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If you’ve been managing natural grass sports fields long enough, you know all too well that the real challenge of having a high-performing and playable surface is maintenance. As temperatures vary sharply from season to season, and the ground wears and tears under vigorous play, keeping the field healthy, durable, and safe becomes the main effort all year round.
And at the core of it is maintaining grass growth.
Maintaining the grass – aerating the soil, controlling the weeds, topdressing, and so on, are all important. But it can be challenging to ensure that the moisture and temperature levels of the soil and rootzone remain optimal for grass growth as the environment changes.
Here’s where Motz AirPAT™, a rootzone management system, can help make the job easier for grounds managers and sports facility owners; and provide a world-class game experience for athletes, coaches, and fans.
In this article, we’ll tell you how by covering:
The time required for sports field grass to flourish naturally fluctuates based on the type of grass, the quality of maintenance, and the conditions under which it grows. Perennial ryegrass can provide ground cover in 4 weeks; while Kentucky bluegrass requires three to six months, depending on care. The climate also plays a huge role in this, as does the field manager. Experienced field managers can grow cool and warm season grass very quickly.
These time frames assume that there are no drastic environmental events or pest infestations or any of the other unpredictable things that knock grass growth off-schedule.
If the conditions aren’t right, your maintenance efforts aren’t consistent, or if you’re not able to respond quickly to changes, a lot of things can go wrong (or at the very least, ugly). Climate change has made the growing environment less predictable, and the earth more prone to extreme weather conditions.
Some of the issues you might experience are waterlogging, soil compaction, thin and patchy grass, poor root development, and water wastage — all perfect conditions for turfgrass diseases. You might not get the field you want in time, and you’ll need to spend a lot of resources on maintenance. In other words, it’s a real pain (without a root warming and ventilation system of course).
Here are 4 traditional methods you can use to get your grass to grow faster:
Different grass species have different growth rates and requirements. It’s important to assess your unique needs, climate, and growing conditions to ensure optimal growth. Here’s a table that breaks down three common types of grass used and their particular qualities.
|Characteristics||Kentucky Bluegrass||Perennial Ryegrass||Tall Fescue||Bermudagrass|
NFL Fields are mowed a minimum of three times per week and often as many as five times depending on game and practice schedules. Here are some best practices advised by Michigan State University you can follow to prevent soil compaction and encourages upright growth.
Nourish your fields with the right fertilizer mix, with the right amount, at the right time, especially when the grass is actively growing. This provides the grass with essential nutrients for growth. Generally speaking, in the northern part of the country, this could be during fall. In the southern states, the prime time would be during the summer.
This involves using specialized vertical deep tine or slicing tine aerators to improve the oxygen exchange between the soil and atmosphere and promote stronger root systems, creating healthier and more resilient turf. On high-use sports fields, it is common to aerate 4-8 times per year. To reduce organic matter buildup in the top 2-3 inches of the soil, you will need to disrupt 25-30% of the surface area per year.
A rootzone warming and ventilation system (like our Motz AirPAT™) directly heats the region of soil in which the roots of plants can take up water, or the rootzone, instead of controlling the temperature of the air over the ground.
These systems are used in greenhouses, agriculture, and sports fields to promote faster growth, higher quality crops and grass, and energy savings.
The Motz Group’s AirPAT™ is a rootzone warming and ventilation system which takes the pain out of having to maintain the right moisture levels and temperatures in the soil to promote optimal natural grass field growth. It also ensures adequate aeration through vacuum ventilation. We’ll go into more detail about that in just a bit.
For example, in northern climates where temperatures drop into the teens and heavy amounts of snow pile up in the winter, keeping grass healthy can be a real challenge. Southern climates are well-suited for warm-season grasses, which are known for their drought-resistance — but they do require additional irrigation in regions with low rainfall.
If you’re in a similarly challenging climate, a vacuum ventilation innovation like the AirPAT™ can make a big difference.
Through a thermal dynamic rootzone warming system, AirPAT™ provides grounds managers with the resources they need to deliver fresh air to the roots and subsoil. Grounds managers can feel confident using AirPAT™ as their natural grass maintenance tool to ensure optimal growth conditions in any climate, with low effort.
AirPAT™ saves sports facility owners time, space, and money. This modern rootzone warming and vacuum ventilation system takes up less space in the control room and requires only electricity to function, which keeps utility costs low. The capabilities AirPAT™ gives to grounds managers – the ability to control climate and grass growth in any condition – allows sports facility owners more revenue options because it saves time between on-field recovery for different events.
AirPAT™ gives grounds managers the ability to control temperature and moisture with a vacuum ventilation system, a better alternative to the deafening, power-hungry fans commonly used.
AirPAT™’s warming rootzone technology provides professional grounds managers the data and resources they need to maintain their grass fields after any event or in any season.
This is one of the many ways the Motz AirPAT™ System is the most innovative moisture removal and subsurface aeration technology on the market.
Unpredictable weather will no longer ruin your field at the most inconvenient moment. The AirPAT™ System allows you to control the moisture and temperature of your natural grass athletic field to help you create a consistent playing surface in any season. Motz AirPAT™ technology also gives you the tools to monitor and control several soil situations – including vacuum drainage, forced air aeration, water conservation, water recycling, rootzone warming, continuous rootzone monitoring, and automated and remote system operation.
Grounds managers don’t have to stress when they have AirPAT™ in their natural grass toolkit, because they have the technology to keep a stable surface and achieve a winning field for their players, no matter the weather.
Being able to adjust the moisture and temperature of your natural grass athletic field improves recovery time between games, events, ceremonies, or other activities that can impact the field’s health. This opens opportunities for extra practices, games, or events at your facility even during the off-season. Because AirPAT™ only needs electricity to operate, you can save money on your utility bills compared to other moisture removal and subsurface aeration technology systems that also need gas to function.
Let’s get to the root of your natural grass needs! At Motz, Amy Fouty is our natural grass expert and field consultant to provide the tools, resources, and knowledge you need to build performance and a consistent natural grass athletic field. Get your questions answered, and set up a time to chat today!