Soccer Mowers & Field Maintenance: Our Top Tips!

In previous years, Groundskeepers, now also known as ‘Sports Turf Managers’, would have worked their way across a sports field with a push mower and hand rake, and whatever was available at the time to produce the best turf possible. However, there has been a notable development in sports fields from a ragged stretch of turf to the masterpieces we see today. This is due to an increase in available technology and build of the machines amongst other things such as the growth in groundskeeper expertise. Sports pitch mowers today are more technical and capable than earlier years, therefore cutting labor hours in half! Maintenance requirements are at an all-time high due to the increased popularity of youth sports and the progression in professional sports over the last decade or so, meaning development in sports maintenance machinery is essential in order to keep up with today’s athletes and sports fanatic’s expectations. Having limited dollars allocated to turf maintenance means that a high-quality machine is a no-brainer, as they provide improved longevity, alongside being incredibly reliable and producing elite quality results.

Are rotary or reel mowers better for a soccer pitch?

Reel mowers are the style of mower that produce the finest cut - of which we have a fine selection! You can view our professional mowers here. We also produce a Homeowner range for those groundskeepers that want to achieve a home lawn as stunning as their sports fields. Due to their scissor-like cutting action providing a clean, healthy cut and the addition of a rear roller, reel mowers are the clear superior choice for a venue such as a soccer field. Allett however manufacture the RM34 Rotary Mower which is proving to be extremely popular for fields at all levels. Originally designed as a debris collection machine the RM34 is increasingly being used by groundsman as a cutting mower due to its strong stripe, quality cut and its speed at cutting a soccer field. Cylinder cutting is however preferred due to the decrease in chances of disease with the cleaner cut of the grass blade. The Buffalo and C34 are our most popular cylinder machines with the C34 giving you the option of interchanging the different cartridges for a wide range of turf care tasks.

The Buffalo

Buffalo Allett Cylinder mower Available in a cutting width of 20”, 34”, 27” and 34” Powered by a Honda GX160 engine Provides height of cuts between 3/8” to 1 5/8” The cutting cylinder has a huge 8” diameter

The C34 (The Ultimate Allrounder)

C range sports mower One of Allett’s most versatile machines as it has the capability of replacing the cutting cylinder with cartridges for a range of other essential turf care tasks; Turf Rake, Verticutter, Brush, 10 Blade Cylinder, Scarifier and Sorrel Roller 20,24, and 34 inch wide mowers available for a range of tasks Floating handlebars for easy comfortable operating Powered by a reliable Honda engine Have a look at David Mellor's Instagram for photos and videos of the C34 in action in America (Boston RedSox-Baseball)

Tractor Mounted Scarifier (For Scarifying)

Tractor mounted scarifier Large working width PTO driven Compatible with tractors Works at depth between 40 and 50mm Perfect for scarifying large areas Ideal if you want to scarify a soccer field quickly and haven’t got a C34/Turf Rake combination

RM34 Rotary Mower

Allett rotary mower 34” width of cut High quality vacuum for debris collection Rear roller to create strong striping Large capacity grass catcher 5 speed gearbox Briggs and Stratton engine

How is best to mow my soccer pitch?

Mowing your soccer pitch regularly and properly is incredibly important, as establishing a rigid mowing schedule will favor deeper set roots, better lawn density and generally a healthier plant. The deeper the root, the better the plant will absorb water and nutrients, making soccer pitch mowing and turf maintenance much easier long term. On soccer fields, linesmen prefer that sports turf managers mow from sideline to sideline, as this can help them call an offside, so this is generally the best protocol. A soccer pitch usually requires turf to be cut at 1.5- 2.5 inches at a professional level.The grass needs to be cut short to ensure the ball moves across the surface at a reasonable speed; in winter it's thinner so the grass can be kept longer. Ensure all grass clippings are collected as leaving these on the pitch will cause disease and stop light getting to the grass leaf for photosynthesis. To avoid your grass growing in one direction we’d always recommend mowing at a right angle to the previous direction as this avoids the root embedding itself firmly in one direction, and therefore producing grass that grows up straight - it also helps create a strong striping effect. Blades must be sharp because a sharper blade results in a healthier and cleaner cut that will leave a more attractive and healthy field. Don’t forget to carry out other turf tasks to improve the standard of your pitch!

How to improve the quality of my soccer pitch?

Athletic fields can be improved with fertilization, to maintain color and density. Soccer pitches or any sports field should be fertilized slightly more regularly than standard areas to keep up with the constant wear and tear. Aeration and irrigation are a key factor to a healthy soccer pitch. As it’s an area that receives a lot of frequent traffic, it’s easier for soil to get compacted which makes it more difficult for the plant to absorb the nutrients and water that it needs to thrive. Allett have a range of cartridges for the job! You are able to switch out cutting blades for our various cartridges on all of the soccer mowers in our sports/professional range, such as the aerator, turf rake, powered verticutter and many more mowing accessories. (C Range machines) The aerator is perfect for removing soil compaction, which improves the flow of water and air into the soil, meaning more secure rooting and better turf health. The sorrel roller would also do a great job at creating a pathway for the water and nutrients to get to the grass roots. It’s important to keep your soccer pitch well watered especially if you’ve seeded the turf so that it doesn't dry out. A well irrigated pitch is greener and more pleasing to the eye for spectators however weeds like annual bluegrass thrive in areas that are overwatered or are poorly drained. Improving soil drainage can aid in turf competition. Allett do a great cartridge for the C Range machines called the Turf Rake. This helps remove moss and built up thatch that stops water and nutrients getting to the root of the grass plant.You can also use it for removal of broken leaves of grass after football matches and removing pitch footprints. Sports field managers use skill and creativity to design field striping patterns that are visually appealing to spectators. The patterns give a professional look to the field and do not affect playability. By mowing in different directions the leaves reflect light resulting in the appearance of dark and light stripes.
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