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03-17-2021

Why are Sunflower Seeds Not Allowed on Synthetic Turf?

Baseball is America’s beloved pastime and there are many coveted traditions that come along with a game on the diamond. One of those traditions that seems to go hand-in-hand with baseball or softball are sunflower seeds. There are dozens of flavors now and they help pass an athlete’s time between hitting and playing the field. With the rise of synthetic turf installations at many high school, collegiate, and municipal complexes, fans and athletes alike are learning that their cherished sunflower seeds are typically prohibited on the field. 

Our maintenance team has serviced and deep cleaned hundreds of artificial turf baseball or softball fields over the years, and one of the common issues they run into are scattered seeds throughout the fibers. Sunflower seeds seem like they’re small enough to not cause any issues on a large surface like a softball field, but they can become a huge issue for your system and your athletes. 

The seeds or shells can burrow into the surface over time. Once they make their way further and further into the turf profile, the more impossible it becomes to remove, even with a deep clean service. There are a few major reasons this could create a problem for your facility.

To begin with, seeds and shells can turn into a safety issue when it comes to athletes sliding into a base or to catch a ball, and getting scratched. Unlike with a natural grass field, there is no natural degradation process to break down the seeds, nor a mower to help chop up and distribute them.  As the seeds continue to build up, they can cause troubles for your drainage system and even lead to the growth of bacteria, mold, etc.

If your field or facility is experiencing issues with keeping seeds off of your synthetic turf, be sure to post a sign to deter participants from partaking. It’s also good practice to schedule an annual maintenance visit that can assist in removing as much of the debris as possible and prevent potential problems. 

If you’d like to request either a sign or schedule a deep clean visit, contact us!

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