What's the one thing that connects football pitches, tennis courts and domestic lawns? Grass. Or more accurately, turf. Turf is the name given to grass together with the surface layer of top soil held together by its roots. If you’ve spent any time on this planet at all, you’ve probably already encountered it somewhere. And if you've ever considered a career in horticulture or sports ground maintenance, or even if you just want to beautify your own garden, turf skills are an essential thing to have.
The Care and Feeding of Lawn Grass
Unlike its artificial equivalents such as concrete, clay or AstroTurf, normal turf is very much alive with the same needs as other living organism. It requires food and nutrients for a start typically absorbing these through its roots. They also need sunlight and water, two things that can be difficult to come by in necessary quantities in some places such as artificial indoors sports pitches or arid regions.
Getting water to a plant of course is only part of the issue with drainage being an important part as well. Too much liquidity can drown a plant and/or wash it away leading to an ugly looking patch of lawn or sports field.
Another thing to consider is that not all grasses are created equal and the different varieties commercially available have different suitability’s for various purposes. Naturally the first concern for any turf maintainer is appearance as this is the major reason to use real grass over artificial alternatives. However durability is also an important factor, especially where the turf is expected to see frequent heavy foot traffic. Sports pitches especially require careful thought as to which grasses to grow on the ground in order to strike a balance between durability and appearance.
Beyond that not all varieties of turf grow equally well in all climates. An outdoor stadium in the Northern US would want a grass that coped better with the cooler conditions than one in sunny Spain. A turf expert must learn the different traits of the available grass varieties in order to make the correct recommendations for planting.
Opportunities for Turf Experts
Learning to care for turf is a key skill of anyone practically minded looking for a job in the horticulture sector. There are a huge range of employers and potential places where someone with appropriate knowledge of grass care can find work. These include:
- Sports Grounds
- Schools and College Groundskeepers
- Public Parks and Amenities
- Festival Grounds
- Stately homes and historic landmarks
- Private gardening firms
- Leisure Centres
- Conservation Areas
Taking an online course is an excellent way to quickly build your skill and confidence. Whether you want to maintain sports pitches or are more interested in ornamental gardens an online course with an expert tutor is ideal whether your goal is personal or professional.