In the previous two installments (part one, part two) of this three-part series we discussed soil care and turf selection. For the final installment of the series, let's examine what you need to know about caring for specialized Parks and Recreation areas. We will also touch upon the modern technology that can help you maintain all of the spaces for which you are responsible.
Defining Specialized Areas
In the Parks and Recreation industry, when many people think of turf or grass, they picture a standard park. Perhaps they might also picture walking trails, lake shorelines, etc. However, there are many other areas to consider. Some examples include:
- Golf Courses
- Athletic Fields
- Tennis Courts
When caring for areas such as those listed above, you can apply many of the methods discussed in the first two installments of this article series. However, you must also address needs specific to those specialized areas. Doing so requires making note of how each area is used and how that use impacts the condition of the turf.
Examples of Specialized Area Care Concerns
Let's consider a golf course as an example of specialized area care concerns. A golf course consists of several different types of turf. It also endures a lot of use and wear. Golfers may not be able to play efficiently if the wrong turf or turf maintenance methods are used. For example, most golfers do not like thatched turf because it makes golf balls bounce unpredictably. However, mowing the turf with a mowing method that causes the grass to straighten as it is cut can eliminate that problem.
Another common golf course issue is traffic. Whether it is foot traffic or golf cart traffic, greens and the areas surrounding them can quickly show signs of wear with such regular use. Creating specific pathways for golf carts and moving cups frequently can help you limit those issues.
Other Potential Needs of Specialized Areas
Using the golf course example again, the course grass is cut frequently and kept short. Therefore, it is not as strong as other grasses. It needs more fertilization to stay healthy. A specialized area may also have certain maintenance or temporary closure needs relating to weather. For instance, a golf course might require special maintenance or temporary closure after heavy rain. Be sure to also consider any specific seasonal or situational maintenance an area may require, such as removing trash from the turf after a sporting event.
Using Modern Technology to Your Advantage
Modern technology is constantly advancing, and you can take advantage of those advancements. Many of them can make turf management far easier than it may have been in previous years. Examples include:
- Newly Developed Turf Types, Fertilizers, Ground Cover Varieties Etc.
- New Machinery Used for Maintenance Processes
- Computerized Maintenance Records and Schedules
- Organizations Dedicated to Pooling and Sharing Maintenance Resources and Information
Staying On Top of Turf Management
We hope this three-part series has given you new helpful insights into turf management. As you can see, you have to stay on top of the process. Get to know the needs of the areas you maintain. Use proper regular and seasonal maintenance procedures. Above all else, stay informed. New methods that could help you streamline turf installment and care are constantly being developed.