Twenty two giant sized men run around and tackle each other on a natural grass field for a couple of hours during a football game. They come back and do this between two and three times per month for an entire football season. How is it that the grass looks really good when it probably shouldn’t even be alive at the end of the season?
First, preparation is key. The right choice of grass makes all the difference. For the climate in both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other parts of south Louisiana, a hybrid Bermuda grass can take a lot of damage and regrow in a matter of days. Soil composition which allows easy movement of water, air, and roots will shorten recovery times after field use.
Off season core aeration and top dressing keep the field healthy during use later in the year. Actively reducing soil compaction in the off season allows for some great root development. Top dressing the soil will even out the low spots the field created by players repeated use during football season.
Next is prevention. Regular overseeding during the entire season keeps a continuous supply of new grass to replace the damaged areas. The players cleats help to sow the new seeds. The new grass seeds get plenty of nutrition and sunlight on a low cut field and start growing quickly.
Irrigation lets us fill in mother nature’s gaps. Sunlight and water go a long way in promoting growth for grass. Complete, consistent coverage for the playing field is vital. This is paired with great subsurface drainage to get the roots enough water, but not too much water.
Fertilization gives stressed grass what it needs to grow. Maintaining an accurate fertilization program keeps the grass growing and green. With the right fertilizer, irrigation and sunlight, hybrid Bermuda grass is a growth monster. Bare areas will be covered with grass in a weeks time.
The last tool is replacement. Replacing is usually the most expensive option, but is necessary at times. This typically means installing new sod to a very damaged area right after a game and nursing it’s root growth. If you have a very rough area of grass, focus on the repairs when there is an off week or an away game. The extra week of care will really show on the next home game.