The benefits of frequent Aeration on sports fields
Over the last two years, our sports fields have had the chance to thrive again without the need for regular Aeration. With long periods of no sports, wear and tear has naturally reduced, and the grass on these surfaces was given the opportunity to repair itself.
However, with sports back in action, many sporting clubs and schools are starting to notice bare patches reemerging, especially in places where high-foot traffic are present – places like the entryway to the oval or the run-up on a cricket pitch and goal mouths.
The wet Sydney weather we’ve been having throughout summer certainly hasn’t helped, but it’s actually Winter where most sporting ovals see their worst damage. The soft wet ground, paired with multiple games in a day of players wearing their spikes, often turns a lush sports field into a mud pit.
Fortunately, with proper field management, you can limit the damage to these sporting fields and even get them to a point where they stay lush year-round.
One of the most effective ways to improve the quality of your sporting surface is through Aeration. Below, I will describe how Aeration works and describe the key benefits of regular Aeration in your sporting fields.
Firstly, what is Aeration?
In simple terms, Aeration is the process of de-compacting and breaking up your playing surface and the layers of soil and sand underneath. By making a series of closely placed holes or slices into the ground’s surface, essential nutrients, water, and oxygen can reach the grass’s roots.
As a result, the grass’s roots can grow thicker and deeper into the ground, making the top-level grass more resilient to the heat, rain, and frequent foot traffic.
For high use fields, it’s recommended that Aeration takes place at least once a year, or two times for best results. Most elite-level playing surfaces will be Aerated up to 30 times a year! However, we all don’t have the same budget as the MCG, so twice a year is an excellent start to ensuring your sporting fields are at a high standard year-round.
The benefits of high-quality grass on a sports field are obvious, but in our experience, here is some common feedback and results we see as a result of Aeration.
Reduced bare patches
Bare patches on a playing surface are never good. Often seen around gates or places on a sports field that sees most of the action. Typically around goal squares or in the run-up to cricket pitches.
These bare patches turn into mud pits in the wet, but they become dangerous hard areas and can cause real injuries to players when they dry. For non-contact sports like soccer, these bare batches can reduce the quality of the game. The ball travels along these bumpy surfaces with a mind of its own and is difficult to read.
It’s a seemingly small problem, but if you come across an angry striker who’s been missing those key passes and goals all match, they’ll be blaming the playing surface very quickly!
Ensure the surface is level and reduce the chance of injury
In extreme cases – which is too often across our sporting fields – these bare patches will extend to most of the field. On wet days, these muddy patches become highly malleable. Once they dry, often they dry with dangerous potholes or divots.
The uneven surfaces are an absolute hotspot for injuries, especially rolled ankles. Aeration will maintain a lush surface while also helping level out highly worn sports fields that need urgent attention.
Increase player enjoyment
It seems obvious, but it’s hard to describe how much sporting clubs take pride in the quality of their playing surface. On the other hand, they’re always swift to judge a poorly kept surface.
The quality of a sporting club or school playing surface is a genuine factor in the clubs’ overall morale and attitude towards their sports. It can even be a deciding factor in a particular player leaving or staying with their club.
Keeping our community engaged in sports, which directly benefits their health is paramount. A straightforward way of keeping people engaged is by providing world-class sporting facilities that make them want to stay involved in their sport.
Could your sporting surface do with Aeration?
Now is a great time to Aerate your sporting field as there’s plenty of sun and warmth still around to help the grass grow and recover. It’s also hard to fit in the time to Aerate a sporting field during the winter months as they are often in use, and the ground needs a week or two to recover after the process for best results.
If you’re Sydney based, send me a message below, and we can take you through the Aeration process. We also might be able to recommend other complementary solutions that will help as well.
Mark Dando – Sales Manager