Ronald Mashinga, Sports Reporter
TWENTY-THREE participants attended a two-day greenkeeping and turf management workshop held at the ZRP Golf Club in Harare at the weekend.
The workshop ran under the theme ‘‘Transforming the Zimbabwe Turf Industry’’ and was aimed at enhancing greenkeepers’ turf care and equipment management techniques.
“With Rain Bird and Talking Turf, we touched on irrigation schemes, how best we can appreciate technologies that are being used nowadays so that we save water and how to deal with the water challenges in the country. We were also taught how to water our turfs,” said Tizirai Sithole.
Representatives from Toro and TML spoke about machinery, maintenance of turf equipment, how to use the equipment and turf management.
On how they could impart their newly acquired knowledge to assist in turf management at the country’s sporting facilities, Sithole said it was possible to conform to international standards, especially in football.
“The standards for football grass should be 5mm. This is to give a more natural and soft bounce in comparison to artificial turfs. Football fields should have at least a one to two percent slope. The crown must provide a slope that moves water to the shortest distance off the ground. There is also sub-surface drainage which removes excess water from the root zone during high rainfall events, which assist in moving the water out of the soil by providing a pathway of drainable water to leave the soil,” he said.
The crown is the raised portion of a football field that provides a slope to promote runoff of surface water.
“The best practice is to water in the early morning, which allows for adequate time for the soil to dry before field use.
‘‘This could be done once or twice a week,” Sithole said.
He said soil texture limits also influence watering and fertilising management, and the best suitable soil for football pitches is sandy and silty clays.