Football is a passionate sport: from the fans in the stands to the players on the pitch. If you’re involved in the upkeep of a football pitch, that same passion can show with the way the pitch itself is maintained. After all, a good pitch can make a big difference come kick-off time.
Here are our top five tips for maintaining a football pitch.
According to several football pitch experts (including those associated with clubs in the Premier League), the grass on a football pitch should never be allowed to exceed 60mm in length. That means regular mowing and frequent TLC – even in the off-season.
During the playing season, the recommended grass length is between 25 and 30mm long. To achieve this, it’s recommended that your pitch has a minimum of 20 cuts per year, allowing for additional cuts to be made if the weather is good and promotes a faster rate of growth.
Fertilising your pitch can be an effective way of ensuring it’s well maintained and continues to grow and recover healthily. An unfertilised pitch can lead to a weak pitch that recovers a slow rate – which is far from ideal during the height of the season.
However, like anything in life, too much of a good thing can quickly become bad news. Excessive use of fertiliser – particularly nitrogen – can lead to a number of problems and cause your turf to damage more easily.
As with any grassy terrain, football pitches can be susceptible to weed growth, which can be both an eye-sore for the fans and an annoyance for the players. This doesn’t just apply to the aesthetics either - a weed-free pitch also provides a better surface for the players to perform.
When it comes to weed prevention, herbicides can be a great way to ensure your pitch stays in peak condition. However, it’s worth noting that the application of agro-chemicals can only be administered on your pitch by a licensed and fully-qualified professional.
Maintain and Repair
Staying on top of your pitch throughout the season can be the best way to ensure it stays in tip-top condition until the very last game. That means regular repair work and methodical care from week to week.
From applying top dressing and verti-draining to fixing divots and maintaining pitch markings, regularly tending to your ground’s needs can be the difference between a lush, green playing surface and a boggy pit of sludge.
While nobody wants to be the bad guy when it comes to sport, sometimes tough decisions need to be made for the greater good. For a groundskeeper, that can mean calling off a match if conditions aren’t ideal.
It won’t be a popular decision to make but a soaking pitch that’s been stampeded for 90 minutes by 22 players will leave behind a seriously tarnished battlefield and one that may not recover by the following week.
Another tough decision that may prove to be a good one is to outsource some of your maintenance needs. There’s no shame in knowing when you’re out of your depth and sometimes calling in an outsider to help lighten the load can be a wise call.
After all, a botched job can prove catastrophic for an impending fixture and getting it right first time is vitally important. The football fans (and players) that attend may not be so forgiving if the pitch isn’t fit for purpose!
If you would like more info on maintaining your football pitch or are looking to outsource any of your maintenance needs, drop us a line today! Call our grounds maintenance team now on 029 2039 7554 or drop us a message for a FREE quote.