Sports Fields: How to Fix Common Problems Before They Grow Bigger

Posted on 14 July, 2017 in Schools, Sporting Grounds Sports Fields: How to Fix Common Problems Before They Grow Bigger

In today’s over demanding, digitally-tempting world full of information, kids aren’t enjoying the outdoors enough. Supervised, organised athletic activities allow kids to abandon their digital fortresses and rise to new challenges. They get healthy exercise as they run about in the grass and smell some fresh air. Sports help keep them fit, while honing their kinaesthetic and social skills. Playing allows children and adults alike to experience and find value in teamwork.

What Makes a Good Sports Field?

Sports fields are integral to the community. They’re a place where little and big leagues compete and their fans come to watch. To optimise playing conditions, safety and enjoyment, a sports field should be well-planned, well-marked, well-maintained and aesthetically inspiring. it should be free of pests and weeds. It should be ready to stand up to line drives and ground balls, with no divots, rocks or weed patches to get in the way of a great play.

Address Common Turf Problems Early On

It is important to inspect a sports field at least once a week to spot problems early enough to fix them quickly and easily. Common turf problems include:

  • Poor hydration
  • Bad drainage
  • Reduced aeration
  • Soil compaction
  • Wet weather puddles
  • Dry weather dust
  • Fungus

When it comes to fungus grow, the combination of environmental conditions and turf types can infect an entire surface.

The best way to fix common turf problems is to avoid them whenever possible. When they do crop up, you must address them right away. Turf is a living, growing thing. As it grows, any problems it might have could grow with it. By being well-informed and enlisting the help of an expert, sports field planning is the first step towards turf that will be healthy and easily maintainable in terms of time and cost.

Planning Your Sports, School or Community Field

It may seem daunting to plan a proper sports field at first. The best approach is to take it step by step. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Start from the bottom up. A sports field’s foundation can make or break a maintenance budget. If what’s under a field doesn’t work, you'll need to spend a lot of money to constantly replace or remove the top surface. This is where a professional landscaper can be invaluable to you. They have lots of experience in planning sports fields and can provide the insights you need to get started right.
  • Choose foundations that combine soil, sand and composts to help fields from becoming compacted. Compacted soil can lead to hard and soft patches as well as drainage and irrigation trouble – which can then lead to unhealthy turf – along with a host of bigger problems. Get informed on what combination works best in your area.
  • Make physics work with you, not against you. Professionally grade, level and irrigate your sports field for optimal hydration and drainage.
  • Minimise post-winter dead spot problems by choosing turf that’s more resistant to cold weather. Ask a local expert what the most successful choices are for turf in your location.
  • Choose seed over sod. Seeded turf is less susceptible to damage.

Any turf, however well plotted, will require attention and care. The beautiful thing about sports fields is that they’re used for sports. Sports are impactive, though, with or without cleats. Use smart and regular maintenance to keep your field beautiful.

Sports Fields: How to Fix Common Problems Before They Grow Bigger

Maintain Your Turf Grass to Avoid Problems Down the Line

  • Watch for water. Remove excess surface water whenever possible.
  • Check it often.The best way to maintain turf is to walk on it and check it often. Note any puddling or potential puddling areas. Look for divots and bald spots. Communicate with field managers. Deal with any problems right away to keep them from becoming expensive.
  • Avoid using fields during or immediately after poor weather. This includes excess precipitation, drought, extreme cold and extreme heat.
  • Ask about the benefits of over sowing to avoid spring problems. Consult a professional for advice on this.
  • Tackle problems hands on when necessary. Manual labour helps minimise some problems, such as weed appearance, early on.
  • Test and treat soil periodically. Be sure to do this all year long, including right before winter.
  • Mow and water regularly. Mow and water as needed, but be careful not to overdo it, as this can be problematic, too.
  • Keep your turf height between one and one and a half inches. This is the recommended height for most non-professional sports fields.
  • Fertilise often. Follow the directions on the product you use; however, most experts recommend fertilising four times a year, especially before winter and in the springtime.
  • Use The ‘-Icides’ When Needed: Herbicides, pesticides and fungicides are effective when you use them properly. Use a pre-emergent strategy. For those who aren’t fond of ‘-icides’, the good news is that today’s weed and pest deterrents are more eco-friendly, and in some cases, even organic. Plan in advance, because treatments require time to work before you can seed or use a sports field. Consult with a pro regarding local soil chemistry and adherence to environmental regulations.
  • Avoid Bug Proliferation: At the least, bugs can irritate players and spectators. At the most, they can spread diseases that may even lead to turf destruction. Keep the sports field and its surrounding areas clean. Avoid turf that is too wet or too high.

Your local champions deserve the best field possible. Achieving and maintaining an optimal playing field takes dedication, planning and effort. When a perfectly executed line drive or grounder reaches its intended goal, it pays off in cheers. More importantly, keeping the players and spectators safe is paramount, so be sure to maintain your sports field and ask for help when you need it.

Image references: 12

Keep up to date

We'll keep you up to date with the latest news, product insights, how-to's and tips for getting the most out of your irrigation and landscaping. Don't worry, we keep your details secure.