Turf Tip Dont Overlook The Importance Of Cultivation Practices
At our annual sales meeting earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hearing Jerad Minnick speak to us about the importance of thinking “outside the box” when it comes to maintaining our natural grass sports fields. Jerad is a well-respected consultant to the sports turf industry and an advocate for natural grass fields. His mantra is #GrassCanTakeMore, and he shared his top three tips for helping sports turf managers accomplish this on multi-use, high traffic fields. To my surprise, his #1 tip wasn’t traffic management or nutrient management (those were #2 and #3 on his list), but rather aggressive cultivation!
He stressed that as sports turf managers, we need to push past the traditional thinking that cultivation (aerification) is a 2-4 time a year practice. Jerad shared that sports turf managers at many of the nation’s highest profile (and most heavily trafficked) fields, are being creative and finding ways work 2-4 cultivation events per MONTH into their programs! These industry leaders are using all of the tools and methods available to them to accomplish this feat: traditional core cultivation, solid tine aerification, slicing, spiking/venting, verticutting, air injection aeration, brushing and even universe fraze mowing.
Obviously, not all sports turf managers have the manpower or equipment at their disposal to accomplish 2-4 cultivation events per month, but Jerad stresses that even modifying your current cultivation schedule to include a few additional events per season can produce significant results.
Start small and challenge yourself and your staff to find ways to increase your cultivation events from one season to the next. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that high-traffic, natural grass fields really can take more! As Jerad likes to say: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”