Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optimal topdressing applications for athletic fields determined

Date:
June 22, 2011
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Scientists evaluated the effects of cumulative sand topdressing rates on the fall wear tolerance and surface shear strength of simulated athletic fields. Experimental results suggested that a 0.5-inch topdressing depth applied over a 5-week period in summer will provide improved shoot density and surface shear strength in the subsequent fall. Results also indicated that topdressing rates as thick as 4.0 inches accumulated over a 2-year period provide increased shoot density but diminished surface shear strength.

This image shows sand topdressing being applied to research plots at one-quarter inch topdressing depth.
Credit: Photo by Alec Kowalewski

The practice of "topdressing" athletic fields with sand has been used by turfgrass professionals for years. Topdressing is essential to maintaining safe and healthy turf, and using porous sand allows the turfgrass system to retain the necessary pore space for adequate drainage, even in heavy foot traffic.

Related Articles


While sand-based athletic fields may be preferred by schools and municipalities, conversion to a sand-based system is expensive. Complete renovation is often cost-prohibitive and renders the field temporarily unusable. Because of these drawbacks, complete field renovation is not an option for locations with high use requirements and limited budgets. An alternative method to complete field restoration requires installing drain tiles into athletic fields, followed by applications of sand topdressing. The method is more cost-effective than complete restoration, but if cumulative topdressing rates exceed root system development, surface stability may be compromised.

In a study published in HortTechnology, Alexander R. Kowalewski and colleagues evaluated the effects of cumulative topdressing (over a compacted sandy loam soil) on the fall wear tolerance and surface shear strength of a kentucky bluegrass-perennial ryegrass stand. "The initial hypothesis of our research was that topdressing would increase turfgrass wear tolerance characteristics and surface shear strength; however, high amounts of cumulative topdressing applications would reduce these characteristics," said Kowalewski.

A well-graded, high-sand-content root zone (90.0% sand, 7.0% silt, and 3.0% clay) was topdressed at a 0.25-inch depth [2.0 lb/ft2 (dry weight)] per application, providing cumulative topdressing depths of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 inches applied from mid-July to mid-August. A traffic simulator was used for two traffic applications per week from mid-October to early November. In the following year, topdressing applications and traffic were repeated on the same experimental plots. A total topdressing depth of 1.0 inch applied over a 2-year period provided the optimum results -- a combination of turfgrass cover, shoot density, and divot resistance.

Results of the experiments suggested that the 0.5-inch topdressing depth applied over a 5-week period in the summer will provide improved shoot density and surface shear strength in the subsequent fall. The research also indicated that topdressing rates as thick as 4.0 inches accumulated over a 2-year period will provide increased shoot density, but will diminish surface shear strength. The outcomes support previous findings suggesting that overall turfgrass strength will increase as a turfgrass system matures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kowalewski, Alexander R., Rogers, John N., III, Crum, James R., Dunne, Jeffrey C. Sand Topdressing Applications Improve Shear Strength and Turfgrass Density on Trafficked Athletic Fields. HortTechnology, 2010 20: 867-872 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Optimal topdressing applications for athletic fields determined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622125801.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, June 22). Optimal topdressing applications for athletic fields determined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622125801.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Optimal topdressing applications for athletic fields determined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622125801.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins