Any good turn management experts and athletic field managers know that using a commercial-grade top dresser and turf aerator on the fields in warmer months will keep them in pristine conditions. And the coldest months of the year can be a welcome respite from time-consuming field maintenance. However, as the ground starts to thaw every spring, you will have to deal with field recovery. While turfgrasses grow naturally, there are steps you can take to maintain your turf sports fields over the winter. These include the following:
Planning for Field Recovery in the Fall
After the fall playing season, you must take the time and spend energy to improve and restore the playing conditions. This makes sure you will start the spring season in advance for field recovery. Usually, late winter and early spring growing conditions are not ideal for aerifying, seeding, fertilising, and top dressing, you must schedule this sport field maintenance around fall to preserve and maintain the quality of the turf.
Perform Aeration During the Primary Growing Season of the Turf
Usually, operators of cooler season fields aerate their fields in the late summer or early. If the weather allows, they do it early to mid-spring. If it is not possible to work around fall use schedules, aeration can be done only until after the last scheduled fall event. However, this can still help preserve the turf for the next season. It is important to core aerate heavily trafficked sports fields after complete fall sports to relieve soil compaction and help the turf recuperate.
Use Sand, Compost for Topdressing
Topdressing is important to level the playing surface and fill in divots. Also, topdressing at the end of the fall season also insulates the turfgrass crown from extreme winter temperatures. To prolong the effectiveness of core aeration holes, apply .25” to .38” of medium to coarse sand or compost. This allows for better drainage and resistance to compaction. Also, compost improves the structure and the holding capacity of the soil.
To ensure an even and constant spreading of materials on your sports field, invest in a top dresser. This machine is designed to spread a variety of wet or dry materials quickly while maintaining precision. Mid-sized top dressers are affordable and budget-friendly because they are designed to keep schools and parks in mind. Some top dressers are designed for maximum efficiency, letting you spread bigger loads of material in fewer trips around the athletic field.