Regenerating Fall Use Athletic Fields – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Regenerating Fall Use Athletic Fields

The end is near for Fall-use athletic fields, either literally or figuratively. With the recent wet weather, football and soccer fields have taken a beating.  Don’t give up on these fields yet, because after the last game or practice is when you should work hardest to improve the field. Aggressive hollow-tine aerification, pulling 20 – 40 holes/sq. ft. is a must. Combine this with overseeding to help the turf fill in. Seed perennial ryegrass at 3-5 lbs/1000ft2 on fields that have to be used again next April and May, or overseed Kentucky bluegrass at 1-2 lbs/1000ft2 on fields that won’t be used until June or July. This is a dormant seeding that won’t germinate until spring, so apply a starter fertilizer next spring once soil temperatures reach 55 degrees and do not apply a preemergence grass herbicide this fall or next spring. If crabgrass has been a problem on your field, apply a postemergence herbicide containing quinclorac (Drive and others) late next May. If dandelions or clover are a problem, a postemergence broadleaf herbicide can still be applied this fall. Finally, an early November application of urea at 1.0 to 1.25 lbs N/1000 sq. ft. will improve the health of the grass plants that survived the rigors of the season. Much more information is available in AY-31: Construction and Maintenance of Soccer Fields in Indiana.


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