Fibreturf is the name given to natural turf growing in a synthetic fibre reinforced rootzone. It has been designed in order to obtain greater use out of natural turf whilst maintaining the high quality of surface demanded by present day sports users and amenity or landscape specifiers.
The aim is achieved by blending together sand, organic matter and 35mm long polypropylene fibres to produce a homogeneous rootzone, termed Fibreturf rootzone.
This rootzone is supplied in bulk tippers to be laid as the top 75-200mm, dependant upon end-use, thus producing a 'fibre re-inforced' or 'stabilised' upper rootzone. The natural turf finish is then produced by either seeding directly into the Fibreturf rootzone or by laying mature Fibreturf which has been pre-grown by specialist turf suppliers, Inturf.
The three components of the Fibreturf rootzone all have important but separate functions:
Sand gives the rootzone its necessary free-draining characteristics so that any surface water resulting from heavy rainfall is removed as quickly as possible.
The grade of silica sand selected may vary dependant upon end-use, but in all cases will have been produced in a hydraulic classification process to give a clean, narrow-graded material.
Organic matter provides the nutrient source vital to healthy growth of the grass plant. It also provides a moisture buffer which is particularly important during dry periods of weather.
By experience, it has been found that organic matter derived from blends of soil and/or peat and 'green-waste' compost provide the optimum conditions for sustaining healthy turf.
Polypropylene fibres give immense three-dimensional strength and stability to the rootzone and being rot-proof they can be considered to act as a mass of indestructible synthetic roots both reinforcing and protecting the natural turf roots.
The fibres have a dramatic effect in reducing surface deformation and compaction effects due to loading from foot-traffic or vehicles and also in minimising surface break-up due to the tearing action of 'studded' sports footwear and equipment.
After placement and initial levelling of the Fibreturf rootzone, a fine tilth finish, which is ideal for seeding or for turfing with mature Fibreturf, can readily be achieved using a BLEC rotary stone-raker.
The design of any installation is influenced primarily by two factors:
The end use of the turf.
Typical examples are:
The load-bearing characteristics of the soil or sub-soil on which the Fibreturf rootzone is to be placed.
CBR values will provide the necessary information, if unavailable, appropriate assessment of the sub-soil type should be made, e.g. can it be described as light, sandy and relatively free draining or on the other extreme, heavy clay and poor draining.
Consideration of these two factors will determine, firstly, the grade of Fibreturf rootzone to be used and, secondly, the base upon which the Fibreturf rootzone is placed.
Installation is carried out by hand or by machine, subject to the size of the installation and to accessibility.
Fibre stabilised rootzones can be handled using or forms of loading shovels, however, they are best placed and levelled using tracked machines, for example small to medium sized 360 degree excavators or small dozers.
Fibre stabilised rootzones are best handled with forks and placed and levelled using forks and rakes.
After light consolidation by treading or rolling the surface can be finished to a fine tilth suitable for subsequent seeding or turfing by final raking preferably using a narrow tined rake.
Prepare lower rootzone, sub-soil or sub-base to specified levels and gradients.
Transfer the Fibreturf rootzone (delivered in premixed condition by bulk tipper vehicles to suitable tipping area adjacent to site) in dumper truck from the stockpile and begin tipping at one end of formation.
Begin spreading Fibreturf rootzone using a tracked excavator or dozer ensuring that no machinery movement occurs on the prepared formation base, i.e. all movement restricted to the Fibreturf rootzone.
Further delivery of Fibreturf rootzone can then be made by dumper travelling over the previously spread Fibreturf rootzone, preferably via plywood boards.
Place Fibreturf rootzone to appropriate level and complete even, light consolidation to the specified final depth using either the tracks of the spreading vehicle or a rotary rake (see 7. below). Compaction ratio is 0.75, e.g. 100mm as laid will compact to 75mm.
Any obvious depression revealed by compaction should be filled in with further Fibreturf rootzone or the existing material can be redistributed locally.
The surface should then be given a final levelling and finish using a power driven rotary rake, e.g. British Landscape Equipment Co (CLEC) Rotary Stone/Sand Raker which is available in both tractor drawn and self-propelled, pedestrian versions.
Important Note: Preseeding and controlled release (long-life) fertilisers must be added into the top 50mm at this stage using products and rates of application which are recommended by the manufacturer for use with sand-dominant rootzones. The 'long-life' fertiliser addition can be either a proprietary synthetic product or preferably a natural organic product such as 'hoof and horn'.
The surface is then ready for seeding or turfing as specified. It should be recognized that the seeding route, whilst costing less, requires favourable germination conditions and then considerable time for establishment of a satisfactory grass cover, whereas the turfing route virtually guarantees a mature, strong grass sward ready for full use within 2-3 weeks of laying.
In our experience on landscape sites the turfing route is always satisfactory, the seeding route can often be unsatisfactory due to poor or uneven grass cover.
A sowing rate of 50g/m2 should be adopted using a low-maintenance 'amenity turf' seed appropriate to end use as recommended by the seed supplier. The seed must be placed into the Fibreturf rootzone using a seed-drill, e.g. Moore Uni-drill or similar, and not simply broadcast onto the top surface.
Fully mature Fibreturf is available in both standard and big roll. Please contact us.
It will almost certainly be necessary to irrigate the seeded/turfed area at regular intervals during the establishment period with the frequency of irrigation determined by prevailing weather conditions, i.e. ranging from no irrigation during wet periods to daily during dry periods.
Sand based rootzone ameliorated with 30mm long polypropylene strands with a ryegrass dominant sward
15 square metres in area, approximately 61cm wide
Up to 30 square metres in area, approximately 120cm wide
1 metre long x 75cm wide, approximately