March 27,
  With the Maryland SoccerPlex 
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed about EVERYTHING Turf at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
This week we will look into our finished state-of-the-art synthetic fields!
Open for business
Our three new synthetic turf fields opened for play on March 11. Why did we replace them? Believe it or not they were ten year's old, the useful life of a synthetic turf field. Another little known fact is that we average 1,800 hours/year per field. So over ten years we clocked about 18,000 hours per field - amazing.
A year ago we started researching new synthetic turf systems (shock pad, turf and infill) to find the combination that provided the greatest safety for the player, playability close to natural grass and durability. Our new system includes a Brock Power Base shock pad, AstroTurf DT32 "carpet" and Zeofill infill.
On to construction
The good thing about replacing the "carpet" is that you don't have to reconstruct the base. You begin by taking all of the existing elements off. Then you are left with the base which doesn't need a lot of work. You compact it and grade it as necessary. Then you start putting it all back together.
First is a layer of stone/gravel. Not very exciting but very important because it creates stability and uniformity for the playing surface. This layer is laser graded so that you achieve a consistent surface from end to end. Next comes an impermeable liner. The liner does not allow water to get into the base. Water is the enemy of the base. Water hits the liner and then gravitates toward the sides and into the drainage system. Bye bye water.
Now it gets high-tech
After the liner comes the Brock Power Base shock pad. The shock pad is a newer technology designed to reduce the hardness of the field and absorb the energy when a player falls during a game or practice, much like a grass field would. And it helps with drainage. The shock pad is one of the elements that aids in player safety.
And the icing on the cake is the synthetic turf. We chose one of AstroTurf's most innovative products. In fact we travelled to California to check it out. This synthetic turf is an 80 oz product (our previous turf was 40 oz). The increased weight equals density of turf and durability. The rootzone (which looks kind of like a thatch layer) helps with the overall density of the turf, which by the way is only 1.25" (closer to the look and feel of natural grass). The rootzone also traps the infill and reduces the dreaded "splash".
Last but not least is infill. This is one of the coolest parts of the new turf (pun intended). Zeofill, also known as Zeolite, is a mineral mined in Death Valley, making it completely organic. What makes it unique is that it is porous and can absorb 80% of its weight in water which helps with drainage and the evaporation helps to cool the temperature of the turf. Once the infill is settled down into the rootzone (about 2-3 months) there will be no "splash". In the meantime you might see some little white stone-like material around. Never fear you won't see it in a couple of months.
Not only are the new fields environmentally friendly (no crumb rubber) but we believe the shock pad and the denser DT32 turf make them some of the safest, most playable fields around. Hope you enjoy them!
Layer by layer of the synthetic fields

Next Week
Join us next week as we talk about different lawn diseases and how to treat them!
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, 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.