Just like any other plants, grass needs water to stay healthy. A mature lawn without sufficient water during a dry spell will slowly shut down its vital functions, start to turn brown or yellow and become less dense. Apart from the aesthetic considerations, which matter to any club, the health of the pitch has other consequences …
A nicely watered football pitch: the game is saved
Watered regularly, a football pitch will keep its lovely green look, and the grass will also keep on growing as well as becoming more dense in terms of leaves and roots. So, a firmly rooted lawn is more resistant. This is particularly important for the service life of a sports ground battered under frequent training sessions or matches – will make all the difference.
Careful watering also ensures adequate suppleness of the turf. This elasticity turns out to be a safety guarantee, since UEFA has shown that 70% of sports injuries occur on dried out pitches in running or shooting sessions.
Besides, a well-maintained pitch with healthy, dense, correctly watered grass that is cut to the right height allows optimum ball circulation. This is greatly beneficial for the game.
How to water a football stadium correctly
The watering requirements of a pitch vary enormously according to a variety of factors:
- grass type,
- geographical location,
- type of soil,
Each situation requires a professional analysis and sometimes the installation of an adequate automatic system to guarantee sufficient watering. There are, however, some general principles to bear in mind:
Watering is a must between April and October
Sports grounds are often designed and maintained so as to avoid water accumulation on the playing surface and in the soil. However, during dry spells, the natural rainfall and other such precipitation are less frequent but the heat and evaporation increase. These two factors explain the considerable watering requirements of a football stadium.
It is therefore quite possible that a football pitch will require watering from the month of April, depending on the weather forecast, continuing through to October. Watering is obviously more frequent during the hot summer days, peaking during the months of July and August.
Best watering in the morning
Choosing the right time to water is an art in itself. In the small hours of the morning, around 3 or 4 o’clock, the temperature of the air, soil and water are the almost the same This reduces direct evaporation as the water has enough time to penetrate the pitch. Furthermore, the dawning day, bringing more warmth, also prevents the soil from becoming water-logged for long periods, which would otherwise encourage the spread of plant diseases and fungi.
Quantity rather than frequency, except for sowing time
After a sowing campaign it will be necessary to organise frequent watering to keep a wet germination bed of approximately 5 cm to allow the seeds to sprout.
An established or mature lawn, on the other hand, will require less frequent watering. Many such lawns are in fact often overwatered. So, we should remember that the risks of spread of plant diseases and fungi are significant in overwet lawns, all the more so if felt takes hold. It is nevertheless not advised to split up the watering any more than necessary, this to avoid disturbing the physiological functioning of the young shoots and stunting their growth. It is therefore preferable to apply a larger quantity of water ‘in one go’ (15 to 20 l/m²).
It is important in any event to water according to the weather conditions and to the filtering capacity of the soil in order to find the correct dosage.
The advantages of robot mowers for watering
Did you know that a professional robot mower is a real good idea for watering?
In fact, a robot can perform very precise operations covering the ground with a natural mulch. In dry periods these tiny particles of chopped-up grass not only nourish the soil but also keep in humidity of the soil for longer without increasing the risk of disease! This helps to protect your football pitch even more. And, with an automatic mower for your football pitch, no extra work involved. Moreover, there is no extra work involved thanks to the automatic mower.