Winters in Minnesota are harsh, that much is common knowledge. But something more arcane, and interesting, is how Minnesota United plan to prepare their newly laid grass at Allianz Field to thrive in entirely unfavorable weather.
Head groundskeeper Ryan Moy spoke with the Loons' official site to explain just how that grass will stay vibrant green for the first match at their new home, starting with how the grass was specifically curated for this climate thanks to data collected by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program.
It just comes down to science.
Pitch Perfect pic.twitter.com/295ycfjj3T— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) October 24, 2018
“You would absolutely want it to be more about science," Moy said. "Because then you have these knowns. Based on that theory, you replicate certain objectives or certain strategies and you get a certain outcome and then press the repeat button.”
Moy explains right now the goal is to continue the process rooting the grass. This is aided by warm air being pushed through underground pipes to keep the soil unseasonably warm.
“Right now, soil temps are set at 60 degrees and they've been holding there ever since we started that system up a few weeks ago,” said Moy. “Once the [air] temperatures are there that are indicating to shut it down, we'll just start slowly dialing back that heat maybe one or two degrees per day and then once we get to 30-degree soil temp or matching the ambient air, we pull the lights off put it to bed. Then we'll look at waking it up and probably late-February, early-March.”
With all the specific scientific jargon that goes into the process, Moy broke it down a bit easier for the uninitiated to understand, with a musical analogy.
“Imagine you have an amplifier in front of you,” Moy said. “And you have a particular track that you like and you can you can play it on a speaker and you make a certain sound quality out of it. But then once you add the amplifier and you're able to manipulate all these different knobs, you can come out with something that is customized and of much higher value and in most instances, much better quality, and that is really what it's about.”
And soon the grass will be ready to rock-n-roll for 2019.