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Landscaping Tips from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sportscape Team

Darrell Fry

by , Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

Sportscape Landscaping Tips

At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, there’s a lot of attention paid to keeping the playing fields in tip top shape partly because the pro athletes demand it but more importantly because America’s youth athletes compete there virtually every day. Even though you don’t have big-league ballplayers playing on your lawn, you can still try to keep it in immaculate condition with the help of our sports complex experts.

The staff that grooms all 220 acres of the Complex, known as the Sportscape team, will be passing along their tips and tricks to help you treat your lawn like the pros. To start off our series of tips here are some on general lawn care:

  1. Remember, a thick and healthy turf is the best weed control. It can be beneficial to apply a weed preventer called a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn twice a year. The first application should be applied in February for summer weeds and another in September for winter weeds.
  2. Fertilize your lawn using a slow release fertilizer during the growing season (March – November) every 6-8 weeks. Use a complete fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorous, potash and if possible some micro-nutrients such as iron and sulfur. This will feed your turf and keep it green and lush.
  3. It is better that your lawn receives one good soaking either through rainfall or watering once per week, versus several small applications. Also, it is best to water your lawn during the early morning hours if possible to help prevent disease.
  4. Most lawns need to be mowed at a height of 3.5 – 4 inches tall. This height will keep it greener longer, with less water and less stress on the turf. Keep the cutting blade(s) sharp so you are cutting the turf and not ripping it.

If you have some questions about your lawn and garden, be sure to reply below and we will try to have our Sportscape crew pass along their insight.


  • How do you get such sharp edges from your turf and flower beds? Do you mainly mulch heavy to keep down weeds?

  • Mary Ann – You definitely need to go with sod. Even though you may pull up the weeds, they still have seeds in the ground. If you put grass seed down, you’d just get a mixture of grass and weeds. It’s nearly impossible to keep weeds out of any type of grass. The best thing to do is fertilize and water often, but that can get really expensive. The key to sodding is to loosen the soil first, lay down the sod and then water it every day for 2-3 weeks. After that you should be ok.

  • What about getting rid of moles?

  • I have several sections of lawn that are full of weeds, no grass. After I dig the weeds up, what should I do to the soil to get grass to grow there? Which is better – grass seed or sod?

  • From what I’ve heard, the lines are made by a heavy roller that is pulled behind the mower. It bends the grass over. The different shades are caused by light reflecting off different sides of the blades of grass. So, maybe the light colors you see are folded away from you and the dark towards you. It’s only visible from a distance though. To the players, it all looks the same. Of course, with technology these days, there could be other (better) ways to do it now.

  • Same question I’ve always wondered how they make the patterns in the grass.

  • How do they get the stripes on the outfield?

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