Sports pitches and golf courses require a lot of work to keep up to scratch. There can be a lot to consider, such as natural vs. synthetic grass, watering, and the best machinery to care for the grass. But what are the benefits of each, and what are the solutions to problems which can arise?

On Home Turf – Caring for Sports Turf

Real or Fake?

Artificial grass has grown in popularity for residential lawns and sports turf. It has a couple of advantages, such as low maintenance and not needing any watering. It will not be damaged by foot traffic from football games or weather changes such as drought, cold or rain.

However, it is not environmentally friendly, as a petroleum product. When it does come time to dispose of it, the synthetic material will sit in landfill for hundreds of years. Like many plastic products, it can cause plastic particles to enter the soil which is harmful. Synthetic turf can be up to five times as expensive as natural turf or grass seeds. As it does not have roots, synthetic grass can contribute to soil erosion and flooding, because there is nothing to soak up the water or prevent the soil from shifting.

While it takes more effort to establish and maintain, natural grass is far more ecologically sound. It captures carbon dioxide, gives out oxygen and provides a habitat for insects in the soil. Natural grass is also more aesthetically pleasing and easier to fix if it is damaged.

But actually, we think there is nothing better than the real thing! Where would the variety of a game of cricket be without a bit of swing from a good wicket? Or a cup final at Wembley on their grass pitch? Although even Wembley’s pitch is a mixture of real grass and a small percentage of artificial!

WFM180 Winton Finishing Mower Farmtrac

Minimum Effort Machines

Keeping the grass perfectly trimmed is one of the more time-consuming parts of turf maintenance. As sports fields and golf courses need a close finish of a couple of centimetres high, it is important to choose a mower which is capable of this. Finishing mowers, such as the ranges from Winton or Fleming, are specifically designed to give a very close cut. Winton specifically has a professional series of finishing mowers, which can cut as low as 2cm!

Fertilising the grass can be a large task, depending on the area size, but the Fleming PTO Spreader can be used to shave hours off. It can also be used to spread new seeds over damaged areas. To keep the grass well-watered with minimum waste, flexible pipes can be set into the soil or around the boundaries with very little recovery time by the Winton or Deleks Ripper and Pipe Layer.

A roller is essential to keep the field flat for just about any sport. The FTS Field Roller’s weight can be adjusted to give the perfect pressure to flatten the ground but leave the grass undamaged. The Fleming Aerator is the ideal way to prevent flooding or boggy ground, by piercing the soil to stop it compacting without damaging the grass.

Grasscare Considerations

Good preparation can save a lot of time later on. Testing the soil for nutrients and pH is vital information to understand how to get the best results from the grass. Extra seeding in high traffic areas can also help with keeping the grass thick and luscious. The grass may also benefit by using drought-resistant grasses as part or all of the turf make-up. Some species are much more tolerant of different shade levels, drought and traffic, so picking one of these species could save time, effort and water.

With the right preparation, maintenance and machines, grasscare, even on sports turf, can be done with less time and effort.