Updated: Jan 31
For Joey Elmore of Virginia’s Salem Red Sox, new ideas often come from colleagues around the world via social media.
“I’m active on Twitter in the turf community and I like to follow what people are doing and spot new NFC and it’s a great way to find new products and practices.products and practices. That’s where I first learned about TurfMend and met Jeff Stahman virtually. We followed each other and he messaged back and forth a bit. That’s when I started to look into it.”
Like too many of baseball’s minor league grounds pros, Elmore has to do a lot with a little. It’s just him, his assistant and a handful of game day workers. Time is of the essence…and that’s what attracted him to the concept of TurfMend.
“One of my biggest problems is we constantly beat up the same areas in the front of the mound, between second base and shortstop and we’re always dealing with clay contamination. We’re also focused on keeping the edges as flat as they can possibly be.”
In the past, that meant constantly throwing down sand and seed as well as solid-tining and pitchforking trying to keep high-traffic areas healthy.
“With TurfMend it’s super easy,” says Elmore. “It was a no-brainer.”
Elmore says he’s using it just about everywhere on his field, but most heavily around the mount, second base/shortstop, around the halo, position areas in the outfield, and walk-ups and edges. “We just spread it anywhere that gets the most beat up. It saves me personally a couple of hours of mixing time a week, at least.”
How? To do it right, it took time. “I was taking sand and mixing my own seed blends myself. If you haven’t done that before you don’t realize how much time it takes, particularly for covering several thousand square feet. Having just the right mix of material ready to go was a huge time saver!
And second, “Jeff is someone who’s been in the turf industry and grown grass professionally. He understands our challenges and how important rapid germination and getting the right ratios of sand can be. They did an excellent job of getting the ratios right with TurfMend.”
Barenbrug’s support is “a huge plus” for Elmore too. He uses a combination of HGT from Barenbrug and 365SS from Mountain View seeds. “They have fantastic products that work incredibly well.”
Even though it was a no-brainer to Elmore, he still made sure it worked financially. “I talked with my GM and told him we wanted to invest in a product that would save us a lot of money in the long run, and he was all for it. It’s turned out to be a huge lifesaver because this is the best we’ve looked around the mound in a long time despite 150 events and historically hot and humid Virginia weather.”
So, what does he tell colleagues about TurfMend?
“My biggest takeaway is how much Jeff really loves this product and how much time and effort he’s put into it. You can clearly tell from the results. First, it’s the quality of the product. Second, it’s his knowledge and experience. He knows what he’s talking about, and I really appreciate that.”