The maintenance of a sports field with natural grass is a quite complex issue. It is not for nothing that professional clubs pay good money for their green keepers, after all, they have to keep an eye on all kinds of different aspects of sports field maintenance and coordinate them with one another. Even small errors in the maintenance measures can lead to unpleasant publicity on important match days or, in the worst case, to injuries to football players. The main areas of sports turf maintenance can best be categorized into sports field irrigation, lawn fertilization, and lawn length.
Sports field maintenance: it depends on the length
The following applies: the shorter the lawn, the more effort it takes to maintain the lawn. Especially in phases when there is no game, it is advisable to let the lawn grow a little higher. As a result, roots reach deeper, which has a positive effect on the absorption of water and nutrients. When it is mowed differs from month to month. Especially in May, it can happen that the lawn tractor has to be started up to twice a week to maintain the playing field.
As a rough rule of thumb, it is recommended to mow the sports lawn when the height is overgrown by 50-60% of the height. But be careful! If the growth is too long, sudden pruning could be a shock to the lawn. So, it’s better to cut too much than too little.
Artificial turf maintenance: cleaning the artificial turf pitch
In the context of artificial turf care, artificial turf cleaning is of crucial importance. The artificial turf surface should be cleaned weekly – it is recommended that the artificial turf fibers be brushed every two weeks. Machines for artificial turf maintenance can take on several tasks and turn out to be a worthwhile investment for some clubs. For the intensive annual cleaning and maintenance of the artificial turf pitch, the services of specialized companies and service providers are also worthwhile. The professionals have the appropriate sports turf maintenance machines and know which measures make sense at which point in time
Sports field irrigation and fertilization
If you want to fertilize your sports field, you should adhere to certain rules in the context of sports field maintenance. The greenkeeper’s main fertilizer is and remains nitrogen. Not only for lawns – all plants benefit from a nitrogen swell. This promotes growth, especially in the spring months, after which it is important to ensure a balanced supply of nutrients. Phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium are important fertilizers to optimally develop the potential of the lawn.
Also, a little science in itself: the sports field irrigation. Especially with mottos like “a lot helps a lot” you are not doing your lawn a favor. Even when it is very hot in summer, you should always make sure not to water the sports field too much. It is better to irrigate the lawn intensively once and then, depending on the heat, let it dry for several days. This promotes better root growth. With frequent watering of the sports field, the roots remain on the surface, which means that grasses tend to wither more quickly.
Sports ground maintenance costs: artificial turf and natural turf
The costs related to the maintenance of the sports field vary depending on the type of lawn and the frequency of maintenance measures. The regular tasks include cleaning the artificial turf pitch – ideally before training and matches. This ensures that leaves, and dirt do not even get stuck in the artificial turf. This work can be carried out by a groundskeeper. Thorough care of the artificial turf pitch should be carried out annually by a specialist company or with appropriate artificial turf maintenance machines.