June 26,
  With the Maryland SoccerPlex 
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed about EVERYTHING Turf at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
This week we will look into the practice of sprigging; what it means and why it's done!
Sprigging - What and why?
Bermudagrass is a warm season grass, meaning its growing season is in the warmer weather. Sometimes the bermudagrass will thin out in high traffic areas of the field such as in front of the goal mouth. The constant traffic can make it nearly impossible to have consistent growth in the bare spot. One practice that can be done to combat the thinning of the field is to replant sprigs, also known as sprigging. A sprig is the bermudagrass plant without the stems (stolons) and the ideal sprig has numerous nodes or growing points. The multiple nodes allow more places for roots and shoots to develop. In addition, sprigs are meant to be soil free to eliminate any issues with soil layering. Because of the aggressive growth rate of bermudagrass, sprigging is a quick and effective way to troubleshoot a Bermuda field that may be lagging in areas.
How do you sprig?
Before the sprigs are placed on the affected area the soil and area must be prepped so the sprigs can take to the soil. To prep the soil, it is very lightly roto-tilled, only about 1-2 inches deep. This helps improve sprig to soil contact and can speed up the process of the sprig taking to the soil. The sprigs are distributed evenly throughout the designated area, then the sprigs will be top-dressed with sand. Keeping the sprigs moist with consistent irrigation is critical. Once the sprigs begin to "creep" (grow sideways) the "new" layer of bermudagrass will begin to grow to help recover the bare spots on the field. The plant will take to and be back with cover in about 5-8 weeks.

At the Plex we recently sprigged heavy wear areas on a few of our Bermudagrass fields. Fields 9, 12, 15, and 16 were all sprigged 2 weeks ago. This is done to ensure the longevity of the fields as we continue through our busy season of tournaments and head into the fall soccer season. It is important to prepare the fields when we do have the opportunity to rest them. After the fields were sprigged, they all received 2 weeks rest before play opened back up on them!
Next Week
Check in next week as we look at some neat Fourth of July mowing patterns!
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.