The company name is program. The brothers rudolf (33) and johann soder (28) from kilianshof/rhon in the municipality of sandberg are the "sports field professionals. The idea to offer soccer clubs know-how around the sports field was the father’s idea many years ago. Master farmer rudolf soder tells the local newspaper how to treat lawns in this difficult season for footballers.
Football goes on winter break no later than mid-december. Not only the kicker, but also the floor needs a break after several months of strain?
Rudolf soder: the most important break for the turf is the break in summer. Because there is the vegetation phase. In winter there is no vegetation, therefore no regeneration is possible in these months. Damage can be caused by extreme weather conditions.
So the lawn rests. Happens more in the soil? What do bacteria and earthworms do??
Also the ground life is quasi set. The earthworms crawl deep into the soil. Only when the soil temperature rises to six or seven degrees do bacteria and worms become active again. Then the growth can be very fast. This is usually the case in the middle to end of march.
People get cold more often in winter. The lawn or the soil can also become diseased?
Yes. The lawn can get a fungal disease, for example by the snow mold. In case of infestation the grass dies off. The lawn then has weeds and round patches. A sign that the turf was not properly nourished beforehand. The associated monitoring may result in fungal infestation. With a special manure the lawn should be built up during the year so that it becomes more resistant.
Frost, rain, snow: what harms the turf, what is easier for the surface to cope with??
The snow does the least damage. A closed snow cover does not matter. Rain can cause problems if the grass does not let water through and plugs form. Standing water can ruin the place. A waterlogged wetness is formed. The grass is soaked up like a sponge, it cannot breathe, it suffocates. In summer, photosynthesis is no longer possible. A drainage helps naturally with the water drainage. And if the water freezes in winter, the turf can be damaged, so that the grass also dies.
What type of grass can best withstand cold or wet conditions??
There are special grass mixtures for soccer fields. Here in the region we use a so-called standard mix, which we obtain externally. For particularly stressed lawns, for example in the alps, there are then again more robust grass varieties.
The clubs are currently in the preparation phase. Thaw has set in. It rains a lot. To what extent can the turf be damaged??
The least can happen in case of heavy frost. If the ground is frozen, the fubballer cannot do any damage. It becomes a problem when the courts thaw and parts of the ground are frozen. Then clumps of grass can be torn out. Such damages are currently not to be repaired at all. If the possibility exists, it is better to wait a little longer before training and playing. As said, the regeneration occurs only with the growth phase. It is therefore all the more important to treat the pitch with care in winter.
What can be done specifically?
Groundskeepers, coaches and players should take care to minimize wear and tear on the pitch. For example, the goals should be moved again and again to avoid point loads. From march/april on, the nutrient supply of the lawn should be ensured. Unevenness due to cleats, but also leaf and aste residues can be removed by scarification. The same goes for the earthworm droppings that are often seen on the grass. By the way, they are a sign that the maintenance of the place was not intensive enough.
Especially in the preparatory phase, clubs train three to four times a week. Does it make a difference whether I use cleated or studded shoes??
Cleats are more aggressive. Especially in wet conditions, more severe damage is possible. In normal weather conditions the cleated shoe is good for the soil, because the soil is aerated and the growth is stimulated.
Some clubs clear their fields after heavy snowfalls. Is there any danger for the lawn or the turf??
Clearing the snow can be dangerous if the ground is not frozen. Especially when using machines, the grass can suffer considerably. Manual clearing is less risky. On the other hand, a closed snow cover can have an insulating effect and protect against bare frosts. At 20 degrees below zero, the turf can be damaged if there is no snow cover. The player will only cause damage if the ground under the snow cover is soft.
When to start training and playing in the sense of the turf?
The lawn would be fine if it continued only in april.