Athletic Field Expectations And Maintenance Plan Considerations
Field expectations are frequently the measuring stick of success for an athletic field, regardless of its use. Different sports like football, soccer and lacrosse all create different demands placed upon a field, and, in many cases, the same field. Understanding your expectations is always the first key to success. Once you know the expectations, you can zero in on the specific events that field will host. Traffic patterns on a field will vary based on the activity, which will create different maintenance strategies. The strategies during a football game will vary significantly from those during soccer. Once you have a grasp on the field’s intended use over the course of the entire season, you can begin to piece together a maintenance plan to meet the perceived expectations.
Maintenance Plan Considerations
- Cultivation – How often will you have the ability to pull cores or punch holes? Cultivation in many cases can be your key to success! If you can manage the wear and traffic and minimize compaction throughout the season, your turf’s roots will be in great shape.
- Fertilizer – What are your fertilizer limitations? Is it budget? What is your perceived-risk associated with fertilizer applications? Regardless of what you view your biggest challenge, your Advanced Turf Solutions professional will be there to guide your decision making process. If you need more organic options, our Healthy Grow + Holganix products (Healthy Grow 10-3-2 + Holganix) will provide an affordable reduced-risk option.
- Irrigation – How’s the irrigation system? In many cases the answer is poor or absent. In the case of the photo below, the water pattern depicted was a common theme on the entire field, and an overhaul of the entire system was required. Using turgrasses better adapted to a limited or absent water supply, or the proper wetting agents to manage extended periods of drought, will only improve your chances of meeting your field expectations.
Whatever the challenges or obstacles, one thing is certain. Natural grass fields can handle everything thrown at them, and that is even true for those fields hosting the youngest of participants.
The more opportunities our youth teams have to play on quality, natural grass fields, the more they will demand to play on natural grass as they get older. Don’t be afraid to embrace the expectations that will come with those demands and challenge yourself to exceed them. It will only leave a smile on the face of those who get to enjoy them!
ATS Sales Representative