Effects of Wetting Agent Use to Reduce Turf Damage
on Native Soil Athletic Fields
Athletic field playability and safety is a growing national concern, particularly at the high school sports level. Athletic field usage rates increase each year while field maintenance budgets are stagnant, if not reduced. Many municipal and high school athletic fields endure multiple practices and games per week, despite weather-related conditions detrimental to field integrity. For example, Friday night high school games cannot be rescheduled due to a past or pending rain event. Research is needed to improve current cultural practices and to maximize playability and safety of natural grass athletic fields, especially in reference to prolonging field surface integrity throughout the high school football season. The objective of this trial is to investigate the use of wetting agent products and application timings as part of a native soil natural grass athletic field management plan in preparation for a game event coinciding with a large rain event. Six products and three timings will be investigated to improve rootzone water content management.