Sports turf at the professional level is vastly improved from the early days of astro turf, which was first used in the 1970s. Last October, MLS team Real Salt Lake opened Rio Tinto stadium and many are praising it for its perfect pitch. For the soccer beginner, the “pitch” is merely a term used to identify the playing field. At the center of this dazzling stadium is an emerald oasis.
This field of dreams is kept green by numerous pop up sprinklers and something we don’t see. The technology below the turf is the engine that makes everything go. It can dry the field in less than 20 minutes, and heat it up with subterranean warmers. The system also pumps oxygen directly to the grass roots. This keeps the turf alive even when the field is covered. The NFL and The Masters use similar advances on their turf as well.
Fortunately, maintaining and irrigating residential sports courts aren’t nearly as elaborate, but they can be demanding. For putting greens, tennis courts, and grass sports courts, a few strategically placed pop-up sprinklers will do the trick.
You want to water until the surface area begins to puddle. However, over watering can invite fungus. During the hottest months of the summer, this type of turf (usually bent or Kentucky blue grass) needs to be fertilized and sprayed with insecticide, then watered thoroughly.
Tightly cut practice greens and tennis courts are expensive to maintain. They require more water and upkeep then you might think, but what a luxury to have for any avid golfer and tennis player. For more information on irrigation and maintenance of your sports turf, ask the superintendent of your local golf and tennis club or contact a professional installer for advice.
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