To those who aren’t in the business, a pitch for any sport – including football – can easily appear to be a simple field of grass. However, a football pitch will endure much more abuse than a simple garden lawn thanks to players wearing studded boots and making tackles.
So how do football clubs keep their football pitches in such good condition?
The simple answer is they hire professionals who specialise in pitch upkeep and have years of experience maintaining and healing playing field in between games. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the key elements of maintaining a football pitch.
Pitch maintenance requires a huge amount of time management and planning. As the pitches are – more often than not – in use all year round, the constantly changing weather means that some tasks can only be performed at certain times of the year. For this reason, all professionals will have a maintenance calendar that allows them to keep the pitch in great condition.
Avoid The Rain
It may seem obvious, but grass should never be mown when it’s icy or wet, as the result will often look less than presentable once complete. Of course, use of heavy machinery should also be avoided when the pitch is wet as the tread on the tyres can easily ruin the surface.
Care For Your Equipment
As with all physical jobs, your necessary tools will always need maintaining. Whether they’re hand tools that need to be kept sharp, or machinery that has parts that will need changing periodically, you can’t afford to have down-time if you plan on sticking to your maintenance calendar.
Aerate The Ground
Unlike normal grassland, the quality of the ground during play can depend massively on how impacted the rootzone of the turf has become. Impaction occurs as a result of the hundreds of individuals placing their weight on the turf throughout the season, and once the rootzone becomes impacted, nutrients are prevented from reaching the grass itself and it will become harder to manage.
Always Bear Weather In Mind
It is often the groundsmen of a football club who decide whether or not a game goes ahead due to a waterlogged pitch to prevent irreversible damage. Of course, a waterlogged pitch is also impossible to maintain until it has drained. The weather will stand in the way of many routine tasks, so make sure that you take this into account when managing your time.
Get Your Nutrients Right
Avid gardeners will know the signs of low nutrient levels including wilting leaves, yellowing tips and more. Luckily, this can be countered through the use of additives. By feeding your grass the right combination of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, your turf will have all the food it needs to stay healthy. Also, to prevent nutrients being used up too fast, make sure that you have a human-safe herbicide on hand to keep weed growth at bay.
Maintaining a pitch is a much more in-depth job than many people realise – hence why most teams will sub-contract an external company to make sure everything is taken care of correctly. The benefit of using an external company is that many companies such as Elm House Tree Services can also re-do all the necessary line painting so that it is clearly visible to players and the crowd.
Are you in need of help with your football pitch? Based in Manchester with over 30 years’ combined experience, Elm House Tree Services are qualified specialists who offer competitive prices combined with reliable, friendly customer support.