When it comes to the turf in the middle of a sports field, the best and worst thing that can happen to it is concentrated play. When all the action takes place in the center of the field, it can make it difficult to keep the turf in those areas healthy and green.
Some sports field managers may not realize that the middle of the field needs more attention than other parts of the field. However, in order to keep your center field playable, you will need to give it a little more attention than the outer areas.
“It is a high-wear area that demands a lot more attention than any other part of the field,” said Troy Smith, National Sports Turf Products Sales Manager for Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply.
In order to maintain your turf’s strong center, here’s what you can do.
Preventative care is key in combatting worn turf areas and several measures can be taken to keep your field’s center healthy. One of those measures is preventive seeding, which you can learn more about in this video.
“If you take part in preventative seeding when the wear happens you have seedlings coming up to replace the damaged grass,” Smith said. “A great time to put seed down is prior to practices so that the athletes cleat the seed into the soil for you!”
Another preventative measure is fertilization. Proper fertilization for optimum turf health helps the center of your field withstand the wear of the season,” Smith said.
Sometimes it is too late for preventative care and the middle of your field is already damaged. In this case, evaluate the size of the wear area, your budget and when you need to have the field playable again.
One option is to re-sod the area. “Re-sodding will be the quickest way to fix the middle of your field with instant greening of the area,” Smith said. This method is often more expensive than others, but is the quickest way to make your field playable again.
If you are in a situation that allows for the field to have some time to recover (like the off season) then aerification—the process of creating holes in the field you can fill with fertilizer and seed—is a good option.
“Aerification, along with overseeding and topdressing, is a slower process and can be accomplished during the off season of a field to build a strong turf grass plant for the next season that will better withstand wear and tear,” Smith said.
Do you have a field center that needs some attention? Stop by your local Ewing store and let one of our trained professionals help you find the best products to fit your field needs.