AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University football stadium is getting some new grass.
The last time Jack Trice Stadium had new sod was in 2008. Now it’s time for some new turf. In a first-time experiment, the Company Iowa Sports Turf is partnering with Iowa State University Horticulture to build a sod farm to grow grass just for Jack Trice.
“Our specialty is building athletic fields,” said Casey Scheidel, President of Iowa Sports Turf, “This would be something right up our alley as an Iowa State alumni. We are really excited to partner and join with the horticulture department students are there individuals to build our own sod farm to be used for Jack Trice Stadium.”
The farm sod has been sowed and raised and even mowed over a number of months until it was ready to be rolled up. A giant machine rolls the sod into big rolls, then it is loaded onto a truck for a short drive to Jack Trice.
“This is the chance for our program to get to actually do the hands-on research as well as a students to get hands-on management experience,” said Adam Thomes, Iowa State’s Extension Turf Grass Specialist. “They they get the opportunity that should come out practice with what we teach in the classroom.”
Graduate student Tom Gould was in charge of raising the new grass. He had to mow the six acres with a push mower, walking miles each time he mowed.
“This field is made out of sand it’s a 90% sand 10% peat, it’s 10-inch profile and underneath that profile is 4 inches of pea gravel so it’s really free-draining,” said Scheidel. “It allows a lot of water to drain through it so you’ve seen in the last few years that we’ve had some real drenching downpours when there are games here at the stadium, and the field drains really well and it’s design specifically to make that happen.”
The new turf is expected to be ready for the Cyclone football team’s first game September 3.