Last Saturday marked the start of the Six Nations, a showcase of some of the world’s finest athletes competing in a tough, physical contest. However, rugby isn’t just brutal for the competitors, it can be brutal on the pitch too! So here are 6 of our top tips to keep your rugby pitch in great condition.
- Make sure you have your pre-game strategy right!
All great rugby teams are built on great planning, and rugby pitches are no different. Harrowing, Slit-tining, rolling, verti-draining and brushing can all benefit your rugby pitch. However, it is important that you carry out the correct operation based on the current requirements of your pitch. The wrong activity at the wrong time will do more harm than good. Consult a pitch care specialist if you are unsure of what you need.
- Great mowing to improve performance
The field should be cut at all times of the year. The height of the cut depends on the season and the weather. One important factor to consider is that your field should never be allowed to grow to the point where the freshly cut grass does not blend into the surface. During the warm months the grass should be kept to a height of 1-2 inches and in the cooler months it should be 2-3 inches. Never rake off the excess grass cuttings from the pitch, this can cause unnecessary damage and can be avoided by timely grass cutting. Follow these steps and watch the silky rugby follow!
- Don’t be afraid to call off matches!
In the event of poor weather conditions, 30 rugby players running all over your soft wet rugby pitch can undo all of the hard work you have put into getting it in top condition. Your teams will whine and protest and having two 18 stone rugby players staring you down can be a little scary, but you have to stay strong. Remember it’s for the good of the pitch and for the good of rugby.
- Nutrition isn’t just for players
While the players are carefully plan their pre-match diet you should consider your fertilisation strategy. Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus are all important to your rugby pitch. However, they can also be the enemy when found in excess. It is important to choose the right fertiliser and seek advice from a turf expert before applying any products to your pitch. Core sampling can be used to assess the exact needs of your pitch and ensure you choose the correct fertilizer for your needs.
- Maintain good weed control
It is important to apply appropriate herbicides to the rugby field so that the weeds do not take control of the healthy grass. Consult an expert on which chemicals to use before application.
- Manage your budget
Good pitch care machinery can be very expensive, depending on the size of your club and your grounds. However, there are a number of options. It may be better to hire the machinery you need rather than buy. It may also work out cheaper to bring a specialist contractor on board to carry out the works for you. A mini tractor and Slit-tiner can cost upwards of £20,000 … for the same cost you could have a qualified contractor attend to all your pitch care for 5-10 years!
Nigel Jeffries Landscapes provides a full range of sports pitch and grounds maintenance services to schools, parish councils and football clubs in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Surrey. Why not take a look at our video to find out more?
If you would like to discuss maintaining your rugby pitch, football pitch, cricket pitch or other sports grounds please do get in touch with us on 01276 4776 365. We would be delighted to hear from you