Did you know turfgrass is a 40 to 60 billion-dollar business covering an estimated 50 million acres in the U.S.? As we move into spring, turf specialists and groundskeepers should definitely brush up on their knowledge of this industry. Not just to achieve that pristine look that sports enthusiasts crave this time of year, but to develop the know-how they need to stay on top of health concerns. A big part of this is having a deep knowledge of how to manage turfgrass in a way that minimizes unhealthy exposure to the children who play on it.

Where is Turfgrass Used? 

It’s common for people to associate turfgrass with sports fields, especially in warmers months. But this versatile plant – a real grass species that also comes in an artificial form – is used in more areas than you might think. From athletic fields and backyards to golf courses and roadsides, turfgrass has become a staple in the landscaping industry. 

That being said, the volume of turfgrass being used also creates greater responsibility. Parents and communities have a growing concern about the health risks of chemicals in synthetic turf, and it’s up to experts in the landscaping industry to combat this risk.

Achieving a Safe, Picturesque Field 

The fact that there are more than 700,000 athletic fields in the U.S. shows just how much we have incorporated sports into our daily lives and culture. Here are some steps you can take before and during the season to keep your turfgrass safe, attractive until it’s time to hand out those team trophies. 

Grass seed is a popular option for turf management because it helps to combat the wear and tear that comes with heavy foot traffic. This option from Branch Creek provides germination in a short time period without using high phosphorus starter fertilizers, which can be damaging to your bones and body as a whole. For best results, use this product with Weed Prevention and Lawn Food. 

Depending on where you are managing turf, you may also need to eliminate weeds or crabgrass in the early spring. Consider using lawn food with crabgrass prevention or a heavy-duty weed killer to continue feeding the landscaping while fighting off intruders.

Keep in mind you do not want to use certain products if you have a seeding project planned; otherwise, those seeds will not germinate. FIESTA® is best used for spot treatments and can deliver visible same-day results.

Getting in the Right Routine

Take time to concentrate on what is below the surface by getting regular soil tests. The results will help indicate if there are any nutrient deficiencies, how much food your landscape needs, and the overall growth potential of your soil. You can also utilize advanced testing to determine whether or not contaminants are present. Be particularly mindful of unsafe levels of heavy metals (like lead) that could be ingested by young children during game play.

Additionally, plan for pruning throughout the year. Removing plants, roots, or branches that could get on the field or cause damage to a person or property is a great way to be proactive. Last but not least, set yourself up for success is by developing a system for water management. This will help prevent your turf from getting dehydrated or waterlogged due to spring rains.

You might have fallen behind this year, but there’s still plenty of time to get this right the next time around. And while most sports are seasonal, upkeep is necessary throughout the year if you want to keep the people using these fields safe for generations to come. Parents and communities are not only relying on professionals to create landscapes that are beautiful, but also to help our youth thrive by minimizing the use of chemicals.

Tech Terra Environmental offers ecological solutions for tree and turf care professionals. We specialize in environmentally conscious application products to improve plant and soil health for lawn care providers, landscape contractors and municipalities & schools in the tree and turf care industry. Please call to speak to a specialist at 609.468.1905  

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