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Resistant and durable

When it comes to hybrids, the strength of the turf during the season and the durability of the system over time is often the first concern of investors. This, in fact, has always been an object of study and continuous improvement since 2011. In 2014 we found the right backing to protect the roots, in 2016 a unique method of welding the fibres to the backing to be able to renew the system several times and finally, in 2019 the HEALgreen maintenance method to enhance photosynthesis and mitigate biotic and environmental stresses. In addition, from 2019 we will be using ultra-resilient and resistant fibres to promote the resilience of the system and meet the expectations of a very long life span. Our customers are now convinced that we perform "miracles" but it is simply because our skills and experience have become unique in the industry.

POWERgrass hybrid system is resistant to intensive play

Goalkeeper Nobile during an action with SambGoalkeeper Nobile during an action with Samb

Many people invest in an artificial turf pitch because they can train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In reality, the requirements for a playing field rarely exceed 1000 hours of play per year for a team of 25 players. This is because, during the day, most of the children are at school and the adults at work; in fact, in most cases, the pitches are used after 16:00 and until 20:00. One day a week the employees close the facility for a weekly rest and, between public holidays and holidays, the game is played 40-42 weeks a year. 

Therefore, the demand that POWERgrass intends to meet is for around 1000 hours of playing time on natural grass, which meets the real needs of 90% of the football clubs.

After extensive research and field experience, we can state that with POWERgrass, the sods of natural grass do not rise, due to the strong anchorage of the roots to the innovative backing; therefore, the playing surface is not easily damaged and remains level during the season. By following the teachings of POWERgrass technicians, through simple but constant maintenance, it is possible to achieve a high quality of natural grass throughout the year to withstand the load of the playing season.

However, it is good to have a few limitations and precautions in mind

During the growing season, the natural POWERgrass lawn can withstand up to 6 hours of play per day, without suffering any particular damage, but it is advisable to reduce activity during the winter period, when the natural grass is in dormancy because it can gradually thin out, although the fibres, present in high quantities, can guarantee a playable surface. POWERgrass mitigates temperature changes and protects the roots, thanks to its backing and increased biological activity, but playing on frozen ground should be avoided in order not to cause major damage to the lawn and to preserve the health of the players.

If the weather is extreme, it is advisable to integrate a heating system in the root zone or cover the pitch with a non-woven geotextile during frosty nights and until late morning the next day, if the temperature is expected to be below -5°C for several hours during the night. If the frost persists even during the day, it is best to maintain the cover and suspend sporting activities.

In the case of playing and training fields for professionals, it should be borne in mind that athletic preparation begins a month earlier than for amateurs. In Italy, in August and until mid-September there are high day and night temperatures for the growth of cool season grasses (Lolium Perenne, Poa Pratensis and Festuca Arundinacea) and the double stress of heat and intensive play can cause damage to the turf; therefore, it is better to use the field early in the morning to avoid excessive stress to the turf. If intensive use is necessary with temperatures above 25°C, it is advisable to seed warm season grasses such as Bermudagrass (Cynodon Dactylon) or Paspalum Vaginatum if you are in the presence of saline water.

It may seem trivial, but it is worth repeating that grass is resistant and recovers quickly in the POWERgrass hybrid system, as long as the play is distributed over the whole field. Therefore, all static training is prohibited and you must move around the pitch every day, changing the training area. For example, "skips" from a standstill are extremely intensive for the natural grass, which can give way after a few hours. Concentrated training should be placed in different areas of the pitch each day, such as goalkeeper training, short passes of the ball etc.

The pitch supervisor should collect each item at the end of training and move the target pins to different areas of the pitch the next day to distribute the weekly playing load over the whole pitch surface. Where it is not possible to have a dedicated area for goalkeeper training, mobile goals, to be moved daily, should be used to preserve the fixed goal area, which should only be used for matches.

Resistance during the season and durability depends on the maintenance of the natural lawn, taking care not to damage the synthetic turf.

Balanced nutrition, combined with frequent raking for surface cleaning, light perforation up to the backing to alleviate soil compaction and periodic localised reseeding of the most damaged areas, mitigate and compensate for the stresses of intensive play. Cultivation according to the HEALgreen method, together with careful water management for irrigation, keeps soil conditions in the favourable range for roots and mitigates thermal stress. In this way, the need for specialist maintenance during the summer break can be reduced and overall maintenance costs and water consumption can be kept down.

Correct use of the field and constant maintenance promotes a rich and homogeneous lawn cover, almost all year round. In this way, the natural grass covers and protects the synthetic turf, which is not exposed to the sun as much and does not age the synthetic fibres by UV rays, especially in summer when the sun is stronger and warmer.

The life span of POWERgrass is therefore estimated at least 20 years of intensive use, with some precautions on maintenance work to avoid irreversible damage to the backing and synthetic fibres. 

Operations prohibited or to be carried out by POWERgrass technicians

As an indication, but not an exhaustive list, some prohibited operations, operations to be carried out by POWERgrass technicians and alternative cultivation solutions are indicated. 

Aggressive scarifying with fixed or moving blades must be avoided. In addition, repeated top-dressing must be avoided as it buries the synthetic fibres and consequently, the crowns of the natural grass seedlings are not protected. As a rule, top-dressing on natural turfgrass lawns serves to level the surface and close the small holes that players make in the playing surface. This does not happen in POWERgrass, because we have never seen the need for top-dressing. 

Do not use disc seeders which can cut fibres, but those with conical nails which tend to move the fibres along with the lawn. For obvious reasons, coring with hollow tines and deep cuts with spikers is not permitted to avoid excessive damage to the artificial backing. Grass roots tend to re-sod the cut, but there is a risk of lifting the sod along with the artificial grass during the operation.

For the returfing operation, i.e. the removal of the natural grass together with the soil deposited on the surface and the reseeding from scratch every 3-4 years, consult only POWERgrass' authorised technicians, otherwise the system's 12-year warranty will expire.

A very beneficial operation that POWERgrass strongly recommends is frequent passage with the roller with nails penetrating the first 30-35 mm of the surface to alleviate compaction above the backing. In addition, mechanical raking keeps the surface clean by removing the dirt that players generate from intensive play.

It is also possible to periodically use the Verti-Drain with the 8 or 12 mm thin nails to break up the soil deeply and make it more draining and softer. This operation is particularly suitable when the weather is excessively wet.

Use cylinder mowing machines to cut the grass and generally follow the HEALgreen maintenance programme, consulting POWERgrass technicians on a regular basis.

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