Sports fields renovation: Seeding or sodding?
If a sports field has gone through a period of intensive use and tough weather conditions, overseeding might not repair the turf quickly enough before the start of the new season. In this case, re-turfing could be your only option.
Rising to the challenge of sports field renovation
As a grounds manager, you know that stadium sports field renovation at the end of the season is a big challenge. You have only a narrow timeframe before the football season kicks off. You can choose to re-invigorate the sward by introducing turf grasses that can prevent Poa annua from taking root. Which species you choose, depends on the location in Europe. While perennial ryegrass gives you the quickest establishment of all the common turf species, Hybrid Poa pratensis varieties can also provide accelerated rooting and establishment. ICL carries out extensive research and development to develop a diverse range of sports field renovation seed mixtures that can be used for both direct sport field renovation and for sod production.
Tackling a sports field that takes a beating
If a sports field has gone through a period of intensive use and tough weather conditions, overseeding might not repair the turf quickly enough before the start of the new season. In this case, re-turfing could be your only option. It’s important to choose a well-produced sod that contains a balance of species with a good proportion of Poa pratensis.
Meeting the unique requirements of sod
There are major differences between overseeding and laying sod. Mature sports fields already have an established root mass within the soil profile, whereas when laying sod the rooting system must migrate to the underlying root zone. Since the sod will also have been grown on a different root zone, you must focus special attention to fertilization and water management.
Tailored fertilization plan
Sod has specific requirements when it comes to fertilization. The fertilization must provide all the necessary elements of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium to promote rapid root migration. Sod requires a controlled delivery of Nitrogen to eliminate the risk of leaf burn. It is essential that there is sustained nutrition during the grow-in period and that it is accessible via the root zone, rather than surface application so the roots can grow down into the profile. Coated mini granular fertilizers give you an excellent solution. The ICL range includes fertilizers designed for this purpose, such as Sierrablen plus with Pearl Technology 11-11-5+ MgO and Sportsmaster 23+23+5. They provide the required longevity at 21 °C for 2-3 months. They also contain levels of phosphorus that promote rooting and nitrogen to give the plants energy to survive the grow-in period.
You must take two types of soil into consideration when laying sods: your natural soil on which you are laying your sod and the soil in which the sod was grown. The latter soil could form a barrier for the roots to establish in the natural soil. Using wetting agents such as H2Pro AquaSmart help overcome this barrier by wetting the soil throughout the profile, enabling the roots to establish in the natural soil. H2Pro AquaSmart also lets you achieve maximum water usage efficiency because it ensures the moisture is right where you want it in the soil profile. This enables the sod to produce a well-established sward before the new season.
Whether you are over-seeding or laying new sod, ICL has developed AquaSmart within the H2 Pro wetting agent range to enable you to renovate your sports field with optimum results. H2 Pro utilizes advanced polymer and surfactant technology to create a range of three specialist wetting agents: H2Pro TriSmart, H2Pro FlowSmart and H2Pro AquaSmart. All have been carefully formulated and tested to enable you as a grounds manager to optimize your water management.