As a sports turf professional, your goal is to help players and athletes achieve their peak performance and meet their goals when on your turf! And this often means maintaining a safe and durable field with uniform quality and playability. But sports fields are under increasing utilization pressure. The maintenance staff is expected to keep optimal conditions year-round regardless of turf stress and damage. How do you maintain the turf in tip-top shape throughout the season while reducing maintenance costs and optimizing water consumption?
The primary challenge for sports turf professionals is the lack of accurate information about root zone growth conditions, which would also provide an insight into the soil quality variations between different parts of the turf.
The turf maintenance staff often use hand-held measurement instruments to collect soil data. However, manually collected data is not consistent in the long-term. You need to collect enough samples to compensate for this inconsistency, not to mention covering an entire field properly is time-consuming.
Due to inadequate soil data, many turf managers do not have up-to-date knowledge about the underground moisture and salinity levels and the temperature needed to support grass maintenance activities. Evapotranspiration (ET) models, on the other hand, only provide broad information, which corresponds poorly with root zone moisture and doesn’t provide enough granularity for you to identify the variations in soil quality between different parts of the field.As a result, optimal turf conditions cannot be achieved, water is wasted, and repetitive maintenance activities increase your costs.
With underground soil monitoring, you don’t have to settle for inconsistent manual samples or a single average moisture value for the entire field. Instead, you can place multiple underground sensors across your field in the locations you know are different by experience. Distributed sensors allow you to monitor soil moisture, salinity, and temperature in different parts of the field and apply an individual turf maintenance plan for each area.
By identifying the soil quality variations in your field, you can apply the right site-specific maintenance activities and eliminate turf quality variations.
You can improve the turf quality and, at the same time, minimize quality variations across the field. The accurate and timely soil data allows you to optimize grass growth, adjust the field hardness to minimize injuries, avoid leaching of fertilizers, and use fewer water additives and surfactants.
Because you always know the exact soil moisture level, you can reduce water consumption safely. The maintenance work efficiency increases, which allows you to move from reactive maintenance to proactive turf development instead!