As you probably already know football is a huge sport with thousands of professional matches being played each week. However, because the focus is always on the players and how well they played, it’s easy to forget about the other important essentials of the game such as the pitch.
Many people just don’t realize the importance of tending to the football pitch correctly and the real impact that it has on the overall game. Therefore, next time you watch a football match take a moment to have a quick look at the pitch to see how well it is cared for. You will soon realize that a lot of hard work goes into looking after football pitches and it’s actually quite a tough job.
1. Get Mowing
The mowing of a football pitch is one of the most important tasks. According to an official guide on football pitch maintenance that was released in partnership with the FA it’s recommended that during the playing season that the grass length is kept between 25-30 mm. Mowing the grass of a football pitch to this length means that the grass density is kept at an optimal level and the chance of weed invasion is kept low.
There are two main ways that the grass can be mowed; by a pedestrian controlled mowing machine or by using a mower (like these from ExMark) that you can sit on and drive. The type of mowing machine you use depends on on the pitch you are looking after and the budget that you have. Either way always make sure that the grass is maintained at the advised length.
2. Weed Well
Weeding a football pitch is essential for two main reasons. Firstly by removing weeds you will increase the playability and resistance to wear of the pitch. Secondly by getting rid of all the unwanted weeds you will greatly maximize the aesthetic appeal of your pitch. The best way to remove weeds is to use a powerful weed killer that will definitely do the job. Always ensure that you read the label correctly in order to get the best results and remove all the weeds on the pitch.
3. Aerate Adequately
Aeration is the key to a high quality football pitch. This is because aerating the soil increases the pore space within the soil. This helps to prevent issues such as water logging and increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can get to the roots of the grass. Because football pitches are so big it’s much easier to do this by using a machine rather than doing it by hand like you would in a garden. Do some research on the different machines that you can use in order to find the most suitable one for your needs.
4. Remove any Debris by Raking
Mowing and weeding often lead to a lot of debris building up on the surface of football pitches. This can create an almost impermeable wall that reduces the amount of air, water and nutrients traveling to the soil. Therefore it is essential that you remove any organic material from the surface in order to prevent this layer from forming. This can normally be achieved simply by raking the soil and removing all the dead organic material.
5. Seed, Seed, Seed
The seeding of a football pitch isn’t as simple as just placing seeds in the soil. This is due to there being a number of considerations such as disease resistance, color, shade tolerance, density and wear tolerance that need to be decided upon before any seeding takes place. Once this has been determined it’s time to start seeding. This is usually achieved by a method known as direct drill seeding. This method ensures that clusters of grass are tightly knitted together giving a great look to the football pitch.
Now you know
After reading this article you now know the main things that you need to do in order to look after a football pitch correctly. Adhere to this advice and any football pitch that you look after will always look professional!