Additional Q&A session with Klaus-Peter Sauer
During the ESSMA Pitch Management e-Workshop, there were a lot of questions after the presentation of Klaus-Peter Sauer, Head Groundsman at VfL Wolfsburg. Mr. Sauer took the time to answer the remaining questions, which can be found below.
Did you miss (part of) the presentation? No worries, on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform you can rewatch the full recording and access the full Q&A document.
Have you ever introduced any specific (progressive) methods in the past to keep grounds free from harmful insects and plant diseases?
KS: No, not particular. We just try to find good solutions in line with the legislation regarding the topic. The last time we had to use fungicides to battle a grass disease was in 2017, so it’s been a while.
What is the average lifespan of the pitches at Volkswagen Arena and at the training center?
KS: All our hybrid pitches, both at the stadium and at the training center, are being renovated every year. For the natural pitches, it of course depends on weather conditions and intensity of usage. On average, the grass at VfL Wolfsburg has a life-span of 2,5 years, which is a satisfying result.
How do you see the evolution of natural vs. hybrid pitches?
KS: In my opinion, I believe that more and more grounds managers will opt for hybrid pitches, if possible for their stadium.
There are labs and universities that regularly publish research on pitch management. The subject seems to be evolving from time to time and new approaches and materials are introduced regularly. Do you have any suggestions on how to stay up to date with all recent pitch-related evolutions?
KS: I would suggest to call your colleagues if they have used the materials already and what their experiences are. If you don’t know anyone, you can always ask ESSMA to introduce you to other European colleagues.
Otherwise, you can always set up a meeting with the specific company and ask for a free trial.
Of course, if you’re testing a new product you should always first try it on a small area of your pitch and wait until treating the rest of the pitch until you know it doesn’t do any harm.