Five Tips For Great Athletic Field Maintenance
An athletic field is where sports events take place. While most of these are outdoors, several are made with enclosure as protection against bad weather. The field is made with sand, dirt or grass which can either be natural or synthetic. The most widely used is grass, usually Bermuda or Bahiagrass. A good field must feature adequate water drainage, a well-designed and installed irrigation system, and a regular and well thought out maintenance program.
Athletic field maintenance can be a daunting task especially if you don't have substantial budget. Aside from this, these play areas are usually being used constantly so there is little time available to accomplish everything that is needed for its proper upkeep. Here are some of the things that should be done for the proper maintenance of athletic fields.
Choose Your Mower According To Your Grass
In mowing athletic fields, it is necessary to use the right mower for each type of grass. To mow Bermuda grass you will need a reel mower because its scissor-type method produces the finest cut and this should be done 2 to 3 times a week. For Bahiagrass, a rotary mower should be used because it is more effective for its tough stems and leaves.
Fertilize In a Timely Manner
Another concern for athletic field maintenance is fertilizing the turf. Nitrogen and potassium should be applied to it at the right time and with the right amount to help the grass become wear resistant and recover from the effects of constant use. Phosphorous should be applied only once a year specifically in spring or early fall.
To maintain the right playing surface, proper irrigation is necessary. This should be done immediately after each sports events and practices to prevent the turf from drying out. You must not irrigate daily though as this will make turf rooting shallow and would invite pests. Look for signs such as wilting and having bluish-grey color before irrigating the turf.
Dethatching should be done during spring and irrigate the turf immediately after the clippings and other dead matters are removed. To relieve compaction of the soil, coring is needed to encourage deep rooting and proper soil-oxygen penetration for a well maintained turf. It is also important to add a thin layer of soil to the turf surface for thatch control and leveling out of the playing surface.
A poorly maintained athletic field will be infested with insects and weeds. In order to prevent diseases and pests from invading your turf, plant seeds that have been treated with fungicide and observe proper irrigation practices.
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