How to Maintain a Natural Turf Field

Down, set, hike! Oh yes, it's football time again, and we couldn't be more excited about watching the games this season!

The road to a winning season starts with quality sports turf, and nothing beats playing on natural grass that's been tended to by a professional.

Natural Grass vs. Synthetic Turf

As kids playing football in the backyard, we always played on natural grass. After all, you don't see too many synthetic lawns in residential neighborhoods.

Playing on real grass feels natural and doesn't cause as many nagging injuries like turf toe. Synthetic turf has always been a topic of injuries and how it affects players over time.

One of the main reasons athletic facilities choose synthetic over natural is the overall cost of maintenance. But, is natural grass really a more costly option? Not quite.

Forbes published an article about artificial turf and found studies showing how natural grass fields cost less than artificial turf. The maintenance needs are different for both, and each field has its pros and cons. Having a strong maintenance plan for your natural athletic field is crucial to keep it looking good and staying healthy each and every season.

How to Maintain Natural Grass Fields

It comes down to the basics: mowing and fertilization, irrigation and aeration, overseeding and routine upkeep. Those are the things that keep a natural grass athletic field in top shape during the season.

Keep the following tips in mind when coming up with a maintenance plan based on best practices:

  • Use the same mowing height throughout the season. Whatever you started with, continue to mow at the same height to maintain consistency.
  • Apply fertilizer when the grass is actively growing. Fertilize northern turf in the spring and fall, and fertilize southern turf in the summer. You can also apply it when the turf has been heavily damaged.
  • Don't overwater the turf. It's best to apply a deep irrigation once the turf starts to wilt. Try to keep the irrigation times in the morning to discourage fungal growth.
  • Make sure to aerate the field at least 6 to 8 times during the season. It prevents soil compaction and encourages airflow, helping the turf receive water and vital nutrients to remain healthy.
  • Overseed damaged areas when you can. If you can overseed the entire field, do that as well. Make sure to water the seedbed before it dries for the best results.

Maintain Better Sports Turf with Heritage PPG

The football field is the battleground and in everyone's sight during the game. You want it to look its best throughout the season. Heritage PPG has the tools and products you need for every sports turf surface. When you need the field to take a beating while improving player safety, look to our inventory for the right products for the job.

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1 comment

Elaina D'Agostino

Elaina D'Agostino

It caught my attention when you suggested applying irrigation once the turf starts to wilt. This is new because my first instinct would be to water the turf to prevent it from wilting. I’ll keep this in mind and maybe ask the turf installer for other useful tips for maintaining it.

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