April 24,
  With the Maryland SoccerPlex 
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed about EVERYTHING Turf at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
For the next six weeks we will go through each day of the week to see how our grounds crew prepares for a weekend of games. First up is Monday!
Busy Mondays!
Mondays are one of the busiest days for our turf crew! There are many different tasks that must be done on Mondays. The grounds crew will begin their day by break down each field. To break down a field they pull all the goals, benches, and trash cans off the field. The goals must be locked up to ensure they stay secure throughout the week. About half the crew will be clearing the fields off and picking up trash so the other half of the crew can come in behind them and do what is called a "clean-up mow." This mow helps the grass get back to true length of cut height, while helping repair any divots along the way. As the crew is mowing they are also keeping their eyes out for any other issues on the field as well, such as faulty irrigation, or any discoloration indicating the need of nutrients. The crew is always sure to start with the field that the Spirit will be training on (generally field 10) that Monday so they can also get a fresh paint on the field before the Spirit begin practice. After they are finished with the Spirit training field they work throughout the rest of the SoccerPlex.
Cultural Practices
Generally speaking the fields will have some form of aerification done every 3 weeks to ensure the soil is not too compacted and the roots of the turf receive the proper amount of water and nutrients. If the field needs to be aerated the crew will go start this process on Monday so the turf has the maximum amount of "rest" afterwards to absorb the nutrients and water. The fields are on a rotation so that when it is time to aerify not all fields will have to be aerified at once, just groups of 4-6 fields. Monday is also the day to apply any type of foliar spray, which is basically a multivitamin for the grass. By spraying early in the week, it allows the nutrients more time to be absorbed by the roots.
Special Treatment
The breakdown of synthetics is a little different than that of the grass fields. On the weekends the synthetic fields are set-up for multiple small-sided games and splitting those fields is a barrier. So, when breaking down synthetics our crew has to tear that down and put it into storage. Then they must set up the field with the larger goals for all our training and adult league games that take place throughout the week. On an average Monday, for example, the crew must break down 4 sets of barriers, 12 6' x18' youth goals, 8 benches and also service 12 refuse bins.  After the break down is finished, the crew then re-sets the fields for weekday play, typically meaning six 8' x 24' full-size goals per field, for a total of 18 goals, and remember, that is just for the three synthetic fields!

One task that seems to always slow the team down is picking up trash and recycling that may not have made it into the bins. If you see trash around the complex, please pick it up and put it in the appropriate bin! Not only does this save our grounds crew SO much time, it also is better for the environment!

All tasks done by the grounds crew at the Maryland SoccerPlex are always weather dependent, for example they can't mow when it's thundering and lightening outside, but this will give you a general idea of what the schedule the grounds crew tries to stick to.
Next Week
Check in next week to see what happens on Tuesdays!
Ask Us Your Questions
Do you have a burning turfgrass related question? Ask us! We will be happy to answer it in future iterations of Turf Talk - just email us at info@mdsoccerplex.org, subject line Turf Talk Question.
Many Thanks to Fine Earth Landscape, Inc. for 
Their Continued Support of the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Learn more about Fine Earth here.