Archive for Wednesday, March 26, 2003

District hopeful about overhaul of field

March 26, 2003

With spring's arrival, grass will turn to green in the coming weeks.

LeRoy Seifert hopes his lawns are the most healthy and vibrant on their blocks soon.

The Tonganoxie school district is wishing for thick turfs as well.

After a nasty drought and a city-enforced watering ban ruined the playing surface on the THS football field last summer, Seifert is working to make the turf durable for years to come. Seifert, who owns Lawncare Unlimited, already has brought in 108 tons of sand to add to Beatty Field to loosen up the ground, and he's applied compost.

The new surface had been discussed ever since last year's problems started, Tonganoxie athletics director Brandon Parker said.

"I think we all decided at the end of the football season that we needed to get it taken care of as soon as we could," Parker said.

With a 90-10 mix of fescue and bluegrass, Seifert hopes the new batch of grass will survive with proper watering.

"It's a vicious learning circle and Mother Nature has her way with a lot of it," Seifert said. "You just have to outguess what Mother Nature is going to do to you."

Last year, school officials planted a grass mix on the field, but it didn't thrive after the city restricted watering last July.

During the reseeding process, sand and current soil are mixed with about 5 to 6 inches of the soil and roto-tilled. The sand also helps give the ground some leeway. If the ground is too compact, Seifert said, athletes' shoes will sheer the new grass.

"That soil is so nasty that it really needs a lot of sand in it to keep it loosened up," Seifert said.

Bill Seymour, the school's maintenance and groundskeeper, said the water shortage last year hindered the project immensely.

"That killed us last year," Seymour said.

This season, though, the process should be successful with the earlier M

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