When you walk into and around your sports complex, you notice the one thing that most don’t—the natural grass that takes a lot of effort to maintain a beautiful look for the whole field. If you’re having issues properly maintaining your high-wear areas, here are some tips to help you out.
Identify All Your High-Traffic Areas
In order to fix those weakened areas, you first need to identify them. Depending on the type of field that your sports complex has, there are areas that are more prone to traffic than others. For soccer fields, these areas are going to be at the goalmouths. For football, this is going to be the sidelines, 20-yard lines, and the hash marks. Make a list of these areas so you can focus the majority of your maintenance on these areas. Also make note of any bystander areas or paths that have been worn down by heavy traffic. These will also need to be maintained more regularly.
Fertilize And Seed Early
You should be working to create the best sod for your sports complex before the season even starts. Areas that are going to receive a high amount of traffic should be seeded and a commercial fertilizer should be put down. Then, the area should be avoided for at least two full weeks. By limiting the traffic in these areas for a couple of weeks, you allow the seeds to start growing effectively before the high-traffic hits. Consider doing these tasks in the early spring, well before outdoor sports practice hits its peak.
Grade The Soil
When athletes utilize the high traffic areas, they tend to dig in their heels for better traction. This results in a decrease in the sod density of the area. Once the bare ground is revealed, this is when the soil is extremely susceptible to divots where the grass won’t grow back on its own. Grading the soil before you reseed is a must. This way, any divots can be properly removed from the soil. Otherwise, it’s going to be difficult for the grass to grow as the spots that have divots will accumulate too much water.
Consider Implementing An Overseeding Program
During the regular playing season, you’ll want to consider implementing an overseeding program. Once the soil is properly prepared by removing unwanted divots, you’ll want to start laying down seed. A good recommendation is adding about two pounds of seed for every 1,000 square feet of field. You’ll want to continue this weekly application for about 14 weeks. Start before the playing seasons begin, and keep with the routine through the fall. Be sure to talk with a local lawn care professional to determine what type of seeds are best for your purposes.
Taking care of high-wear areas on your field starts with understanding the state your fields are in now, and what needs to be done in the future for improvement. The above are four tips that will help you to identify your high-traffic areas and work to fix them. Remember that staying consistent with your repairs and planning ahead of time is a must to have a great looking sports complex all through the year.