If you are hiring someone to construct a sporting field for your organization or facility, there are several decisions you will need to make throughout the process. One of them is deciding between a native-soil or a sand-based understructure. The right decision varies based on multiple circumstances. Here are a few signs that native soil is the right option for you:
1. You want to use natural grass or turf rather than synthetic turf.
Natural grass needs soil to grow. As a result, if you want real grass on your sport field, you may want to stick with native soil. However, if you are planning to use synthetic turf, a sand-based system may be better for you.
2. The native soil has a mix of substances that promotes drainage.
To support the beautiful lush grass that you need on a sport field, your native soil needs to have adequate drainage. If it is too full of clay, it will absorb moisture, making your field too wet to play on. Rather, the ground needs a well-balanced mix of sand, peat, compost or porous ceramics. This helps with both drainage and supporting the growing grass.
3. Slight modifications are all that's needed to address poor quality.
In some cases, you may have a sporting field construction company look at your native soil and tell you that it doesn't have the qualities needed to support a real-grass sport field. However, if the native soil has most of the qualities you need, you may be able to leave it in place and have the construction company add extra peat, sand, clay or whatever it needs.
However, in other cases, slight modifications may not work. In these cases, you may need to remove the top layer of native soil and replace it with layers of sand, stones or fill dirt that is more supportive of grass.
4. You don't want to spend as much on fertilisers.
If the native soil can support the type of grass you want for your sport field, you will be delighted to find that the soil naturally retains nutrients and water. As a result, it needs less fertiliser and watering than most sand-based substructures. If saving money on fertilisers and irrigation is important to you, that is another sign that you should stick with native soil.
5. You want a softer surface for falling.
Finally, when comparing the pros and cons of a sand-based substructure for your sport field, you should also think about how soft and yielding the surface is for athletes. In most cases, native soil is going to be softer for falls than a sand-based substructure. If you want to minimise injuries and the soil you have can support the grass you want, you may want to choose native soil.
Talk with a sport field construction company for more tips on ideas on native soil versus sand.