Four pitches were constructed by a leading sports pitch contractor. There is chalk subsoil and no drainage provisions were installed. The grass growth was very stunted over most of the site.
On investigation it was found that a layer of sand had been introduced. The resultant rapid drying out and leaching of nutrients in this sand layer had resulted in the stunted growth.
It became evident that the grass cover would have to be removed and the sand properly incorporated into the topsoil in order to obtain a manageable depth of root zone material.
On one of the pitches this sand layer had been incorporated into the sandy loam topsoil and the result was significantly better. However, in view of the sand content in the upper profile and the absence of irrigation constant monitoring would be necessary to ensure fertility was maintained.
Above left: Topsoil core
Above right: Incomplete mixing