Natural Turf (Sports Agronomy)
Natural turf (also commonly called turfgrass) is grown and maintained specifically for use on sports fields. It consists of a combination of grasses that are chosen for durability, wear resistance, and an ability to recover quickly from damage.
Several factors are taken into consideration when testing natural turf, including its overall quality, resilience, and ability to withstand the rigors of play. Some common tests include wear resistance and performance under different conditions. Other tests include density, surface hardness, and the presence of any contaminants or other substances.
The installation of natural sports turf typically involves site preparation to create a smooth and level surface, followed by the installation of a drainage system and a layer of topsoil. The soil is then sodded or seeded and given ample water. At this point, fertilizer programs can be introduced to provide the grass with adequate nutrients. Maintenance is key to keeping natural turf in good condition. Poor maintenance can lead to surface failure, unsafe playing conditions, or pests and diseases.
Sports agronomists use several techniques and a variety of tests to evaluate turfgrass. Soil samples are collected and analyized to assess a wide range of factors, including grass quality, performance, irrigation, and drainage. Tests include factors such as color, wear tolerance, distribution, density and overall health.
Sports agronomists have access to special equipment designed to provide the most accurate and reliable assessments.