Merlo Pitch

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by DaTruRochin on Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:54 pm

Well in that case I'll just merge every thread under this topic...

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Merlo Pitch webcam 4/2/2010

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:04 pm

yes folks, we now have a forum thread dedicated to watching grass grow.

Latest pics:





The sod seams are almost gone. The lines you see are mostly mower lines. Honestly, it looks like you could play on it now.

fantastic.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by A_Fan on Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:35 pm

We need a webcam there so we can keep a close eye on that pitch.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:50 am

So Geez since were all bored out of our minds, care to enlighten us as to the sod/seed blend of choice for the new Merlo pitch? Any pros/cons to said mixture and how does one procure a strip to walk around barefoot in one's house?

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Turf management 101

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:42 am

DaTruRochin wrote:So Geez since were all bored out of our minds, care to enlighten us as to the sod/seed blend of choice for the new Merlo pitch? Any pros/cons to said mixture and how does one procure a strip to walk around barefoot in one's house?

You could just go out on the pitch with a large kitchen knife and cut a hunk right now out of the middle of the field to take home with you before the roots grow into the sand base. But. of course, that route has its hazards including picking all those feathers and hot tar off your skin. Or, you could offer a massive influx of cash to the soccer program, as has been mentioned before..

a better solution might be to go buy some from one of the sod growers in the Willamette valley. We live in the premier grass seed and sod growing region of the world. Almost all commercial grass seed comes from here. You might want to consider another mix, though. Bluegrass and rye both grow best in full sun. You might want to look into a fescue mix for your shady indoor use.
http://www.shadegrass.com/info/northern.html

The grass mix was reported to be a 70% perennial rye, 30% kentucky bluegrass mix. Both of these grasses were originally imported from Europe.

A little research shows this is often recommended in northern climates on athletic pitches. Bluegrass is a cool climate single leaf grass that grows from the roots and forms a dense root structure. It has the deep green or blue-green color we gasp at, and a soft velvety feel that makes it nice to play on. It also "greens up" late in the season, so it will look as good during the tournament games as it did in September. While the plant does recover from impact well, the downsides to bluegrass alone are that it takes TONS of water in the summer (UP has its own wells, so that's not a problem) and the other side of the velvety feel is that the leaf itself isn't real tough. By itself, it's used only in light to medium traffic areas. you won't see bluegrass at someplace like TAMU -too much water is required and it doesn't do real well in super hot weather. They'll go with the coarser Bermuda or Bahia grasses here.

when seed is planted or sod is laid, it takes 2 months or more to establish its root structure that is the key to its recovery from use. That explains why it wont be used until June. Once established, some people consider it invasive in nature, so it will, over time, fill in the divot areas.

SO- it's mixed with the rye to complement its properties. Rye is fast growing, especially in hotter and drier weather, so the lawn will recover quickly. Also, the rye leaf is tougher and it's a bunch grass - multiple leaves grow from the base. It's also somewhat drought tolerant and will give the lawn a better look in the hot months.. Also, the cuttings from mowing can be left on the lawn to provide nutrients as it decomposes. The rye leaves help shade the bluegass from full sun, too. It's a brighter green than the bluegrass

The combination forms a deep and dense root structure, so you won't see the divots we've been getting the last couple of years.
The combination also forms a dense mat which slows the development of invasive windblown grasses and weeds, so the field will look good for many years before it needs to be redone. It's also resisitant to insect pests.

For best results, it should be mowed at a height of 1 1/2" to 2 1/4".


for further reading, see:

http://www.bluegrasses.com/
http://www.ryegrasses.com/
http://www.sodding.com/
and subscribe to the lawn forum.

also, subscribe to the monthly newsletter at
http://www.pitchcare.com/
it's British, but the climate is similar and those guys know how to grow and maintain a great football pitch.
This month is all about Spring maintenance issues and work being done at Plumpton racecourse, and regular maintenance at Woodrush Rugby club.


Class dismissed.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:34 pm

We bow down to the grass king!

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:03 pm

(Somehow I knew it would only take light prodding to get the most detailed description of athletic field grass reports outside of some greenskeeper organization's blog...)

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by up7587 on Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:56 pm

Off topic (but what isn't eventually here). Another question for Geezerpedia: what is the story behind professional futbol teams taking the pitch accompanied by children dressed in matching uniforms?

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:31 pm

up7587 wrote:Off topic (but what isn't eventually here). Another question for Geezerpedia: what is the story behind professional futbol teams taking the pitch accompanied by children dressed in matching uniforms?

Ya know.... I'm clueless on that one. FIFA started that for international play as part of their "fair play" program and it seemed like something that calmed people down in the tunnel before matches and gave kids some contact with their heros.

But now I think it has lost purpose. At some Champion's league matches I saw the kids pushed to the background as the players mugged for photos and the kids wore "what am I doing here?" expressions.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:00 pm

Well... It has also brought wonderful moments like this:


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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:05 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:
Ya know.... I'm clueless on that one. FIFA started that for international play as part of their "fair play" program and it seemed like something that calmed people down in the tunnel before matches and gave kids some contact with their heros.
There's a boy in the tunnel, but that didn't seem to stop Roy Keane and Patrick Viera...

The kid seems to be all right with it. Laughing


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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:21 pm

Sometimes the kids get the brunt


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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by Indigo Kid on Fri May 14, 2010 12:24 pm

Noticed that the Portland Timbers will play EPL Team Manchester City July 17 at Merlo. I hope all the great resurfacing work does not get damaged before the Pilots can play on the field.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by Stonehouse on Fri May 14, 2010 1:24 pm

Nah... that's just one month before the Pilots are scheduled to open the season anyway.

From what I've heard, everything is growing in beautifully.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by gnarly on Fri May 14, 2010 11:02 pm

Speaking of watching the grass grow. I was reminded of a movie on on college basketball. Think it was suppose to mimick UCLA basketball back in the Wooden days. I seem to remember one of the football players work study jobs was watching the grass grow.

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Re: Merlo Pitch

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri May 14, 2010 11:24 pm

gnarly wrote:Speaking of watching the grass grow. I was reminded of a movie on on college basketball. Think it was suppose to mimick UCLA basketball back in the Wooden days. I seem to remember one of the football players work study jobs was watching the grass grow.

That would be 1977's "One on One," starring Robby Benson and Annette O'Toole (as the lefty tutor of the dumb jock, guess how that one ends up). It's actually pretty entertaining, if light-weight.

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