Compaction is an issue for many sports surfaces. Winter sports in particular are affected as they are often played in adverse conditions, which directly impacts the structure of the surface. The soil structure is intrinsic to how well a pitch drains, and ALS contracts are able to ascertain what proportion of the different soil particles, sand, silt and clay are present through a PSD analysis. This can help establish if it is compaction or soil structure that is the problem, or if drainage is an issue. Particular attention is paid to high wear areas such as goal mouths and centre circles.
The ALS contracts team has helped maintain the pitch at Aldersley Stadium for the last 5 years, providing a reliable and consistent service. The stadium pitch is monitored to assess what maintenance is required; this entails assessing levels of organic matter, nutrient content and a playing quality analysis.
Organic matter levels are controlled using a SISIS Veemo and SISIS Litamina, which scarify and collect off the surface. Top dressing is applied through a Dakota drop spreader, applying up to 60 tonnes within one morning.
Compaction is frequently alleviated with a Wiedenmann Terra Spike solid tine aerator, which creates lateral and vertical fissures in the soil, opening the surface up and facilitating gaseous exchange. The timing of this operation is critical to prevent smearing or lateral compression. This can be undertaken to a depth of 23cm (9 inches), varying the kick to provide more or less disturbance to the surface as required.
The surface is assessed to establish what proportion of grass species are present, and after consultation with the grounds staff an appropriate seed mixture is then selected. ALS Contracts Manager, Dave Harvey, has over 25 years of experience to help select the right seed mixture that will deliver the results Aldersley Stadium require. Once the appropriate seed mixture is selected it is then sown in three different directions with a Charterhouse disc seeder, to ensure even and consistent germination. Once seeded the surface is then drag-matted again in three directions and an application of a specially selected pre-seed fertiliser is applied.
This sequence of operations constitutes a comprehensive sports pitch renovation that enables the pitch at Aldersley Stadium to withstand heavy wear providing brilliant all-year-round performance.
The ALS Contracts Team can be contacted on 01952 898518/9 for enquiries regarding Turf Renovation.