How do they Keep Football Field Grass Green in the Winter
We are approaching another Super Bowl and as I watched the NFL playoffs, I wondered how do they keep the football field grass green in the cold Winter? Grasses naturally go dormant during high and low temperatures to protect itself. If you look out your window you will see your lawn is brown for the Winter. If you watched the two games yesterday in Boston and Philadelphia (both played in cold weather cities) you saw a field with green grass. How is that? How do they keep football fields green in the Winter?
I researched this and what I learned was very interesting. To keep grass growing and green during very low temperatures you must do two things. Warning – Do NOT attempt this at home. If you do though, call me because I want to see it.
- Keep the Soil from Freezing – They keep the soil temperature high enough that it doesn’t freeze with a complex system of anti-freeze piping that pumps extremely hot water through it. This warms the soil temperature tricking the plants into thinking it is the middle of the the growing season. The roots and grass blades continue to grow not knowing what is going on. The grass stays green and needs mowed, fertilized, and watered just like normal.
- Replicate the Sun with Monster Heat Lamps – They use giant mobile heat lamps to give off fake sunshine to the grass. These massive structures usually take several turf managers to operate and move, but these crazy lamps with their 1000w bulbs generate enough light to trick the grass into growing as if it were the middle of April. These systems would make Cheech envious how well they grow grass inside.
Pretty cool huh? Most fields are now implementing both these systems as a combined effort to keep the grass growing thick and green. I’m sure back in the day, they would just spray paint the grass green, but now with the help of technology sports field managers have new toys to play with. My only question is how much is their electric bill?