It will be a while before your lawn looks ready for spring, but the Milwaukee Brewers need their grass ready for action next Monday.
The grass in the Miller Park outfield is already green as can be. That's because the grounds crew doesn't get an off-season.
Some of the most meticulous work inside the ballpark is in the hands of 50 grounds crew members. They’ve been tending to turf that was grown in the facility last fall. Now, Grounds Director Michael Boettcher said it’s down to the fine-tuning.
"We've been watering, we've been mowing, we're working on our clay surfaces today,” he said.
It’s more than what you see on the field. Boettcher said there’s plenty of science behind tracking soil temperatures, moisture and turf growth headed into the season home-opener.
"The soil sensors in underneath the surface are kicking data back to us constantly so we make sure we're managing the surface to its proper conditions,” he said.
Wisconsin’s winter weather isn’t the only challenge for growing grass at Miller Park. You’d think the retractable roof would help, but Boettcher said it also hurts in ways, requiring synthetic sunshine.
"We don't get much direct sunlight over there, so we're trying to fire up that portion of the field with the grow lights and we'll move them around on the surface over the next week," he said.
Boettcher said they do have Mother Nature to thank for a sunny start to spring. He believes the field is already in mid-season form.
"When these players step on this field a week from today, I want them to experience the same surface they enjoyed all season last year,” he said.