Planning a Sports Playing Surface – Seeding Sports Fields, Sports Playing Area
When planning on laying seed on a sports pitch, regardless of the level of playing, it is a basic requirement to ensure that the surface is suitable for all abilities.
The ideal playing surface is to be flat and firm pitch that is able to take studs without damaging the grass but also providing a good grip.
Ideally the surface for the sports will have the ability to drain water away quickly to avoid standing water on the surface and also be hard wearing. Good drainage is key to having a natural playing surface, if this is not the case for the surface you are working on, then provisions need to be implemented to manually allow the surface to drain.
Maintaining A Sports Playing Surface – Winter Sports
One of the main reasons a pitch or sports surface will fail, is due to poor maintenance or overuse, typically in winter sports where the ground can often become waterlogged and overused.
- Regular mowing is essential in developing a good sward, particularly during the growing season.
- Applying fertiliser around April – May time will assist in the recovery of sports during the winter months.
- Roughly around 2 weeks after the fertiliser has been applied it is suggested that the ground be verti-drained and sand top dressing applied.
- Sand top dressing helps to maintain a sandy upper level which maximises the drainage ability of the soil. This should be done every spring for best results.
- With hard wear and tear during the winter months, over seeding is essential in certain areas as part of the renovation of the surface.
- During the winter months, any work that needs doing should be limited until it is dry enough to use tractor mounted equipment, if this is done while the surface is wet then there is a likelihood that damage may occur.
Best Grass Seed Mixtures for Sports Fields and Playing Areas
Phoenix Amenity Supplies Ltd has a wide variety of sports seed mixtures that utilise species in a way that will produce the best quality pitches when sown in the right conditions. These mixtures often use amenity perennial ryegrass varieties and slender creeping red fescues as part of the seed mixture. These are the ideal species to give a dense sward and in turn this combination of seed varieties usually produces a fine textured surface with excellent soil binding qualities to create a well-balanced playable pitch. These seed varieties ideal for use on cricket squares, tennis courts and golf tees.
If you have time to establish a new pitch from seed, then the best choice for rugby and football pitches should include amenity perennial ryegrass and smooth-stalked meadow grass. The smooth- stalked meadow grass will help with its good soil binding properties but also helps to prevent divot marks and has good wear tolerant characteristics.
The down side to sowing smooth stalk meadow grass, is that it does not establish well when the growing conditions are cold and also takes a lot longer to establish than some other grass varieties, therefore it does not make a good species for over seeding.
Ideally over-seeding winter sports pitches require a fast establishment and a hard wearing surface, therefore the best choice for these pitches should include amenity perennial rye grass blend which will provide a sturdy fast growing pitch that can withstand heavy wear and tear.