Things are changing when it comes to pitch renovation

Reesink Hydro-Scapesin Football

This season’s may be the last undertaken the old way!

As the football season concludes, clubs embark on the crucial phase of pitch renovation for stadiums and training grounds and, thanks to technology, this may be one of the last done the old way, says Reesink Hydro-Scapes.

If there’s something that can be relied upon, it’s that technology will be forever changing the goalposts. Here we look at how that is the case when it comes to pitch renovations.

Pitch renovation has come a long way and there’s no going back. In an industry where competitive advantage is everything, it pays to keep ahead with trends and technology.

Pitch renovation is a practical effort to ensure the longevity, safety and optimal playing conditions of the pitch in good time before the next campaign starts.

The pitch gets a battering throughout the playing season, enduring significant wear and tear from regular use, foot traffic, player movement and equipment use, while environmental factors such as weather conditions, temperature fluctuations and precipitation can all further stress the turf and soil.

Without proper maintenance and renovation, pitches can develop uneven surfaces, compacted soil, worn-out turf and drainage issues, compromising player safety and game quality. Renovation is a transition that isn’t merely cosmetic, but a fundamental process that sets the stage for the upcoming season.

What does seasonal renovation involve?

Renovating a pitch, whether in a stadium or training ground has lots of elements involved to yield the maximum results and the correct maintenance techniques and technology can add as much as 30 percent to the lifespan of pitches.

Generally, the key processes undertaken during renovation are:

  • Aeration to minimise compaction and reduce surface hardness. It allows greater water infiltration and percolation through the soil profile. Using a combination of groundbreaking and verti-draining, creates pathways for oxygen and nutrients to reach the root system. This is a vast topic and one we’ve covered in detail in past articles here and now on our website, visit to revisit.
  • Scarifying lightly before and after the playing season is an important football pitch renovation process. It involves the removal of the dead thatch layer, accumulated over a playing season.
  • Overseeding to enhance the turf’s density and fill in any gaps or areas of sparse grass, resulting in a thicker, more uniform turf canopy.
  • Topdressing to level the surface for an even playing field, improve firmness, modify the rootzone, reduce thatch buildup and prepare a seedbed for overseeding.

Supporting these processes and tying them together for the best results is watering, one of the most important factors in sports turf maintenance. Without the necessary moisture for soil conditioning, seed germination and material integration such as fertilisation, wetting agents, biostimulants, herbicides and fungicides, then optimal soil moisture levels won’t be reached for that all-important robust root development to deliver the best quality playing surface.

Whether bedding in a new pitch or supporting maintenance season work, that’s just the start of irrigation’s job load. Come the season starting up again, having the technology and system set-up to hand supports the growing and maintenance of the grass, means deep watering is a possibility and pre-match and half-time watering is a given.

And of course, water also has the added benefit of helping in ball movement, wetting the pitch slightly can make the surface faster or slower, depending on the level of moisture. Some teams and players may prefer specific playing conditions and additional application can help achieve the desired ball behaviour – the easy way to be appreciated by the players.

Irrigation and the problems it solves

There’s a focus in the industry for responsible irrigation, preventing water wastage and sustainable practices, with it fast becoming unacceptable to use methods that don’t support guarding the resource.

And at the heart of the solution is a decent central control system. Central control not only fixes many of the problems, such as a lack of accuracy and inefficiency, but allows for strategies for water application, providing real-time intelligence and reporting, helping to make better decisions.

But change isn’t just affected by the central control system, the sprinklers out in the field are equally as important and, if renovation season is about taking the opportunity to address issues like sprinklers, notwithstanding the tough sports field environment or interrupting the pitch surface or requiring digging up for servicing, or creating pooling, then technology has found the solution to all of that too.

Technology aids the responsible use of water

During pitch renovations, it is rarely just internal operation challenges that ground staff face. Changing environmental conditions, unpredictable temperatures, wind and rainfall patterns all have an impact on how a pitch is watered.

Precision in irrigation becomes paramount in this scenario, enabling managers to adjust water delivery effectively, ensuring the turf receives the appropriate amount of water at the right times, maximising water efficiency.

