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Football Field Problems

Summary

Football field turf grass built on native soils typically fail early on in the fall season due to saturated soil conditions. Heavy foot traffic especially between the hash mark areas are prone to turf grass failure due to reduced soil cohesion and very low shear strength. Saturated soil conditions in the root-zone horizon (surface level to 4” deep) above 75% moisture level, and in some if not most cases 100% saturation levels are typical. As the season gets further into the fall time, evapotranspiration becomes less and less and the reliance on infiltration capacity becomes more important. Death of the turf grass community in these conditions is inevitable.


Problems

  • Standing water
  • Saturated soil conditions
  • Low to no infiltration capacity
  • Loss of soil cohesion
  • Low shear strength
  • Unstable surface stability and playing conditions

Solutions

  • USGA Root-zone top dressing programs
  • Sub-surface drainage system
  • Root-zone sand cap system
  • Proper water management practices
  • Aeration programs

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