Soon, players will don their shoulder pads, cleats, and helmets and rush out to roaring crowds. Whether you maintain a high school, college, or NFL football field, there are seven ways you can always ensure it is in tip-top shape. 

And once you've got your field up to snuff, Field Wall Pads can help protect and beautify the area. Year-round field maintenance is key. The more diligent you are about football maintenance, the less likely you'll experience any surprises before your players hit the gridiron.

Consider the following pre-season field maintenance tips:

Test the Soil

Most labs recommend you collect a soil sample every three years for native soils and every year for sand-based fields. Collecting a sample is easy. The test results will tell you about soil pH levels and minerals and help you determine the best type of grass to use in your region and climate. 

Using the proper grass will make your turf healthy and lush. Work with a local university or cooperative extension office for advice and information.

Aerate the Field 

Players are hard on the turf, which causes a lot of wear and tear. In addition, mowing and treating the field can create soil compaction. Soon, the grass will have bald patches, as in the photos shown in those "Hair Club for Men" advertisements. 

Play defense by aerating the football field. Proper aeration will provide better air exchange, reduce compaction, and help promote deeper root development. 

Learn How & When to Mow

You'll need to mow during each and every season. One rule of thumb: Don't let your field grow beyond where newly cut grass won't blend in. 

During warmer months, keep your mower blade height at about 1-2 inches. During the off-season, adjust your blade height to 2-3 inches. 

If you want to get really fancy, consider adding patterns to your field.

Fertilize Like a Pro

Remember the periodic table of elements from your high school chemistry class? Football fields love nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. You'll know the right combination after you receive your soil test results. 

The best time to fertilize is when the grass is actively growing. But just like Goldilocks discovered, you don't want too much or too little. You need to apply just the right amount.

Keep a Lookout for Pests

An open field can be the perfect place for nature to move in when it's not in use. Ants, gophers, and moles can make quick work of the field and move in colonies without the right control methods. Bird droppings are another common problem. Because they're acidic, they can wreak havoc on the field, equipment, and structures. 

Keep a crew on hand to clean up the droppings and, if needed, work with a professional expert to keep any unwanted animals at bay. 

Keep the Foot Traffic to a Minimum

If your stadium is active in the offseason with cheerleaders or band members, this can wear down different field sections and create more work for you. Work with directors and coaches to ensure the playing surface doesn't get excessive use by moving around individuals who still need access even when games aren't happening.

Stay on Top of Watering Regimens

Some people think that letting a football field dry out to avoid playing in the mud is a good idea, but the truth is that the grass needs ongoing watering. This is an important step, so you want to be strategic in how you irrigate so the plants continue to get the moisture they need to grow through the season. 

As an extra measure, make sure you winterize the pump and lines because the last thing you want to deal with when spring comes is frozen pipes busting and turning the field into a huge mess.

Protect Your Players and Make Your Stadium Stand Out with

Now that you've created a lush, healthy, green playing field, don't ignore your sidelines. Display your team mascot and colors by adding stadium wall padding from Field Wall Pads. You can also dress up stadium rails, posts, fences, and goalposts with our heavy-duty padding. 

UV, water, and mildew resistant, our durable stadium padding boosts team and school spirit, and custom design options add a splash of color to any field.

For over 37 years, we have been a leader in the field, setting the standards for materials and customer service. For more information, call 800-257-6405 or request a quote online today.