How to Select Turfgrass for Your Sports Field
Printed in the October issue of Recreation Management
A mere 28 days before hosting the LaCrosse World Series
Championship at Maryland SoccerPlex this past summer, Jerad Minnick, the nonprofit organization’s director of grounds and environmental management, planted fresh grass sprigs on one of the facility’s 22 sports fields. (Sprigs are broken up pieces of sod that are spread across a field and grown together to create a tight-knit stand of grass.) Sprigging a field so close to a major event is risky, but Minnick, who oversees the 160-acre park in Boyds, Md., knew he’d done his homework when selecting the turfgrass variety for the event. He was confident the playing field would be ready.
It helps that Minnick is an experienced sports turf professional.. He also heads an organization called the Natural Grass Advisory Group that consults on natural grass issues for sports teams and facilities worldwide. Minnick knew the grass variety he planted, called Tahoma 31, an aggressive bermudagrass that grows in quickly and tolerates lots of wear, would grow in on time and be up to the scrutiny of the sport’s best players, fans in the stands, and the thousands of viewers watching on ESPN.