The world-class Stub Hub Center in Los Angeles has become the latest addition to the list of facilities to put fraze mowing into practice . In a demonstration/ field day this week, the training field for the MLS club Chivas USA was fraze mowed and renovated with pieces of the KORO renovation process. Stub Hub Center, formerly known as Home Depot Center, is home to Chivas USA, the back-to-back defending MLS Champion LA Galaxy, US Soccer, and several of the United State’s highest profile events;
The renovation was organized by STS Services (Jock Eddington) of Phoenix, AZ and Campey Turf Care (Simon Gumbrill) of Manchester, UK. The rest of the renovation/ demonstration team was made up of Mr. Paul Burgess (Real Madrid), Jerad Minnick (Maryland SoccerPlex), Julie Adamski (Maryland SoccerPlex), Kevin White (Seattle University), Brian Wood (Commercial Turf & Tractor) and Mr. Jose Maria Aldrete (Chivas Guadalajara). The Stub Hub Center staff, lead by Mr. Shaun Ilten, played an absolutely vital role as well. Kudos to them for all the support and the open mind to proceed!
The Chivas training pitch is a tight mix of bermudagrass and ryegrass. But as every grass field experiences, an organic layer was beginning to accumulate and poa annua was starting to populate. Mr. Ilten, Stub Hub Center’s Head Grounds Manager, recognized that fraze mowing and the KORO renovation process could be something that could not only help with keeping those challenges from increasing… but also create an even stronger and traffic tolerant surface for Stub Hub Center year round.
1) Eliminate/ reduce poa annua population
2) Increase durability of the field by cleaning out/ breaking up organic layering and de-compacting sub-base
3) Create a strengthened bermudagrass base to act as stability for the inner-seeded ryegrass
4) Keep the entire surface smooth to increase playability by the high level teams
To start the renovation, the field was fraze mowed. With frazing, the challenges of the field: thatch, organic build up, ryegrass, poa annua plants and poa seed: were removed off the surface while leaving the base of bermudagrass below. As fraze mowing multiple fields in 2013 has demonstrated (Fraze Mowing Results), the Universe® rotor on the Field Topmaker cleaned the material off the surface and left the bermudagrass rhizomes to re-generate.
Fraze Mowing Off Thatch and Organic Matter w/ the KORO Universe® Rotor
Fraze Mowing w/ KORO Universe®
The bermudagrass rhizomes exposed to the sunlight began to re-generate and run across the ground immediately. That network creates a base of natural stability in the sub-soil.
Following cleaning, the sub-surface profile was de-compacted using the Imants Shockwave w/ 8″ blades. Shockwave, a soil wave de-compaction machine, is ideal for a heavy soil sub-surface that needs softened.
Imants Shockwave De-Compacting Sub Soil
Imants Shockwave De-Compacting 8″ Deep
Incorporation of Sand Into Soil Surface:
With the thatch, organic matter, poa annua, poa annua seed bank and ryegrass removed, followed with the sub-soil de-compacted… 1/2″ of sand was added to the surface. Using an Imants RotoKnife to slice up the top, sand was worked down into the soil profile to promote infiltration, reduce compaction potential, and to provide air space for stronger plants.
Imants RotoKnife Slicing Profile to Incorporate Sand
Seeding Ryegrass Into Bermudagrass Base:
Ryegrass was seeded into the bermudagrass base of the field following cleaning off, de-compaction, and sand incorporation. With bermudagrass rhizomes beginning to re-generate across and through the soil surface, they will prove natural stability for the ryegrass that is seeded down into the soil. The resilience of ryegrass will sustain heavy amounts of traffic without divoting or wearing away at the crown of the plant because of the bermudagrass reinforcement.
3 Days Following Fraze Mowing, Bermudagrass Beginning to Regenerate
Sun Setting Following Seeding of Ryegrass Progresses
With the beautiful Southern California sunshine beaming down on it, the ryegrass seed will now germinate and fill in quickly. The low sun angle and mild temperatures will inhibit complete bermudagrass regeneration, but that is ok since the bermuda is there for reinforcement and playability, not turfgrass cover. Within 4 weeks time, the training field will be available to be back on-line for the busy winter season at Stub Hub Center… and absolutely bullet proof by the time Chivas USA returns for the start of the MLS season in January.
THANK YOU to all the participants of the field day and the demonstration of the renovation practices!! THANK YOU to Mr. Shaun Ilten and his staff and Stub Hub Center for the support and for the open mind to try the new renovation techniques. And THANK YOU to Assistant GM of Stub Hub Center, Mr. Kyle Waters, for his time and for hosting the group for the LA Galaxy v. Real Salt Lake Playoff match at Stub Hub Center Stadium. Stub Hub Center is one of the world’s finest… Mr. Ilten and Mr. Waters are absolutely majors reasons why!!
More updates to come on the re-establishment. Keep the questions coming!