Your Ultimate Sports Field Maintenance Checklist: Best Sports Field Maintenance Practices

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Feb 7, 2022 9:37:15 AM

Maintaining an athletic field is no small endeavor. You want to do whatever you can to protect your investment and keep the field playable and safe. To maintain a high-quality field, you know that you’ll need to implement sports field maintenance best practices.

Of course, you might not know what those include.

To help you ensure you are set up for success, we’ve rounded up some of the maintenance standards for athletic fields that you should be familiar with. It’s important that your professional sports maintenance partner is utilizing best practices so that your sports field can stay in the best possible condition.

Your Ultimate Sports Field Maintenance Checklist

You might be wondering the best way to maintain an athletic field. We’ve rounded up some best practices that you should be keeping in mind. In fact, we’ve put it together in an easy sports field maintenance checklist for you to follow.

✔Avoid Standing Water

Standing water on your athletic field will grind playability to a halt. It is one of the most dreaded problems there is when it comes to athletic field maintenance.

When there is water pooling on the field, games, and practices need to be canceled.

For that reason, maintaining proper grading is absolutely imperative. One of the reasons that water could be pooling in the first place is if grading wasn’t done correctly. Improper grading is actually one of the most common culprits of drainage issues that we see with sports fields.

athletic field being maintained aerial view

In fact, even if fields have properly installed drainage systems, improper grading can be enough of an issue to cause continued standing water problems.

Saturated fields can also cause postponements or cancellations of events, so you want to be sure that your field is draining well in general. Compacted soil for a natural turf field can also be a problem.

In the next section, we will discuss proper aeration, which is a solution for compacted turf.

✔Clean or Aerate the Field Properly

Regular turf cleaning on a synthetic turf field or ongoing aeration on a natural turf athletic field are both critically important when it comes to the best way to maintain an athletic field. If there is debris on the field or the soil is becoming impacted, it can have an impact on playability.

An intensive cleaning will help to remove any debris that ends up atop or embedded in the field. It’s often amazing just how much fine particle debris can be extracted during a cleaning. Even small particles (like dust) can start to compound and cause a negative impact on playability if not addressed.

well maintained athletic field

If you are operating a natural turf athletic field, then you’ll want to be sure that you’re having turf core aeration performed for your turf type. This is a service that relieves soil compaction by allowing air, water, and fertilizer to reach your turf’s root zone, where those elements are needed most for healthy growth.

Because of the extreme wear and tear on an athletic field, they are highly prone to becoming compacted. But having this service performed several times a year can keep your field playable.

✔Mow Natural Turf Regularly (and Properly)

For natural turf, regular and proper mowing is of critical importance as well. The proper mowing height will be determined by grass species and variety, how the field is used, and other management practices.

While you certainly don’t want the grass to be too long, it also can’t be mowed too short, either. When the turf is scalped, it can begin to experience major stress. As it suffers it will begin to perform suboptimally and the aesthetics will be negatively impacted.

commercial landscape company mows turf at athletic field

We understand that mowing is sometimes simplified but when it comes to sports field maintenance standards, it must be taken quite seriously. Everything from maintaining the optimal mowing frequency to ensuring it’s just the right turf height is quite critical to the overall success and playability of your field.

✔Implement Natural Turf Fertilization

Sports field maintenance best practices should also include proper fertilization for natural turf. This will help to maintain the overall health of your turf by keeping it thick and green. You want to make sure that you hire a company that is going to keep track of these applications, ensuring that they’re performed at just the right interval and with the right materials.

As a sports turf manager, you want to be sure your natural turf is getting adequate nutrition throughout the season so that it can continue to look and perform its best. The latter translates to playability.

freshly mowed athletic field aerial view

While grass species, time of the year, activity on the field, budget, and other factors can impact your fertility program, you want to make sure that you are working with a sports maintenance partner that is taking everything into account and making the best decisions for your field.

✔Utilize Weed Control for Natural Turf

When it comes to sports field maintenance standards, you also want to make sure that weeds are not impacting your sports field performance in any way. Your athletic field maintenance service provider should talk to you about your overall goals for the field and help to tailor a weed control program that is right for your facility.

As with mowing and fertilization services, it is also important that your provider is working their schedule around yours so that there is no impact on your players or scheduled events. Your field should always be ready to go come game time.

Finding Your Sports Field Maintenance Partner

While these sports field maintenance best practices will help to give you an idea of some of the critical things that should be done to keep your field in optimal shape, it ultimately boils down to finding a sports field maintenance partner who will ensure they’re completed.

At the end of the day, while you want to be fully informed of what’s going on with your field, you want to know that your worries are being handled for you. After all, in addition to your role in overseeing athletic field maintenance, we know that you have a lot of other tasks on your plate.

Artificial Turf Sports field maintenance

That’s why you want to be able to hand this sports field maintenance checklist over to a professional partner and know that it’s being handled for you.

You need a professional who can get everything you need accomplished within the confines of your budget. You also need a pro who understands the importance that all potential problems are addressed so that you are maintaining perfect planarity (with no high spots or low spots) and not suffering from any drainage concerns that could halt operations.

well maintained athletic field

You know that all eyes are on you if there’s an issue, so you need an athletic field maintenance company who will take your needs seriously and will cover all of the sports field maintenance best practices that will help you succeed.

Working with Yellowstone as Your Sports Field Maintenance Partner

At Yellowstone Landscape, we’re committed to taking every detail of your sports field maintenance seriously so that you can take pride in the results. When it comes to something as important as the success of your athletic field, we want to help you to succeed.

That’s why we tailor our program specifically to every field that we work with. We are definitely covering all of the bases with this sports field maintenance checklist—and more. It all comes down to helping you to achieve the results that you are seeking.

We understand it’s no small decision. But choosing wisely will make a world of difference. Once you have that partner in your corner, we want you to be able to feel confident that you’re truly getting the most out of your field.

Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice for sports field maintenance? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your needs and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.