If you’re the operations manager at a commercial footy club, cricket club, soccer field, or even the big leagues like AFL or perhaps managing a racecourse, and you’ve been put in charge of purchasing new turf or maintaining existing turf on the field, then this one is for you!
Managing a sports field is a job with multiple responsibilities. Maintaining your natural turf is utmost on the list. Here we discuss the steps to expertly maintain your turf and touch on some of the common tasks undertaken regularly to keep the playing surface in the best condition possible. If you’re still in need of further advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call and chat with one of our team members.
The first step after installing your new turf is to develop a maintenance program. Your program should be diligently followed and should incorporate the following aspects.
Mowing twice a week if possible in the springtime when turf begins to grow and flourish will ais in tightening the surface. Regular mowing encourages a dense sward, where high traffic activities take place. It also reduces clumps forming in cool season turf that, apart from appearing unsightly, can also be hazardous to those using the field.
Soil testing is a critical step in the maintenance program as it helps to see what nutrients need to be added. It also saves you time and money on lawn care products down the track. Conduct this test periodically to ensure that your turf is thriving year-round. Get in touch with one of our turf specialists today for more information on how to test or to arrange a soil test.
You should apply fertiliser to turf when it’s most likely to grow. Water your turf post-application if a prill type fertiliser is used to ensure that the fertiliser penetrates the turf and does its job successfully without burning.
Factor in how you water your sporting field. Check if there are signs of drought or blue-grey hue in the turf, and does your turf spring back up when it’s stepped on? These questions will help you determine how much water your turf needs. We advise not to over-water and rack up your water usage by manually watering your turf with the exception of Cricket Wicket tables and pitches. Ensure the water penetrates down to the root system and doesn’t leave water pools. Its far better to water less often and deeper than frequent, shallow and short watering times.
Sometimes overlooked, it is a critical management tool to ensure your turf is always at its healthiest. Aeration is used to help prevent soil compaction, allowing air, water, and lawn care nutrients to reach the root system of your turf. This action should be spaced apart and performed up to six times during the seasons when your sporting field will be used the most. For more information on how to have your turf aerated, give the experts at Anco Turf a call today.
The last action you may consider in your maintenance program is overseeding. Overseeding promotes density and overall quality and helps turf bounce back faster from frequent use during the cooler months. Focus on high-traffic areas and gradually spread across the turf as time and funds permit. Focus on overseeding after aeration, as this will provide an optimal seedbed. Ensure you water your turf after overseeding to kick start the process and keep the area damp until the seed germinates and establishes.
Question: What fertiliser should I use?
Answer: A soil test will determine if trace elements are needed. Usually, a balance NPK type is best used in autumn and a higher Nitrogen content product in spring.
Question: What’s the best way to overseed?
Answer: Large areas are best seeded with a tractor-mounted seeder. Various seeder types are available via contractors. Small areas can be seeded with walk-behind seeders. Anco can recommend a qualified contractor for seeding and fertiliser spreading if required.