Natural turf installation using seeds for football pitches

Natural turf football pitches can be created using either so-called ready turf or sowing, that is, using a grass seed mix composed from various grass species according to requirements.

The grass species recommended by UEFA for football pitch turfs are smooth-stalked meadow-grass (Poa pratensis), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea).

Within individual species we can use cultivars designed for the requirements of sports turfs, whether to cultivate turf panels or sow on site. The most tried and tested species used in grass seed mixes for football are smooth-stalked meadow-grass, perennial ryegrass and their varieties.

Research and development

Characteristics of individual species and properties of the varieties

  • Smooth-stalked meadow-grass is a grass with stolons belonging to the Poaceae family. Its particular feature is that its shoots growing on the nodes of the stolon form a thick grass surface, by growing in clumps as it covers empty areas. It is difficult to grow from seed; therefore it is often used in the form of turf panels on football pitches. It is excellent for growing turf panels, as the stolons hold the panel together when it is removed. The basic species can be mowed back to 40 mm, while cultivars to as little as 20 mm. Its regenerating ability is good – although it takes time to fill in damaged patches – with suitable resistance to tramping. It requires plenty of nutrients, water and light; although more shade-tolerant varieties already exist. It forms a long-life turf. The thousand grain weight of seeds is 0.17-0.3 g. It takes 20 days to grow, so it is often treated with additives that stimulate germination.

  • Perennial ryegrass is not part of the Poaceae family. The basic species flourishes in tramped grass along roads, which makes it also suitable for football as the grass variety most resistant to tramping. It can be grown easily from seeds and grows in clumps. Due to its rapid growth and germ development it is also used as a protective plant for slower-growing other species. The basic species can be mowed back to 40-50 mm, which can be reduced down to around 20 mm using cultivars. It is not able to regenerate, so blank patches are filled using surface sowing. Cultivars now include a variety that spreads via rhizomes. This grass species requires plenty of sunlight, nutrients, and water. The thousand grain weight of seeds is 2g.

  • We have sown a mixture containing 6 varieties of perennial ryegrass and 3 of smooth-stalked meadow-grass. Seed consumption is 40g/m2, producing 60 000 germs/m2. This is line with the professional requirement of 30-60 000 germs recommended for physiological reasons.

  • We created the turf of the pitches of Illés Academy in Szombathely by sowing grass seeds. The seed mixture contains different varieties of perennial ryegrass and smooth-stalked meadow-grass.

  • The composition of the seed mix is 75% perennial ryegrass and 25% smooth-stalked meadow-grass by weight, but due to the different thousand grain weight on account of the size of seeds this translates to sowing 25% perennial ryegrass and 75% smooth-stalked meadow-grass.

  • As a result, the cultivated turf will consist mainly of smooth-stalked meadow-grass, similarly to the case of pitches created using turf panels.

  • Before sowing we spread a manure base; after sowing seeds are watered to promote growth. Once grass has grown, the first mowing is adjusted to its growth rate: when the first grass stalks reach a height of 8-10 cm, they must be cut back to 5 cm.

  • After the start of secondary root formation at around 6-8 weeks the formation of turf suitable for sports begins, but at this point it still cannot bear loads.

Dr. Szemán László

We believe that success is only possible together with reliable partners.
We thank them for being there for us in past, and we hope we can rely on them in the future as well.

We believe that success is only possible together with reliable partners.
We thank them for being there for us in past, and we hope we can rely on them in the future as well.