How to Properly Care for Your Tennis Lawn
Wondering how to turn your lawn into the centre court at Wimbledon? You’ve come to the right place.
The primary difference between a domestic lawn and an actual tennis court is the way the ball bounces on it. Ideally, you want to create maximum compaction through short manicured grass, essentially the opposite of a normal lawn.
Keeping your tennis court in good condition will extend its lifespan, ensuring that it is always safe to play on. Even if your tennis court is just used recreationally, maintaining it should be taken seriously.
Mowing your outdoor tennis lawn
Mowing your grass court correctly is the most important step in maintaining its quality. It should be mowed every two to three days on the lowest setting, between 6-10mm.
To create a firm, solid base, use an auto roller to compact the surface of your court, creating a smooth surface, a good bounce, and a unique finish.
Centre Court at Wimbledon is treated to three mows per week, with daily mowing occurring close to the Championship. Wimbledon’s guidelines state that their grass should be cut to 15mm before winter maintenance. During the season, their ideal grass height is 8mm.
Cleaning your grass tennis court
You need to look after your tennis lawn to ensure a quality game and the safety of those playing on the court. Pre-season preparation should include the removal of dirt, debris and algae in order for the court to be safe and playable. Cleaning methods should be thorough, but sensitive to the needs of the court’s surface.
Here’s three ways to ensure your court stays clean and playable:
- Remove foreign matter on the court surface – remove leaves and any debris, as they could cause mold or staining to occur.
- Clean your tennis court with specialist equipment rather than using a power washer, to ensure drainage is not impeded.
- Clear out any blocked drainage voids to avoid damage to the court, particularly in winter.
A clean court is safe, playable, and will deter future damage to both the court and its players.
Nourishing your grass tennis lawn
To keep the grass strong and healthy, you should regularly fertilise the tennis court. Fortifying the grass with extra nutrients will help maintain a good bounce as well as reducing the risk of players slipping on the court.
When choosing lawn feed, you should first consider the weather conditions. There are many different types of fertiliser, ranging from those which give grass a rich green colour in summer months, to those which encourage grass that is more frost resistant.
According to the Institute of Groundsmanship, your court should be fertilised three times per year – during preseason, playing season, and end of season.
Furthermore, your tennis lawn should be watered, regardless of the time of year, to ensure the grass grows and matures. However, many outdoor tennis courts suffer from drainage issues. Your drainage system should minimise excess water lying on the surface, and divert water underground away from the court itself.
Repairing your grass tennis lawn
A common problem with grass tennis lawns is an uneven surface or damage to the base of the court. The condition of your court should be evaluated annually by a court maintenance professional, and following this you should ensure it is maintained monthly for best results. After all, Wimbledon’s centre court doesn’t have any divots in does it?
If you treat your court properly, you should be able to avoid any damage that may warrant repairs in the future. Here are the top ways you can ensure this:
- Ensure that all players wear correct tennis shoes, and do not consume food or drinks on court.
- Fix permanent equipment to the ground, to avoid accidental pushing on to the court.
- Ensure no pets are allowed onto the court.
All of this might sound like a lot of work to keep your grass tennis lawn maintained, but we are here to help. Our world famous Auto-Rollers are easy to use for perfect court preparation and tennis lawn maintenance. You can view the range here.