Soccer Fields in Spring Transition
You might have noticed that soccer fields at the Pleasant Run Soccer Complex look a little different this spring. Colleyville Parks staff have halted the practice of overseeding to fields in an effort to improve the health of the turf.
In late summer of 2018, staff met with the Colleyville Soccer Association (CSA) prior to the start of their fall season. In this discussion, staff expressed the desire to strengthen the integrity of the turf by not overseeding in the fall 2018 season.
Part of our turf maintenance practice is to evaluate the integrity of the Bermuda grass at the end of every summer, in anticipation of the upcoming fall season. By taking a year off of over-seeding, this allows the rye grass, which is used in overseeding, to eventually transition out of the Bermuda turf and allow the Bermuda to strengthen for the rigorous use that these fields typically encounter. Dr. A.J. Powell, Jr., University of Kentucky's Turf Extension Specialist has stated that, “there is no conclusive research that shows that overseeding improves anything except color. Since the overseeding is made during early fall, it remains a weak seedling throughout fall play and does not improve traction or wear tolerance.” CSA is aware of the conditions of the fields and our desire to maintain the fields at a high quality level.
The maintenance on the Pleasant Run soccer fields includes Colleyville staff aerating the fields multiple times. Aeration helps to avoid compaction of the soil and allows nutrients and water to travel deep into the root system. The Bermuda grass will start coming out of dormancy and greening up in the next few weeks. In early April, staff will apply a nutrient application and aerate again to continue the strengthening of the Bermuda. Staff has begun mowing twice a week, at a height of ½“to continue the growth and resiliency of the turf. By the end of April, if the warm weather continues, the Bermuda turf should be predominant throughout the soccer fields.