As turf agronomists and sports turf consultants, Gilba Solutions offers independent turf agronomy services for turfgrass management. These include soil and water testing, sports field audits, and turf health assessments. We also produce a turf blog on topics like:

We are proud supporters of the 2024 IGFH Turf Pesticides Manual.

Gilba Solutions also regularly does product testing, such as our 2022/2023 work on soil surfactants and their impact on soil organic matter

Our recent blog on DIY pest control is for home gardeners and lawn owners who don’t want to use pesticides around their houses.

For more information on Gilba Solutions, please check out the Gilba Solutions Company Profile.


Sportsground safety

The appearance of a sports surface is only one of the factors to consider when discussing turf quality. Player safety is also an increasing issue.

The increase in women’s participation in sports is placing more pressure on existing playing surfaces, which raises the issue of player safety. That’s where turf agronomy, or the study of turfgrass science, comes in.


Turf Agronomist services – Sports Field Audits and remote sensing.

As turf agronomists, sports field audits give a snapshot of the condition of a sports surface. By using the latest remote sensing technology, we can:

  • Map, measure, and monitor turfgrass characteristics.
  • Reduce turf chemicalfertiliser, and water use.
  • Measure soil moisture and salinity and quantify turf health.
  • Identify any issues with surface hardness and sub-surface compaction.
  • Identify any poor management practices that could result in a poor turf condition.
  • Produce an easy-to-understand report with management recommendations.
  • Provide a field improvement program based on the data collected.
  • Determine if any issues exist with hours of use.
  • Identify any problems with drainage, soil, and turf selection issues, and finally
  • Identify any limitations relating to turf nutrition, labour, etc.


Turf agronomist services – Surface hardness:

Being able to measure this shows how well a surface can cope with wear and its impact on root growth. A cone penetrometer identifies any issues so you can better target problem areas. A well-targeted compaction relief program that goes to the correct depth leads to a healthier root system and better water movement away from the surface.


Turf Health assessments:

Using an NDVI allows early detection of any existing or future problems. You can then use the data to identify disease issues, the impact of shade on turfgrass, or even excessive wear.



Soil moisture mapping:

We use the latest GPS-enabled soil moisture sensors to map the moisture distribution, identify problems, and conduct irrigation audits.

Clients who have used our services include:

  • The NRL;
  • Sydney University;
  • Accor Stadium;
  • CommBank Stadium;
  • Knox Grammar;
  • Kings School and
  • The ACT Government.



turfgrass agronomy  shows excessive compaction at 100mm
As turf agronomists a shade study at Comm Bank Stadium

Turf agronomy services – Hours of use.

Several factors limit the amount of use a sports field can take. These are:

  • The type of construction;
  • What age are the players? Older players cause more wear than children;
  • What turf type is present? Turfgrass varies in its ability to take wear;
  • When is it being used? The time of year has an impact on wear and recovery and
  • How much rain has fallen when used? A wet field is more prone to damage than a dry one.

Below is a summary of hours of ground use and what effects this.

  • Try and limit use to 14-18 hours per week on a well-maintained sand-based field;
  • Be aware that use of a ground during the winter months has the most impact on turf quality as growth and recovery are slow;
  • Work at the STRI shows that for perennial ryegrass:


Construction Type

Use (hours/week)

Soil field (with or without drainage).


Sand profile with drainage.

5.3-11 (7.8 hours per week over 35 week season).

Sand carpet construction.


What turfgrass is present has a role in the hours of use for a ground, assuming fields are fully irrigated sand carpets or full sand root zones.


Perennial Ryegrass


Winter playing season

5-12 hours/week

15-20 hours/week

Summer playing season

10-15 hours/week

20-25 hours/week


Rules to maintain surface quality:

  • Avoid training in high-wear areas like goalmouths;
  • Rotate training activities to spread wear;
  • Carry out repairs as soon as possible; divot fill immediately after a game;
  • Repetitive drills are killers, so do not carry these out on the field of play and
  • Carry out regular maintenance work like aeration.

Trials and Product Development.

Gilba Solutions constantly develops and improves products in the market. This philosophy led to the turf pigments Vertmax® and Vertmax Duo® in 2020. Vertmax Duo contains a high loading of salicylic acid for plants and offers multiple benefits over being simply a pigment.

Our current research is into green grass paint turf pigments and soil wetting agents. 

Other Turf Agronomist Services.


Soil testing.

Agronomy is the study of soil, and as turf agronomists, this is a strength of Gilba Solutions. Soil testing provides information on a soil’s physical and chemical properties. The value of a soil test depends on several quality factors:

  • How is it sampled? To what depth and the number of samples?
  • How long since last fertilized? If the day before testing, results will differ from if it was eight weeks ago.
  • What extractant was used for the analysis and 
  • The actual interpretation of the results.

In the worst-case scenario, ignoring these factors can make soil testing pointless. 

In Australia, Gilba Solutions is one of the few companies that employ a qualified soil scientist and tailor our reports to meet our client’s needs rather than being driven by a “one shoe fits all” philosophy. 

Soil testing tips:

  • You can carry out soil testing at any time of the year;
  • Don’t sample within two weeks of any application of a fertilizer containing phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, or calcium;
  • Unless you have a particular problem or are testing a sand-based construction, test every three years.

Water testing.

Turf Managers often overlook water quality. However, when you consider it affects turf and the results from turf chemicals, you should give it more serious consideration. 

Chemicals present in water:

  • Impact soil chemical/physical properties and subsequent turf performance;
  • Effect the rate of alkaline hydrolysis and
  • Impact tank foam. 


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Glossary of water

turfgrass agronomy

US Extractant work