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As leaves rapidly accumulate on the ground during Autumn, your athletic director or grounds team will need to remove them in order to keep your synthetic turf field playing and performing optimally. Learning how to keep your artificial turf field free of leaves without running the risk of damaging the turf requires the right tools. Below, we walk you through everything you need to know about keeping your synthetic turf in tip-top and leaf-free shape during fall.
Before removing any leaves, you’ll want to first walk through your field and pick up any larger debris, like branches and bigger sticks, by hand. Once these larger pieces of debris has been cleared, you can move onto all the fall foliage. For that, there are a few tools you’ll need – here’s what to use, and how to use it:
There are a few tools you’ll need — here’s what to use, and how to use it:
Do not use a heavy metal rake on your artificial turf field because they’re more likely to cause turf damage. Use either a lightweight plastic or bamboo rake with curved tines. You can also buy a rake made specifically for artificial turf too. An artificial turf rake is made with synthetic grass-sensitive nylon tines.
Once the bulk of your leaves and debris have been removed by a turf rake, a grooming brush is perfect for finishing the job. Brushes carry the added benefit of perking up your turf’s fibers.
Once you’ve raked the leaves into piles, you can bag them up. For a greener alternative, let the leaves naturally decompose in an off-field garden or landscaping bed. While some may see burning leaves as common practice, be warned this isn’t advisable for the health of you or the environment.
Leaf blowers get the job done quickly. However, they’re only considered a good option for leaves that are totally dry. After rain or even as the result of morning dew, the leaves on your field will stick and clump together, making them difficult to remove with a blower.
If you’re working with leaves that are fully dry, be careful to keep the blower at a distance of about 12 to 18 inches above your turf surface and your blower on the lowest setting.
Once the bulk of your leaves and debris have been removed by a rake or blower, a grooming brush is perfect for finishing the job. Brushes carry the added benefit of perking up your turf’s individual fibers. Particularly for fields that receive a high amount of leaf fall, that can help keep both your turf and infill from becoming compacted — and it’ll keep your field looking its very best, too.
Your artificial turf field needs to be leaf-free in order for its surface to be playable. Leaves and twigs that have fallen onto the field can block the small holes in your turf’s backing, which can create issues with your turf’s drainage abilities, leading to standing water and even a crumpled turf surface. To keep your artificial turf surface healthy and its fibers looking their best, it’s wise not to let leaves pile up during fall.
Clearing your turf of leaves and other debris is not an overly complex task. It should only take an hour or two to remove leaves off your artificial turf field, depending on the size of your field.
There may be times when you’d prefer to outsource the job to an expert.
Our Motz Field Aide service keeps synthetic fields in optimal playing shape, no matter the season. This service is more than just a maintenance program, Field Aide offers total protection and an under-24-hours response time. We designed this artificial sports turf maintenance program to deliver a deep, thorough clean, which will give your field a total refresh, complete with detailed grooming and that includes the removal of unwanted leaves and debris.
Ready to get your field in pristine playing condition? Get in touch with the Field Aide team today.