Keeping your football pitch in tip-top condition can be a challenge. Mike Nowick, Contracts Manager from Nigel Jeffries Landscapes, considers how to maintain your football pitch throughout the season.
1. Good mowing makes for a great pitch
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.
2. Choose the maintenance operations that are right for your pitch.
Harrowing, Slit-tining, rolling, verti-draining and brushing can all benefit your football 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.
3. Don’t be afraid to call off matches!
In the event of poor weather conditions, 22 full grown men running all over your soft wet football pitch can undo all of the hard work you have put into getting it in top condition. Your teams will whine and protest, but you have to stay strong.
4. Maintain good weed control
It is important to apply appropriate herbicides to the football field so that the weeds do not take control of the healthy grass. Consult an expert on which chemicals to use before application.
5. Fertilization is important
Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus are all important to your football 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.
6. Manage your budget effectively
Good pitch care machinery can be very expensive, depending on the size of your club and its grounds, 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 probably 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. Take a look at our video to find out more.
If you would like to discuss maintaining your 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.
This blog was originally posted in December 2015, but has been updated in December 2016.