Soil moisture management is key to the safety and playability of athletic fields. Poor athletic field playing quality can negatively impact player performance and safety. The amount of moisture present in your soil, or lack thereof, contributes to the overall ability for turfgrass to absorb nutrients through the root zone as well. A reduced turf cover increases surface hardness reduces traction, which in turn increases the possibility of player injury. Weather also has a huge impact on turfgrass playability as too much rainwater can create unstable conditions due to excessive soil water content. It is important for a proper soil analysis and diagnosis to take place for successful problem correction and appropriate safety precautions to take place. It is also important to note that soil moisture impacts each soil texture differently. Because sandy soils have a higher infiltration rate, soil moisture may have a minimal impact on sand based root zone performance, meaning very little to no nutrients. As soil water increases, surface hardness in turn decreases, creating an unsafe surface for athletic playability making it difficult for your soil so absorb nutrients into the root system.
Water and soil chemistry contribute to the difficulty of properly hydrating the sod root zone. Soil structure plays a huge role in soil moisture management because water must pass through the soil to reach the root zone. Proper plant-available calcium helps maintain a chemical balance in the soil and allows for soil hydration and micro pore space. This is the only location where roots can absorb water and nutrients.