The farm where we board is looking to “grow” a XC field in an area that has had corn in the summer and rye grass in the winter in the past. Going forward - no corn just a turf that they hope will hold up to the rigors of riding / XC. Soil is sand based however the crew farming the land in the recent past have build up a nice layer of top soil. It is a large area (guessing 6 - 8+ acres) with lots of sun / no shade. They also have some lovely composted manure that has been sitting for a decade and ready to be used. Im guessing there are engineers out there who are great at this sort of thing. I was hoping for the contact info of someone I could have the owner reach out to so she can do it the best possible way. Any advice / direction / contacts would be appreciated!
My advice would be to reach out to their local extension agent for recommendations on the toughest grass species that will grow in their weather and geologic area, and speak to local sports field managers to find out what seed they use, and their mowing and other maintenance protocols are.
Good turf needs time to develop root mass so it can withstand hooves, and while it doesn’t need to look as manicured a golf course or soccer field some care at the start will set it up for the long haul.