Tennis Industry magazine

 

Court Construction & Maintenance Guide: ‘Growing’ Pains?

For your facility’s greenery — and to save ‘green’ in your budget — work with a landscape design professional to avoid costly mistakes.

By Mary Helen Sprecher

Ah, spring. The players are returning to the courts, lesson slots are filling up, there’s a very welcome backlog of racquets to be restrung and the landscaping for the courts is ready to bloom.

Or perhaps the landscaping is still on the to-do list. Particularly at a time when tennis facility managers are multi-tasking and feeling as though they’re being stretched much too thin, the gardened areas around the courts may wind up being completed at the last minute. That results in (let’s be honest here) a last-minute trip to the home and garden superstore where the buyer winds up staring with glazed eyes at row upon row of plants.

All in all, not a promising start for the tennis garden effect.

It’s no surprise that mistakes in landscaping are common. Here are a few to avoid:

Levitsky advises making sure there is a clear path for water to move. “Keeping grass 3 to 4 inches below the top of the playing surface makes it easier to maintain,” he notes. “Using a wide edging also helps.”

That overabundance of mulch mentioned earlier can create the same dam effect if packed too close to the edges of the court. Always check the perimeter of the court around the fence line and loosen any material that could trap water.

Properly planned, landscaping can do anything from simply sprucing up an area to creating a lush, verdant tennis oasis. Find a suitable professional partner and work within the context of your climate, your soil, and your budget — and watch your garden grow.

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About the Author

Mary Helen Sprecher  is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.

 

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