The care of the soccer pitch lawn
The soccer field is a set size area with a uniform density and texture of grass with a mixture of perennial grasses. The surface of the pitch provides a perfectly smooth sliding and even bouncing off the ball from it.
A soccer field must have a sufficiently strong and resilient turf, capable of withstanding playing loads in different weather conditions and recovering to its former state after the implementation of maintenance measures. Grass maintenance techniques are necessary to maintain high vitality of plants, their abundant shoots for many years.
Basic care rules of the soccer field
In the system of care of sports lawn grasses, there are agrotechnical, chemical, and organizational measures.
Agrotechnical measures include mowing, watering, regular combing and removal of dead plant residues, maintenance of optimal water-air regime, and granulometric composition of the soil, seeding.
Chemical measures involve the use of mineral fertilizers, chemical plant protection agents, and growth stimulants.
Organizational measures are aimed at compliance with the recommended values of organizational measures are aimed at compliance with the recommended values of the load on the lawn, monitoring the condition of the grass.
Basic lawn care solutions for the soccer field:
- Mowing lawn grass more frequently to remove infected leaves
- Removal of clippings
- Abundant but batch watering at intervals
- Nitrogen fertilizer application
- Rust-resistant varieties of lawn grass
- Always keep in mind that mixes of varieties (or combinations of turfgrass species) cope better with the effects of disease
Mowing the soccer field lawn grass
Usually, 2-4 times per week when the grass is actively growing. The frequency depends largely on climatic conditions, although modern facilities compensate for nature by providing watering, etc. It is important to ensure proper frequency for the plants to adapt.
- First longitudinally in the case of a staggered arrangement, and then transversely
- Mow less than 8 hours before the match
- For a better look, perform mowing the day before the match as well. The old manuals recommend the first cut at a plant height of 6-8 cm.
- New cultivars should be cut earlier, perhaps at a height of 5-6 cm.
A better indicator instead of the word “height” is the stage of the beginning of tillering. The first mowing should be “gentle” and is usually done with a rotary mower.
You should inspect your lawn regularly to check for moisture, grass quality, and health. A field of healthy grass has far fewer weeds. Good maintenance and healthy grass will prevent excessive weeds from appearing on your lawn. Otherwise, you may need to use herbicides in the off-season.
Removal of clippings
Sweep, vacuum, or otherwise conveniently remove grass clippings after each mowing from April through October.
Natural precipitation will provide a significant portion of your water needs. Irrigation is the norm for all stadiums. It is helpful to keep the soil moist after seeding and to prepare the surface for game day.
- Watering a newly planted sports lawn
Ryegrass germinates within 5-7 days, with the soil surface constantly moist. This can be achieved with 3-4 waterings per day. After germination, the frequency can be reduced, but it is important not to let the soil dry out at the top, as there is a risk of losing all the seeds/plants.
- Watering a well-established sports lawn
The goal is to water to a depth of 15 cm, which corresponds to the root zone. For deeper rooting and to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, it is better to apply a few heavy watering rather than frequent but short ones.
On the sandy substrate, abundant watering is useless because moisture retention is insufficient. Large amounts of water on clay soils increase the risk of water stagnation at the surface.
Example amount of water:
– 20 mm three times a day on sandy substrate
– 2 x 30 mm on clay substrate
Tips: Plan to water in the late evening or early morning when temperatures are lower, and it’s usually less windy. The foliage is already wet and watering will not increase the risk of disease. Based on evapotranspiration and irrigation system performance, it is important to estimate or measure the actual need for watering.
In addition to providing good growth conditions for grasses, irrigation also contributes to optimal quality for the game.
Main grass types for sports lawns
Pasture ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is by far the fastest-growing perennial lawn grass and one of the most resistant species to tearing and trampling.
The importance of pasture ryegrass has increased over the past 20 years to the detriment of meadow bluegrass. This can be explained by the increased frequency of games and the need for rapid regeneration.
Grassland ryegrass has also made tremendous progress through breeding, while meadow bluegrass has improved at a slower rate. Grassland ryegrass has advanced in almost every area: hardiness, thinness, density, disease resistance.
