There are certain types of grasses that should be planted on a soccer field. The type of grass not only affects the player’s performance but also alters the way how the ball responds and bounces. The choice of grass seed also depends upon the weather conditions of a certain area.
For example, Kentucky Bluegrass and BermudaGrass are usually used in the Northern United States because these types require less maintenance. In high traffic areas, the Perennial Ryegrass and Tall Fescue are used because they offer spongy and soft surfaces.
On the other hand, in Premier League football fields, semi-natural grass with a hybrid grass system is used that flaunts about 20 million artificial turf fibers.
Why is Choosing the Right Grass Seed Type Important?
In a soccer game, even the tiniest details can make a world of difference. Planting synthetic turf or natural grass in a field with different requirements can cause a career-changing injury and break the entire game.
A full-size soccer field covers the area of 100 to 120 yards in length and 70 to 80 yards in width. It’s a lot of areas and can cost you a whole lot of money if you choose the wrong type of grass seed.
This article discusses different types of grasses that you can use to improve your football field. Read each type carefully and choose the right option for your facility’s sports field.
Different Grass Types for Soccer Field
Maintaining real grass became very expensive in the 1960s and the sports fields started using artificial grass types such as AstroTurf. It was specially designed by keeping cushioning and foot traction in mind.
However, AstroTurf made it very difficult for the soccer players and other athletes to make sharp turns and it led to unwanted injuries. In order to eliminate these problems, many football fields started using fibers offering a similar experience to natural grass.
Later on, most athletic fields switched to natural types of grasses that can recover quickly offer better aesthetics and playing experience. The following list contains the best grass types that you can use.
1. Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky Bluegrass is a natural grass variety for sports fields that makes an ideal choice for cooler seasons. It’s considered to be one of the best grass types that sports fields located in the far north use.
Kentucky Bluegrass has a creeping growth and it also germinated very quickly. However, it’s important to note that Kentucky Bluegrass takes a longer time to grow as compared to most grasses and it also doesn’t tolerate shade.
This type of grass comes with dark blue to emerald green hues that also improve the look of football fields. The low establishing time allows the Kentucky Bluegrass to produce fine texture.
2. The Tall Fescue
The Tall Fescue is yet another popular natural grass type that’s used in football fields with a cooler climate. It’s used more commonly in the Northern United States and just like Kentucky Bluegrass the Tall Fescue also germinates faster.
It produces thick and dense sod and offers a green color. The Tall Fescue is a branching grass and you’ll need to reseed your football field two times a year in order to maintain the denser sod properly. This type of grass comes in different sizes and varieties that can also avoid several pests and diseases.
3. Perennial Ryegrass
Over the course of time, new varieties of grass have emerged that make sports fields more ideal, richer, and stronger for gameplay. Perennial Ryegrass is one of those varieties that not only offers better color but also a more suitable texture for soccer.
It’s also a cool-season real football field grass that naturally resists many types of diseases and pests. It grows quickly in an upright direction and forms a dense sod. The best thing about Perennial Ryegrass seed is that it can cover the damage to the field, thanks to its quick recovery.
4. Bermuda Grass
Bermuda Grass is considered to be the best option for football fields located in areas with a warmer climate. It’s best for all types of athletics fields including soccer and is commonly used in transitional areas and Southern parts.
Bermuda Grass required regular overseeding, especially in the fall season, and to achieve early spring greening, people normally use Perennial Ryegrass. Fast repairing, fast-growing, and dense sod are some of the qualities of Bermuda Grass.
5. Field Turf
Field Turf is known as one of the best options for artificial turf and it has almost completely replaced AstroTurf. It’s made of artificial material called polyethylene blades that mimic natural grass.
Field Turf also contains the crushed rubber mixture that ensures a soft and spongy surface. Underneath the green grass, there’s a base of drainage pipes and crushed stones. The softer surface of healthy turf minimizes injuries and offers a great playing experience.
6. Astro Play
Astro Play is made by Astro Turf’s creators. Instead of sand and crushed stones, Astro Play comes with a base made of rubber. It also features nylon roots and uses polyethylene blades.
Astro Play is commonly used in National Football League fields but many soccer fields across the globe also use this type of grass for professional matches.
SprinTurf comes in multiple varieties to infill football fields such as sand and rubber. It’s an artificial turf that’s most commonly used by colleges and high school soccer fields because it’s more affordable than natural grass.
8. Matrix Turf
It’s another type of artificial turf that comes in different shapes and leaf blade lengths. Not only does it provide cushioning and limit injuries but it also flaunts great shock absorption properties.
It’s most commonly used for rugby fields but also makes a great choice for softball, soccer, and baseball fields.
Best Grass Types for Soccer Fields During Different Seasons
Soccer fields require a smoother and more uniform surface than other sports fields and it’s important to choose the right grass type depending upon the season.
Best Grass for Warm Season
If your soccer field is located in an area with a warm climate or you’re looking for a grass type for a warm-season then Bermuda Grass will suit you the best. It comes with a great turf quality and it can also be mowed low.
Best Grass for Cools Season
Kentucky Bluegrass is considered to be one of the best cool-season grasses for areas with mild winters because of its recuperative ability and aggressive growth. It’s also a safer and more reliable playing surface due to its thatch layer and cushioning effects.
But it takes a longer time to establish. Some people use Bluegrass along with Perennial Ryegrass for faster growth and quick repair jobs.
Best Grass for Transitional Zones
Bermuda Grass and Tall Fescues are most commonly used in transitional zones. However, there are some downsides such as it’s hard to obtain lower mowing heights with the Tall Fescues.
It’s also a bunch type which means it requires reseeding more frequently in order to repair/avoid damaged areas. The same is the case with Bermudagrass fields as they also require frequent reseeding as the season progresses.
Some people also use Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass in transitional zones but both also need high maintenance and reseeding. However, Kentucky Bluegrass can be mowed lower and repair damage without the reseeding process.
What Are Some Common Mistakes in Construction of a Soccer Field?
Generally, the best seeding time is from mid-August to mid-September, and not allowing sufficient time for construction before seeding is a common mistake that many people make. Here’s a list of some other common mistakes that you need to keep in mind to achieve the desired results.
- Not providing seeds with enough time to grow and start using the field with immature grass.
- Constructing soccer fields without proper surface drainage.
- Not having adequate maintenance after construction.
- Not performing soil tests to find deficiencies in nutrients.
- Not using fertilizer in early summer and spring.
- Restricting root growth by mowing below the recommended high.
How to Choose the Best Grass Seed?
There are multiple factors that you need to consider while choosing the best grass seed including drainage, wear resistance, consistency, and traffic tolerance. In order to avoid bare spots and weeds, you might also need to change the grass seed type with time.
Here are some important characteristics that you need to consider while choosing the best grass seed for soccer fields.
Grass Seed Heads
Regardless of the type, you must choose the grass seeds that come with fine stemmed and dense heads. The smaller the seeds the quicker they’ll grow and offer dense grass.
The germination rate of the best grass seed for soccer fields is always high. It means the majority of seeds grow quickly as soon as they’re exposed to sunlight and moisture.
Quick Growth Rate
It’s yet another important feature that you must consider while choosing grass seeds. If the rate of grass seeds for soccer fields is high, you’ll be able to use the field for matches sooner.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.