The Crew are Keeping it Green

The NCAA Division 1 Men's Soccer College Cup final is being held next week at the Columbus Crew Major League Soccer (MLS)stadium. The semi-finals are December 12th and the final is on Sunday 14th.

Field Manager, Matt Williams, is a 2001 graduate of the OSU Turfgrass Science Program and has been with The Crew since June (prior to The Crew, Matt worked at the Cincinnati Reds).

The sand-based field has hosted 45 events so far this year, including MLS, high school football state semi-finals, and World Cup Soccer. The NCAA games next week will be the last events to take place on the field this year.

One of the key management tools is field fertility. Soil chemical testing is performed twice annually and tissue testing three times annually. With temperatures in the mid-30's F (3 degrees C), Matt is doing the following to maximize the color and the growth of the turfgrass:

* At the end of the MLS season (end October), the field was fertilized with a 50% slow-release complete fertilizer at 1 lb N/1000 sq.ft.

* The field has been over-seeded with Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass (2 lbs seed/1000 sq.ft.)

* The field is currently covered with an "Evergreen" growth tarp to maximize canopy and soil temperatures. The cover has been down for 10 days so far, and will remain in place until the NCAA event.

* Prior to covering the field, a quick-release urea fertilizer was applied (46-0-0) at 1.5 lbs N/1000 sq.ft.

* The field may have to be mowed early next week. Mowing height is 1.5 inch

Authors: Pam Sherratt