Iowa State units team up to grow new turf

The first Iowa State University home football game of the 2022 season will not only be a test of Iowa State’s football team, but also of the new, homegrown turfgrass installed earlier this spring.

Harvest and installation of the new turfgrass took place at the beginning of May, the culmination of a year-long collaborative project between the Department of Horticulture, Iowa State Athletics Department, ISU Horticulture Research Station and Iowa Sports Turf.

The playing surface at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium used to be a synthetic turf mat on concrete, said Josh Tvrdik, director of turf and grounds for the Iowa State Athletics Department and 2010 horticulture graduate. In 1996, Mike Andresen was hired as facilities and grounds director for the department and made the decision to convert the field to 100% Kentucky bluegrass grown over a sand base.

The last time the turfgrass, or sod, was replaced at the stadium was in 2008 – far exceeding the average 7-8 year lifespan of synthetic turf. With a desire to have the replacement turfgrass be similar to the existing surface, the decision was made to try and grow replacement sod at Iowa State.

For the full article by Whitney Baxter of Iowa State University, click here.