AN EVALUATION OF CRUMB RUBBER AND CALCINED CLAY FOR TOPDRESSING SPORTS FIELDS

G.L. Miller
Topdressing sports fields is used for to control thatch or to modify the soil surface. The use of coarse-textured materials for topdressing, other than traditional sand, has been suggested as a means of reducing compaction and minimizing wear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of topdressing with coarse crumb rubber or calcined clay on a bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) turf subjected to intense traffic. Turf plots were topdressed with crumb rubber or calcined clay at 6, 11, or 17 mm depth each year for two years (25, 50, and 75 t ha-1 yr-1) or with sand applied at 6 mm depth each year. The plots were subjected to cart wear and cleat damage during the study. Parameters evaluated included surface temperature, soil moisture, turf quality, traction, wear tolerance, recuperative ability, surface hardness, and rooting vigor. In this study, crumb rubber topdressing increased early season turf quality due to convection heating; whereas, calcined clay topdressing resulted in higher soil moisture but did not improve turf quality. High rates of crumb rubber or calcined clay reduced cleat traction 16 to 31% in 2000 and 23 to 29% in 2001, but resulted in reduced stand density when subjected to cart wear. Surface hardness was reduced in 2001 by crumb rubber topdressing 24% compared to apparent slight increases from sand (+1%) or calcined clay (+2%). Plots topdressed with sand showed the best turf surface toward the end of the season each year. This demonstrated that sand topdressing is generally a good cultural practice to maintain or improve turf quality. In these evaluations, the crumb rubber and calcined clay provided some benefit, but not without some penalty to other parameters.
Miller, G.L. 2008. AN EVALUATION OF CRUMB RUBBER AND CALCINED CLAY FOR TOPDRESSING SPORTS FIELDS. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:381-390
http://www.actahort.org/books/783/783_40.htm
topdress, surface hardness, soil moisture, root weight, bermudagrass
English

Acta Horticulturae