Football fans in Seattle, WA are loudest of all, but the whole of Washington State is excited. We’re already deciding which super bowl from our pantry will hold the most nachos, in preparation for the big game. What about the preparation though? A super bowl of nachos is nothing without high grade cheddar cheese, olives, and salsa. Then it’s just a bowl of chips. So what makes the Big Game special?
It all starts with the turf. There are a number of ways to get a field ready for a football game. Rainy climates like Seattle, WA have it easy. Parks can seed a field and reliably expect that the seeds will germinate and the field will grow. This can take anywhere from 2 to 12 months. Somewhere that sees professional use like Safeco Field will probably choose sodding. A hotter climate like the University of Phoenix Stadium can achieve success quickly and easily from sodding as well. This can be accomplished and ready for use in as little as 6 – 8 weeks.
A football field requires a hardy grass strain. Since these fields are going to see a lot of abuse, it needs to be able to hold up to constant wear and frequent mowing. This make several grass types ideal depending on the climate. Bermuda grass is predominantly used in warm climate. Cooler climates take better to kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Often times application depends on the season. Ryegrass applications on damaged areas and pre-cold months ensure good coverage during the active season when grass is dormant.
It’s also important that the soil have proper drainage, good texture, and is porous. This is accomplished through a number of different methods. Scarifying soil breaks it up. This leaves football fans with a smooth dirt field to grade. Grading evens the playing field. Filling in divets and removing mounds is necessary for a fair game and a flat field. Fertilizer can aid grass in growing, taking root, and establishing a healthy root zone 8 – 12 inches below the soil.
Once all the soil preparation has been completed, rolls of sod as long as 3.5′ by 140′ are laid on the field. Once that 6 – 8 weeks is up, you’re ready for action. Without soil prep and carefully prepared sod you’ve just got a dirt field. So when you watch the Big Game on Sunday, eating a super bowl of nachos, don’t forget that without prep work, dedication, and condiments, you’d be watching a bunch of guys run around a dirt field, eating a bowl of unsalted tortilla chips.