For people attending or watching an NFL game, the turf is likely the last thing on their minds. The on-field action may take center stage, but the quality of the turf needs to be consistent in order to help ensure safety, satisfaction, and optimal performance for the players.
The more time and energy invested in maintaining sports turf, the greater the reward will be. One of the key components in ensuring NFL turf stays lush and green is developing a realistic maintenance schedule, which also takes things like climate, local weather, available sunlight, and other important factors into account.
The Best Maintenance Possible
Maintenance plans can be tricky, as maintaining the turf may disrupt play and practice times. With certain modern techniques and aeration tools, maintenance crews are often able to allow players to resume practicing or playing almost immediately after treating the turf.
Additionally, many newer stadiums are adopting “green” techniques such as installing retractable roofs to allow more sunlight in. The Lucas Oil Stadium, home of Super Bowl 46 in 2012 and home of the Indianapolis Colts, features a retractable roof that can close in 10 minutes. Unless there are hazardous conditions, the roof stays open, allowing the turf to get plenty of natural sunlight.
Similarly, the Cowboys Stadium, the home of Super Bowl 45 in 2011, has a retractable roof constructed of translucent material which allows natural light in, even if it’s shut. The Cowboys Stadium also has permeable pavement which absorbs water run-off and ensures that no standing water is left on the field.
One of the biggest threats to any healthy, green turf is pests. If left untreated, pest infestations can run rampant in the turf, destroying the soil and leaving the turf damaged; a costly repair which will take both significant amounts of time, money, and effort to repair!
Many NFL stadiums have begun using more eco-friendly options to treat and prevent pest issues, such as using botanical-based pesticides, which are safe for the players and attendees to breathe in, while effectively eliminating any pest issues.
Watering, mowing, and aeration can only get turf so far; if stadiums are serious about making sure that the quality of their turf is top-notch, then they need to be fertilizing it on a regular basis.
If the turf is looking dull, or suffering from issues, a proper schedule of combined fertilization, watering and aeration can bring it back from the brink in time for an important game in no time at all.
Soil and turf are the healthiest when infused with the appropriate nutrients, so developing a fertilization schedule is an important part of keeping NFL turf healthy. Aeration helps fertilizer do its job by making the soil more porous, which makes it an important step to ensure that the turf is absorbing as much as possible.
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