While 2017 is quickly coming to a close, The Hills Shire Council is eagerly gearing up to do a renovation overhaul of its sporting fields.
From December through to March, Council will embark on a maintenance program to get its fields ready for another active season of winter sports.
Normally, winter sports have a high impact on grass and significant works are needed to bring the fields into tip-top shape for the next season.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said Council was taking action to ensure the fields remain in a high standard for years to come.
“Our sporting fields are incredibly popular and we need to make certain they remain in a safe and playable condition for residents and local sporting teams,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Thousands of players use our sporting fields each week. That’s why we are undertaking work at this time to make sure they are durable and remain that way well into the future.
“I know there is a lot of pressure to use our fields throughout the year and that’s why I want to thank our residents and local sporting teams for being so patient during this time,” Mayor Byrne added.
Over the course of four months, Council will undertake the following:
Aeration will be carried out on 42.6 hectares of sporting fields.
Aeration includes using a cylindrical drum which punctures the ground with small holes so water, air and fertiliser can get down to the roots. This process also allows the distribution of soil across the field.
Weed and pest treatment
As part of field renovation, around 84.27 hectares of sporting fields will be treated to prevent weed and pest infestation.
Removing the infestation, including the pests that eat the roots and kill the grass, helps new turf growth to occur.
About 4,410 tonnes of top dressing will be laid across our sporting fields.
Top dressing involves spreading sand across the fields to fill holes and keep the field surface planar and sloping the correct way.
Approximately 9.2 tonnes of rye seed covering 20.5 hectares of sporting fields will be sewn.
Oversowing is generally started at the end of Febrary/March when the weather cools down and oversewn fields need three to four weeks of rest to let the shoots grow. When the summer grass dies back the winter grass is ready to go.
More than 6,800 m2 of turf will be laid across our sporting fields.
At the end of any sports season, some high-use areas on fields, particularly near goals and the centre of the ground, may need returfing. In these cases overused areas may need to be completely dug out and replaced with new turf as a last resort.
Cricket wickets must be covered with topsoil and about 1,710 m2 of synthetic and natural turf will be laid so that winter sports can be played over the top of the cricket fields. Work is normally carried out after the cricket season.
Checking the lights
Council also takes the opportunity to check if any lights need changing.