Without that control and accuracy, water distribution can often be uneven, compromising turf quality as some areas become overwatered, risking root rot and nutrient imbalances, while other areas remain dry and under hydrated. Not to mention the increased operational costs and environmental impacts of oversaturation and water wastage.

Addressing these issues requires implementing precise irrigation techniques and technologies to ensure optimal water use.

What’s the solution?

Now, innovation and technology deliver a centralised solution to manage irrigation that comes from the cloud and the air.

Using pioneering LoRa radio technology for a fully automated water delivery solution – all without wires and a battery that can last an entire season, this is technology made for the pitch.

It’s scalable so field modules can expand the number of irrigation sectors or, for a more precise monitoring of field parameters, can be added and it’s easily incorporated during renovation season.

Connecting to Wi-Fi or a secure 3G/4G broadband cellular network delivers a wide range of data and functions direct to a device, improving the ability to monitor field conditions up to 800m and deliver water to the right place, at the right time, in exactly the right amounts remotely via an app or web platform. Just when you thought the technology couldn’t get cleverer, it does.

Toro Tempus Air is the technology delivering this latest revolutionary way to irrigate sports pitches and training grounds to market, which will undoubtedly form part of the solution to water management in the future.

As well as that, it addresses traditional automation drawbacks such as high costs, labour intensiveness and lengthy installation processes, and is scalable too. Its versatility extends to controlling hydraulic valves, water pumps, pressure valve sensors and filters, while also integrating moisture levels, temperature and wind speed data for precise scheduling.

Time for a seasonal sprinkler update

It’s not just the central control system that can benefits from an upgrade in renovation season. Sprinklers are a quick fix for big rewards.

Sprinklers should be precise, invisible to both players and spectators and perhaps, most importantly, easily accessible to the grounds team who works on the pitch.

Toro B Series sprinklers, with quick-release rubber cap, provide complete top access to the in-field irrigation system, allowing ground staff to simply pop the top off for servicing without having to dig the sprinkler up altogether. This time saving is essential during a tightly scheduled maintenance regime during renovation and playing seasons.

With a large nozzle selection, the B Series gives choice. No matter the problem or the quirk of the stadium or training ground, such as wind or exposure, sprinklers allow for precision by providing the option to easily alter the volume of water being delivered to meet the specific requirements of the pitch.

A full-circle configuration is designed for head-to-head coverage, regardless of the wind and weather, without the need for disassembly or additional parts. And now for even better coverage, Toro’s Flex sprinkler range has updated its riser to deliver a more consistent and defined rotation speed.

Precision irrigation doesn’t just stop patches of turf from being missed, it gives more control over exactly where to place water at any given time. A more targeted approach means only putting water exactly where it’s wanted, avoiding pooling on the pitch, and saving money and the environmental impact of unnecessary water overuse.

Paired with the Turf Cup, designed and available exclusively from Reesink Hydro-Scapes, the Toro B Series becomes a seamless part of the playing surface because grass grows inside the cup to create a continuous area of interrupted turf, for a uniform finish, minimising disruptions and optimising playing conditions.

Be prepared for renovation season this year

There’s no better or simpler way to rejuvenate, repair or prepare grounds between seasons than with an irrigation system that combines sustainability with the latest technology. With proactive planning fundamental in football pitch renovation, a partner with an exceptionally quick turnaround is what’s needed to get the ball rolling immediately to make sure players return to a pitch looking and playing to advantage.

With Reesink Hydro-Scapes, and this combination of products, the whole process can be done in just a couple of months, so your pitch can be ready to perform with the new season.

Having a partner at hand for all things irrigation, from controllers, sprinklers and soil sensors to information on how every system can benefit from Toro innovation, Reesink makes an otherwise busy renovation period run smoothly, meaning ground staff can streamline the renovation process while maximising the long-term benefits, ultimately contributing to the quality and sustainability of football pitches.

For further information, please contact Reesink Hydro-Scapes on 01480 226800 
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