KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Even if you started watering and mowing your yard already this year, don’t feel bad if it doesn’t look as green as the grass the Kansas City Royals play baseball on.
The grounds crew at Kauffman Stadium has created what they call the “greenest lawn in Kansas City,” which looks much different than their yards at home.
Although the grass started turning green and lush at Kauffman before the season even began, it took a lot of work to get the field ready.
“This is probably the most challenging spring we've had in the 20 years we've had natural grass,” said Trevor Vance, Royals Director of Groundskeeping.
The frigid winter made the Royals grounds crew of 13 have to borrow extra tarps from the Chiefs at neighboring Arrowhead Stadium.
“With their help, they provided us with some additional grow tarps. We were able to put them on and heat up the soil and make the grass think it was much warmer than it really was,” Vance said.
The grass started growing in early March. The grounds crew workers were able to work their magic on the huge field at Kauffman Stadium, so just imagine what their own lawns must look like at home.
“It's brown right now,” Royals grounds crew member Craig Barry said with a laugh.
“I used to take pretty good care of it, but I'm pretty busy up here,” said fellow grounds crew worker Paul Brack.
“My lawn looks like a goat ranch; I’ve got two dogs,” Vance said.
The crew says the last thing they want to do after a long day at the stadium is have to go home and spend more time outside - watering, fertilizing, and maintaining their own yards.
“You know, we don't get letters from the homeowners’ association, but it's definitely not the nicest yard on the block,” said Vance, adding that his wife is very understanding about their yard while his neighbors actually love it. “Both the neighbors to the left and right yards look better than mine. They feel good about that.”
Vance considers the K his real lawn, which he works to maintain as “the greenest in Kansas City.”
“If people want to see my yard I tell them to come out to the K because this is where I put in all my time and effort,” said Vance.
The Royals grounds crew does have advice for homeowners who do have time to spend on their lawns. They recommend cutting the grass short in the spring to help let the sun reach the soil so it can grow. Then, start fertilizing in the fall for the following year.