Six most asked questions is a blog by the Leicester City Grounds staff , based on commonly asked questions. Whether your a spectator or a groundsman, these possible something to learn from in this blog.
How do you do the stripes/ patterns?
Stripes are made by rolling or brushing the grass so that it rests in a certain direction. A stripe that appears light green is resting away from you and one that appears dark green that is resting towards you. By the same token, the stripes will change shade if viewed from the opposite end.
The majority of pitch patterns are made simply by rolling in a particular direction. No different cutting heights or types of seed required! (EA have also got this detail right on FIFA I notice if you spin the camera around!)
The LCFC crest on the King Power pitch a couple of years ago was produced by a GPS machine with an air jet underneath it to blow the grass in different directions, creating the club badge, sort of like a giant printer.
Why do you cut the pitch straight after a game?
Groundstaff may use rotary mowers immediately after a match to “hoover up” any little bits of debris which may have kicked out during play; the grass itself is not usually being cut. It also saves staff time who would otherwise have to do this the day after when they could be doing other jobs to help repair the pitch.
Why do you rip the pitch up after each season?
Over the course of a season, organic matter called thatch can build up on the surface of the pitch; this can be caused by the breaking down of grass clippings, unused fertiliser or fine silt being washed to the top of the soil through rain/ irrigation. This causes a squidgy, mushy layer over the top of an otherwise clean sand, hampers drainage and eventually suffocates grass.
By removing the surface at the end of the season, the thatch layer, and any unwanted grass types, are completely removed, revealing the fresh sand underneath which can be used to help reconstruct the pitch for the following season. The more thatch is allowed to build up, the higher the risk of waterlogging and fixtures lost through bad weather!
So, what do you do during the summer when there’s no football?
We are required to help contractors who renovate our pitches by carrying out tasks such as marking where sprinklers are, fertilising, sand brushing and aerating, as well as cutting round some obstacles where the large tractors can’t reach. Once the seed is in the ground, we must keep a close eye on irrigation before it comes through and is ready to be cut about 10 days later, a daily job at that time of year!
Can’t you fork this waterlogged bit so the water drains away?
Nope a fork is not a miracle tool; if the pitch is wet, the fork holes will simply fill up with water as there is no room in the soil for the water to go anywhere!
Is it that type of pitch that’s part real/ part 3G?
Not really. 3G/ 4G is a totally artificial carpet constructed with an aggregate base, foam shock-pad layer followed by the artificial grass carpet roll and topped with rubber crumb, (anyone who plays 6 a side will know that this is a pain when you take your socks off after a match!!).
Hybrid pitches like Desso or SIS are constructed of sand with artificial strands or fibres “stitched” into the it and snipped off at the top to leave 20mm or so above the surface. (These fibres arrive looking like massive green cotton reels.) Seed is then sown over the top and the roots wrap around the fibres below ground producing a very firm, wear-resistant surface whilst allowing plenty of water to drain throught.
Six most asked questions blog by Nick George on behalf of the Foxes ground staff.
The Team also offer there technical skills and equipment to local clubs, if you require more details just leave a comment below .
Now Over to You!!
What is your experience of the most asked questions , from players, peers. Just leave you comments in the comment box below.
If you enjoyed this blog take a look at a YouTube interview we did with Tom Waldock, who is a grassroot groundsman who give out some advise on working on clay based sports pitches – https://turfcareblog.com/tom-waldock-rugby-groundsman-interview/