Poa pratensis – meadow bluegrass
Considered by some breeders to be the “best lawn species” because of its combination of high resistance to trampling and self-restoring with rhizomes. Unfortunately, the use of this variety has declined over the past 20 years, mainly because of its weakness: very slow rooting. We continue to strongly recommend the inclusion of meadow bluegrass in all-new crops. Even a few successfully rooted plants can spread and fill in gaps, and rhizomes will strengthen the “underground carpet”.
Festuca rubra commutata – red stiff fescue
This fine-leaved, very dense lawn grass is very winter hardy. Limited resistance to trampling is improved by mixing with meadow bluegrass and pasture ryegrass. The rooting rate is good.
Festuca arundinacea – reed fescue
Reed fescue has undergone tremendous genetic improvement over the past 20 years, perhaps as much progress as grassland ryegrass. It is an inherently trample-resistant species, and the new varieties have much thinner leaves and, more importantly, form an extremely dense cover. Through breeding, dwarf types with reduced mowing requirements have been bred without losing the species’ main advantage of superior drought tolerance compared to other temperate species. It is also one of the most salt-tolerant species.
Nitrogen fertilizer application
The main purpose of lawn grass fertilization is to provide adequate nutrition, which helps increase lawn density and, in turn, improves field safety and playing conditions. Nitrogen (N) is the nutrient that primarily controls turf growth and density, and is needed in the greatest quantity.
If sufficient nitrogen is supplied, the turf will have a strong root system, high shoot density, maximum regenerative potential, and resistance to environmental stress. In addition, varieties that have a color response to nitrogen will darken when fertilized. Insufficient or low nitrogen levels will result in reduced shoot density, stress tolerance, and ability to recover quickly from road damage, as well as promote weeds and some diseases such as rust, red thread, and spot blotch.
But excessive amounts of nitrogen can be detrimental to turf due to reduced rooting, stress tolerance, and wear tolerance. Excess nitrogen can also increase straw growth and contribute to diseases that develop in high nutrient environments, such as snow mold, leaf spots, and brown spots.
Scarifying, combing out, scarifying. There is often confusion about which term to use. Some tools perform two or more operations, and the result will depend on the adjustment (working depth, etc.).
In fact, it is most convenient to distinguish by the primary purpose (often a combination of the following three operations):
- Reducing the accumulation of dead residue
- Removal of already existing dead residues
- Aeration of the upper part of the root zone (from depth to surface, depending on the working depth)
A scarifier is a tool for “the vertical cutting of turf” in order to remove “excessive density” on the surface of the lawn and cutting stolons (underground shoots) and horizontally growing foliage and moss. Moss removal has the greatest effect – it promotes a healthy and durable lawn.
It can remove dead residue, but its main purpose is to prevent its accumulation.
To summarize, we can say that scarifying/scrubbing:
- Shapes a place for reseeding – possibly after two passes
- Creates a small seedbed
- Cleans and levels
- Suppresses development of broadleaf weeds or those with long stalked shoots
- Rejuvenating pruning gives new energy, old leaves are removed
- Performed when the grass is growing well
If the scarifier blades are adjusted to a sufficient depth, they also perform a comb-out. When the blades are rotated in the opposite direction to the direction of travel, the efficiency is often astounding.
- Combing 2 to 4 times a year depending on the amount of dead debris
- Scarifying 2 to 6 times per year depending on the grass species used
- Only when the grass is actively growing
- Excavated dead wood and plant material must be removed
- Ideally can be carried out prior to hollow-cone/aeration and sanding. In addition, the result of seeding is considerably improved
- Approximately two weeks before combing – apply fertiliser if necessary
- If necessary, apply herbicide at least one week before combing
- Water the day before combing
- Mow by about 25 mm
Aeration is one of the most effective methods decompaction. This operation should be carried out at a temperature of 59-82 ° F on wet turf, but in sunny weather to dry the cores quickly, which improves their collection.
See also: Best Lawn Aerators for Yard
In the case of light aeration, the soil is ploughed in with discs, blades, or tines. The blades are about 5 mm wide and make slits in the ground to a depth of 4-5″.
Frequency: Every three weeks during active growth and in winter (in regions with mild climates). Avoid scarifying during very cold or hot periods.