The 12 stadiums hosting the World Cup in Brazil were intensively prepared, as the heavy wear and challenging growth conditions put a lot of pressure on the pitches. So the preparation has seen much turfstripping, verticutting, overseeding, topdressing and aeration in the build up. Redexim products have been at the forefront of this work.

Brazilian football pitches are generally Bermuda grass based, which doesn’t stand the Brazilian tropical conditions very well. Due to the winter dormancy of this species the pitches need to be reinforced with temperate sports turfgrass (Ryegrass) to provide the perfect playing surface during the tournament, but also to give the pitch a more attractive green color. Only one stadium, the new Corinthians stadium of Sao Paulo, already contained Ryegrass – and that is being cooled down through pipes containing cool water from underneath.

The other 11 stadiums, as well as the training grounds, contained Bermuda grass and in the months of April and May the process of replacing this grass took place. The Redexim Turf Stripper machine was applied to either ‘fraise mow’ or ‘verticut and thin out’ down to the roots. Fraise mowing removes turf, weeds and thatch from a pitch in one pass and the optional rotor containing verticut blades completes the thinning out. Alternatively, Redexim’s tractor pulled or walkbehind Verti-Cut machines (models 1300 or S510) were being applied.

The process then called for heavy overseeding ryegrass with the Redexim Speed-Seed machines right up to the start of the first match on June 12, 2014. The Speed-Seed punches thousands of tiny holes in the ground for the seed to drop in, ensuring maximum germination with minimal surface damage. The towed Redexim Speed-Seed 1600 model is ideal to overseed large areas quickly. When both the front and rear rollers are equipped with the individual cast rings, a total of 1840 holes per m2 can be achieved.

The Rink brush spreaders or disc spreaders then spread topdressing sand on top of the seed, and create the best conditions for the seed to germinate. By regularly punching vertical holes in the pitches with the Verti-Drain aerator, the soil is being decompacted sothat the grassroots can grow deep and get strong. The soil becomes thus more elastic, preventing player injuries, and excessive water from heavy rainfall can quickly drain away through the aeration chanels by the tines of the Verti-Drain.