Effects of Wetting Agent Timing
on Sand-Capped 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. Research is needed on improving cultural practices to maximize playability and safety of natural grass athletic fields, especially in reference to prolonging field surface integrity throughout the extended high school football season. Many athletic fields endure multiple practices and games per week. Despite weather-related conditions detrimental to field integrity, Friday night games cannot be rescheduled and practice field availability often is lacking. The objective of this trial is to investigate the use of wetting agent products and application timings as part of a sand-capped natural grass athletic field management plan to improve rootzone water content management. Multiple types of wetting agents and two application timings/rates were tested to determine product methodology and efficacy.