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Construction Of Sports Turf Research Area At Iowa State

June 15, 2015

Here is a blog from Dan Strey, research associate at the turf research site.  It is about the new construction that he is doing at the Hort Research Station.  This will be part of the turf field day on July 23, 2015.

ISU Expanding Sports Turf Research
June 15, 2015
Dan Strey

Just over a couple of weeks ago, we began construction of a new three acre site that will be used for future sports turf research. The area will be divided into three different plots. The first being a native soil field. Topsoil from the existing site was stripped and stockpiled prior to reshaping. Once the clay subgrade was moved and leveled, ten to twelve inches of topsoil was then placed on top. The second plot will evaluate sand topdressing over existing native soil fields. The construction process will be similar to that of the native soil field. Once the area is seeded, topdressing will begin to take place. Lastly, the third plot will have a four inch sand cap. The subgrade will contain a minimum of four inches below the sand cap. The three plots were designed to represent the major types of fields being used and constructed in the state of Iowa as well as the Midwest.

The rough grade is nearing completion. We spent the last two weeks moving over 6,000 cubic yards of soil. We expect to begin the irrigation work within the next week or two. The system includes 72 heads, 24 electric valves, 8 isolation valves, 12 quick couplers, 3 miles of wire and 1.25 miles of pipe. Once complete, we will move on to the drainage system.

Last week the Iowa State News Service published a press release regarding the construction project. They included a video from the site. The link to the release is

 The Ames Tribune also ran a story on this last week, here is the link

Planning for the project started last fall where we identified the location, plans were constructed, and  sought out donations to help fund the project. We had an overwhelming response from the turf, irrigation, and construction industries. By early spring, the project was 100% funded. Here is a list of our sponsors and donors.


Hunter Industries

Cresline Pipe

Nibco Valves

Regency Wire

John Deere Landscapes

Rainbird Irrigation

Ziegler Caterpillar

Trimble GPS

Iowa Turfgrass Institute

Iowa Sports Turf Managers Assoc.

United Seeds

Bush Sports Turf

Lasco Fittings, Inc.

Harco Fittings

MTI Distributing

ISU Department of Horticulture


Thank you to everyone who has helped make this project happen!

Dan Strey


 Here are some pictures from the construction process.  As of June 15, the subgrade has been completed and the top soil placed. 



Dr. Nick Christians

Nick Christians Photo
Area of Expertise: 
turfgrass education, fertility, natural herbicides

Update On Sports Turf Research Area Construction

August 12, 2015

The construction of the new sports turf research area at the Iowa State Turfgrass Research Facility is going surprisingly well in spite of a very wet summer (See June 15 blog  The area has very good surface drainage and pretty good subsurface drainage.  Dan and Zach finished the irrigation system late last week and are in the process of settling the trenches and placing the sand on the sand-capped area..  On Friday of this week, Derek York of Bush sports turf will arrive to do the final grade.  Seeding will take place this weekend if the weather cooperates.  Stay tuned for further updates as the area is grown in.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this effort.