Faraday Road football pitch - preparing for kick-off
Find out what we've been doing at faraday road this week - and the work we'll be doing this summer.
Converting a grass open space which until now has been maintained as meadow grass to a sports pitch suitable for Saturday and Sunday league football is no easy undertaking. However, that's the task we have begun in the last couple of weeks at the football field in Faraday Road.
The football season starts in just under three months so the Council and our current grounds maintenance contractor Continental Landscapes ltd. have met on site to discuss a planned timetable of works which we hope, weather dependent, will bring a pitch into play sometime in September.
Typically a local authority grass football pitch will be mown to a height of between 25 and 50mm, however taking the sward (the grass surface) of the Faraday Road pitch down to that height at once would most likely kill it off and make the transformation much more difficult to achieve. We have over the last two weeks gradually reduced the sward height to around 100 -120mm with the latest cut completed on Monday. Already the pitch is beginning to look much better in comparison to the previous cuts.
This cut and collect operation produces significant quantities of green arisings which will be composted at our contractors' depot and the resulting compost will be reused elsewhere in the District.
The results so far give some room for optimism for progress but contrary to the wishes of the wider community, who will be enjoying the sun and hot weather, we are hoping for just a little more rain as so much of the forthcoming pitch preparation work is dependent on having sufficient moisture levels within the soil.
For now however our plan is to cut the pitch again in about five to seven days' time and then soon after this we need to apply a suitable herbicide to remove some of the broadleaved weeds from the grass sward. After that the pitch undergoes a more intensive preparation process including:
- scarification - a process which removes dead matter from the sward
- top dressing - the application of sand and compost to help with drainage and levelling
- fertilising - which raises the fertility of the soil allowing grasses to thrive
- over seeding - which introduces a more suitable grass mix to the sward
- and finally verti-draining - a process that reduces soil compaction
More on all of these processes in a future blog, for now fingers crossed for a little more rain please - just a little bit.