SEDGWICK, Kan. (KSNW) – Every day, for the past three months, three acres of Bermuda grass have been getting special care.
“We mow it everyday, just to keep it down so it doesn’t get away from us,” said Ted Wilbur, Sod Shop of Wichita owner.
The Sod Shop of Wicita carved out a special spot on its 30-acre Latitude 36 Bermudagrass farm in Sedgwick for the portion that will be be used for the infield grass at the Wichita’s new baseball stadium.
Wilbur pointed out the difference in height between the grass for the stadium and the rest of the grass on the farm.
“This is mowed at about an inch and a half, our normal maintenance, where this is mowed at a half inch for the ball field,” said Wilbur. “They like to play on a pretty short mat in other words.”
So short, Wilbur says he had to invest in a fairway mower. It’s what’s typically used to cut the grass on a golf course.
“It mows real nice and low down to a half inch or even lower if you want it to. We’re taking care of it kind of like a golf course does,” said Wilbur.
Crews also fertilized it three times in the three months they’ve been preparing it. Just last week they added rye grass to keep the Bermuda green through the winter.
“It’s a Bermuda which means it’s a warm season grass. The rye grass will take over in late fall and in the winter and early spring while the Bermuda is dormant, so it will have green grass almost year round that way,” said Wilbur.
It’s a grade of grass Wilbur says will give the athletes the best playing surface.
“It was developed by Oklahoma State. It is real aggressive and what that means is, it does well with high traffic, in other words, soccer, baseball, what have you,” said Wilbur. “Actually, the [Kansas City] Royals have it on their infield and they’ve had really good luck with it.”
Wilbur says all the extra care to get it ready for it’s new home will be worth it.
“We’re just excited to be able to work with Baseball 2020 and excited about the new field going into Wichita,” said Wilbur. “It’s been a fun project.”
Wilbur says the grass is expected to be laid at the stadium later this month. The home opener for Wichita Baseball 2020 is April 14.