Athletic Field Fact sheets

Mechanical aeration provides an excellent, and probably the only, means of correcting or alleviating soil compaction which may be quite serious on many lawn areas. Compaction occurs primarily in the surface area of the lawn. A compacted layer as thin as ¼ to ½ inch can greatly impede water infiltration, nutrient penetration, and gaseous exchange between the soil and the atmosphere. Compaction of this type in the surface layer of soil can be corrected or reduced by the use of suitable aerating equipment.

This publication outlines drainage patterns for some of the more important types of fields, specification guidelines for their construction, and management practices as they apply to Pennsylvania and areas with similar climates.

Summer annual grasses continue to be pervasive weed problems in many turfgrass areas throughout Pennsylvania.

Damping-off diseases occur as seed rots and blights of seedlings. This disease seldom occurs on grass planted in early fall or early spring.

Learn how late fall fertilizer applications influence turf performance, when to make your applications, as well as the types of fertilizers and rates which provide the best turf response.

Grass cutting is the major time-consuming operation in the maintenance of any turfgrass area. Good mowing practices are perhaps the most important single factor contributing to a well-groomed appearance and the longevity of any turfgrass area.

Collection and disposal of grass clippings from lawns is laborious, time consuming, and unnecessary. The best way to deal with clippings produced by mowing is to recycle them back to your lawn. If performed correctly, recycled grass clippings should not detract from the appearance of your lawn or accumulate on the soil surface.

To develop successful lawn management programs and avoid problems, you must be able to identify turfgrass species. Species react differently to management practices such as mowing, fertilization, and liming; thus, you should know which grasses are present in the lawn so that you can adjust your management program accordingly.

This fact sheet describes the general steps in turfgrass establishment.

One of the most important steps in turfgrass establishment is the selection of high quality seed or a seed mixture that is adapted to the site conditions and intended use of the turf. Poor quality seed may be low in viability and contain weed seeds as well as undesirable grass species.