Whether lawn grass is grown for harvesting and supply or for use in sports such as tennis, gold or football, a lot of care and attention goes into the preparation and maintenance to make sure the grass is healthy and fit for purpose.
With the finals of the Wimbledon Championships 2019 on the horizon many spectators from all over the world will have their eyes fixed on the prestigious grass courts in London.
Lawn courts are regarded as the most classic and traditional court surfaces for tennis, however many spectators may not appreciate the hard work behind the scenes and the maintenance plan in place to ensure safe game play and great aesthetics worthy of a worldwide audience.
Here are a few facts about the lawn grass courts at Wimbledon.
- -The total area of the grass on the centre and No.1 courts is 41m x 22m – that’s 902 m2!
- -A singles court is just over 195 m2 and a doubles court is just over 260 m2.
- -Nine tonnes of grass seed are used each year on the courts. The courts use 100 % perennial rye grass as it is hard wearing and durable. Two great attributes for a playing surface!
- -It takes around 15 months to prepare a court before it is ready to be played on.
- -The courts are made and seeded in April. The first cut takes place when the grass reaches 15 mm and is then cut THREE times a week to keep it at the same height all year. This is only until the Championship starts. The height is reduced to 8 mm, and the courts are cut daily to maintain this optimal height.
- -It’s not just the length of the grass that matters - the firmness of the ground is very important. To keep the ground firm the courts are regularly rolled and during June the water is restricted to help.
- -The firmness of the grass court and ball rebound are measured daily. All Championship courts are also re-lined and rolled. Contrary to what it might seem like – paint is not used to mark the lines on the court. The lines are ‘painted on’ using a transfer wheel marker that transfers a compound containing titanium dioxide. This is more durable than paint making it great for the hard wear and tear caused by rigorous game play.
- -The stripes on the lawn grass are created using a lawnmower with a roller. The reflection of light on the bent grass swards created by going in different directions produces the classic lawn stripe.
Phew! It’s not a quick task creating the high-quality lawn grass courts at Wimbledon, but certainly it is a job done well that is admired and respected by people all over the globe.
Be it for sports, picnics or sun-bathing, a nice lawn that we can enjoy during the summer months can not be underestimated. They are there to be enjoyed!