.

  • Aerate, thatch or power rake the lawn.
  • DO NOT fertilize while over-seeding.

Seeding Rate.

  • Seed is generally sowed at 1-2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

Type of Seed.

  • Triumph:3-Way Perennial Rye Blend.
  • With Perennial Ryegrass’s ability to germinate fast and withstand close mowing, it is the most commonly used grass in over-seeding. Other grasses can be used depending on the situation.

Water enough to keep the soil moist during emergence of new grass.

Fertilizing helps rejuvenate existing stands of grass. The lawn will benefit the most if it’s done three times a year. The easiest way to remember is to fertilize, MEMORIAL DAY, 4TH OF JULY and LABOR DAY!

SITE PREPARATION:

4 to 6 inches of topsoil are needed to establish a lawn.

  • If needed incorporate additional weed free topsoil and organic matter into the existing top 6 inches of soil.

Rough grade the area filling in any low areas and cutting any high areas.

  • Slope away from the foundation, driveway and sidewalks.
  • Allow time for the soil to settle and apply water to the site.

Hand rake the area.

  • Compact the soil firmly.  When soil is compacted properly, you should leave no more than a 1/2 inch footprint when walking across it.

SOW THE SEED:

  1. A general rule of thumb is to seed a lawn 4 to 6 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
  2. Use a drop seeder or broadcast unit.  Uniform distribution is the key to success.
  3. Sow half the seed in one direction; the remaining half of seed at a right angle to the first application.
  4. After sowing the seed, lightly rake or drag the area.  DO NOT cover the seed any deeper than 1/4 inch.
  5. Roll the area lightly to insure seed to soil contact.

COVER:

Mulch or straw may be used to help conserve soil moisture and prevent erosion.   If applying straw, make sure the soil is visible through the straw.  (Use Weed FREE straw).

WATER:

After the initial watering, irrigate the area frequently and lightly.  DO NOT allow the area to dry out during the germination period.  Once grass has germinated water less frequently for longer periods of time.

MOWING:

Mow when grass reaches 3 to 3 1/2 inches, mowing off about an inch.  Frequent mowing will encourage the turf to thicken.