FRISCO- With two college football games coming up, one in December and the second in January while taking in consideration Spring play that starts in February; the Toyota Stadium Grounds crew plants a bigger picture. We spoke with Allen Reed and his crew who takes care of the Toyota Stadium Field getting some insights on what it is like to take care of the field.
For rookies like me when it comes to taking care of the field, I asked all sorts of questions so I hope I am able to make this as simple and helpful as possible. Grass can be broken down into two types: Bermuda grass (warm season) and Rye Grass (cool season). In the Toyota Stadium Field the Bermuda grass goes from June-October. Meanwhile Rye grass lives from the end of the season which is late October or early November up until May.
It took two days at the Toyota Stadium to transition from Bermuda grass to Rye grass. Here is the process and some tips:
- Thin out the Bermuda grass so that the Rye grass can contact the bare soil and it can germinate (grow).
- Run the broom across the field to stand up the grass that is matted down just from the mowers or any of the plague.
- Rake the area before seeding to agitate the soil and ensure it is free of debris.
- Mow the grass to allow the canopy to thin out so that the Rye grass can contact the soil.
- IMPORTANT: Rye grass needs at least 7 days of staying wet in order to germinate and needs to contact the soil so if it is not thinned out, it will not allow it to grow.
- Dormant seeding is most successful in soil that is loose.
- An aerator which is used to create holes on the field, embeds the seed down into the soil and it softens the ground from all the previous football play.
- Apply light coat of sand, this helps protect the seed and helps it settle down into the existing soil as it will help moisturize the Rye grass.
- Once seeding is complete, lightly make the surface to cover seeds.
- Runs the broom across the field in order to combine the Rye seed, soil and Bermuda grass.
- After putting the Rye grass out and keep it wet for about a week some turf blankets will be put on the field (ONLY WHEN COLD). These protect the existing plant from any cold weather and helps the Rye grass seed germinate.
- Keep off the lawn and allow the weather to do your dirty work.
- The cycle of freezing and thawing in the coming weeks will help the seeds set and any snowfall will result in even soil compressing which will aid in germination.
- IMPORTANT: Allen says the best way to let the Rye grass grow is by leaving it alone through out the winter.