A Guide to Winter Oversowing, developed by Dr. Phil Ford.
The aim: full grass cover over the whole ground for the whole season
The extremely high turf quality provided on premier football venues in recent years has raised the bar for the turf quality expected on community-level football grounds. The new aim at all levels of football should be to maintain full grass coverage, even in high-traffic areas such as goalsquares, right through the season. As well as improving the visual appeal and playing quality for football, full grass coverage is now recognised as a major factor in reducing non-contact injury risk in football. So what does it take to provide a field with full grass coverage over the whole ground for the whole season? Certainly there is a requirement for sensible scheduling of play, and the need for adequate funds for labour, equipment and other inputs. This places a burden of responsibility on ground authorities and owners. But there is also a need to optimise turf agronomy – things like drainage, aeration, pest control, fertilising etc. Perhaps the most important agronomic task is selecting the most suitable grass species. Our research clearly shows that the optimum grass combination for Australian football fields is a well executed 2-grass system using couchgrass over the summer and oversowing with perennial ryegrass for the winter. This system preserves all the advantages of couchgrass, such as drought resistance, but also provides improved colour, wearability and playing quality over winter. You will also have more couch on the ground when spring returns, as the oversown perennial ryegrass protects the underlying couch plants. This means a faster transition back to summer sport. This Oversowing Guide is designed to promote the correct procedures in this system.
Oversowing Guide Trial Data:
Please click on the links below for trial data relating to the PGG Wrightson Turf Guide to Oversowing:
- Endophytes in turf-type perennial ryegrass
- Winter activity of perennial ryegrass cultivars
- The winter ET Rate of pure Couch in comparison with Couch oversown with Perennial Ryegrass or Poa trivialis
- Assessment of football surface quality and couchgrass recovery with or without winter oversowing with perennial ryegrass