During the off-season when sports arenas are not being used, the turf on which they play and practice needs to be maintained and managed. The purpose of turf maintenance is to prepare the sport pitch for use when the season is back on. It is also essential, to facilitate the recovery of the turf.
There are a number of factors that professionals consider when determining what methods to use in off-season turf maintenance. These include:
- How frequently the turf is used during the on-season
- Any activities for which the turf is needed during the off-season
- The type of grass planted on the turf
The type of grass is especially important because it determines a number of other factors such as the frequency with which the professionals will mow, irrigate, and fertilize the grass. When maintaining turf during the off-season, the five most important strategies are:
1. Minimizing Pests
Effectively managing and minimizing pests is one of the main goals in turf maintenance. Professionals are especially keen on this, because it does no good to have a beautiful turf that is unhealthy and pest-ridden. In such a case, the beauty of the turf is extremely short-lived as pests set out to attack the grass. Proper maintenance of the turf helps to reduce the population and occurrence of pests on the turf, which in turn reduces the need for extreme application of chemicals.
2. Airing the Soil
Exposing the soil to air is essential to maintain your turf; in order to reduce its compact nature and enhance the movement of water and air into the soil. This can only be done during the off-season because it is the prolonged use of the turf that further enhances compacting in the soil.
During the dry months of the year, it is necessary for the grass to be irrigated in order to maintain its green, healthy appearance. When irrigating the grass, the professional considers factors such as the type and condition of the soil, the kind of grass, and the utility of the turf.
Even when the turf is not in constant use, it is important to mow it regularly. The height to which it is maintained depends on the sport for which the turf is intended. For instance, the turf on a golf pitch is considerably shorter than that needed for a football field. A number of environmental conditions determine how fast the grass grows, in addition to other factors like the type of grass and soil.
In order for the grass to grow strong, healthy and thick, the professional needs to apply fertilizer to the turf as part of the turf maintenance procedure. Professional service providers are skilled and equipped in choosing the best fertilizer for the specific turf. They consider the nutrients in the fertilizer, as well as the nutrients that the grass needs. Once the fertilizer is applied to the turf, the grass remains healthy for a year in most cases.
As a general guideline, if the grass has a low tolerance, it is likely to be in a poorer state as the season closes, which will consequently require the professional to invest more time, care and resources to the turf. On the other hand, if the grass has a high tolerance, it will still be in fair condition as off-season begins, and the turf-maintenance professionals can adjust their technique accordingly.
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