How To Care For A Football Field

How To Care For A Football Field

Football season is an intense, exciting, and grueling time for fans and players
alike. However, Field Managers have their work cut out for them when it comes
to keeping football fields in top condition. The expectation is that football fields
look beautiful and are safe.

Football fields should be inspected at least once a week during the growing
season. Field managers should do the following things during an inspection:

 

  •  Run a soil test
  •  Look for mowing issues
  •  Inspect water drainage
  •  Check the soil for compaction
  •  Look at high traffic areas for damage
  •  Check for weeds and diseases
  •  Write up a weekly report as a tracking measure

Fertilize Most football fields are fertilized from May through August to maximize
growth during the growing period.

Aeration Soil becomes compacted along the sidelines most often. Field
managers need to aerate the field in major compacted areas. This must be
accomplished in time for the field to be ready for play.

Overseeding This is usually done in the Fall to prepare for the winter months
when football fields are used less often.

Proper Mowing Football fields should be mowed fairly low. ¾ to 1 ½ inches in
height or even lower is ideal. You can slightly raise the mowing height in the Fall
to promote winter hardiness. If possible, mow the field from end zone to end
zone early in the week while the grass is actively growing. Control your mower
speed, especially on those frequent turns.

Save Clippings Field Managers should not throw away the grass clippings after
a season of mowing. Instead, use these as mulch to prevent weeding and to
improve the soil composition. Mulch on football fields also protects the root
surfaces of the grass near the soil from all the trampling, stamping, and running
that the turf has to endure during a game.

Proper Irrigation Football fields should be watered deeply and infrequently. 1 to
1 ½ inches of water per growing week is ideal for most football fields. If a field
has just been laid, water frequently but lightly for best results.
Other things to consider when properly caring for a football field:

  •  Preventing or minimizing play or practice when field is wet
  •  Rotating areas of play and practice to allow turfgrass recovery
  •  Avoiding concentrated foot traffic, such as band or cheerleader practice
  •  Allowing newly planted fields to mature before practice or play begins
  •  Have separate play and practice facilities
  •  Allowing turfgrass recovery from winter dormancy before using it

Properly maintaining a football field will make it safe for the players, which is
most important. A regular care and maintenance routine that incorporates all the
above measures will keep the field in top condition for longer periods of time and
thus reduce the operational costs of your team.

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