Maintaining a sports field involves more than basic grass mowing, watering and line marking. You also need to keep the grass, and the ground beneath it, in good shape.
Your field takes a battering during the season, and it needs help to recover and get back to its best. Aeration is one way of doing this. How does aeration work, and why should you do it?
How Does Grass Aeration Work?
Aeration involves putting holes in the ground. At a basic level, you can do this with a garden fork. Larger spaces like your field typically use a machine for this process.
You usually use aeration when ground gets compacted and too hard. The holes you put in do two jobs. First, they break up the ground and make it looser again. They also act as conduits for artificial watering or rain to get down to the roots of the grass.
What Are the Benefits of Aerating a Sports Field?
The more you use your field, the more compacted it will become. The soil under its grass will be stamped down and become hard and unyielding. It loses its natural looseness. This has a couple of disadvantages.
When the ground is too hard, it struggles to stay in good shape. Water, nutrients and air can't go below the surface. Grass roots will slowly starve, so the grass may start to look sparse in patches and to wear down. It won't necessarily grow back well. In extreme cases, it may start to die off if its roots aren't getting enough hydration and nutrition.
Plus, compacted ground can be a safety hazard for anyone playing sports. While you want a firm surface, extreme levels of hardness increase the risk of injury.
If you fall on a regular field that hasn't compacted, then the grass and soil help cushion your fall. If you fall on compacted ground, you hit a much harder and less flexible surface.
This kind of ground is more likely to cause serious damage. For example, if someone falls and bangs their head on ground that is too hard, they could end up with a serious head injury.
If you aerate your field regularly, then you solve these two problems. The grass stays in better shape because you're removing the compaction and restoring its natural balance. Aeration holes feed water, air and nutrients to the roots of your grass.
Your players or athletes will also get better protection if they have falls or accidents. The ground will be softer and will cause less damage.
There are good and bad times of the year to aerate grass. To find out when you should do this job and to get help with it, contact sports field maintenance services.