Fields 800 Sand Trial

Project: Fields 800 Sand Trial

Client: McCallum Brothers Limited

Services Provided:


A trial was conducted at NZSTI’s trial site in Palmerston North using marine-sourced sand (Fields 800) and a control sand as root zone material in the construction of sand-based sports fields.

The objectives of the trial were to compare the growth characteristics of three commonly used turf grasses (ryegrass, Cynodon and kikuyu) when grown in the Fields 800 sand with the same species grown in a proven ‘industry standard’ sand (control). The trial ran for 2 years.

Fields 800 sand contains approximately five percent biogenic shell material, and has an elevated pH(water) and a high concentration of available (exchangeable) calcium. The concern was that the elevated pH would promote worm activity thereby increasing the rate of contamination when used in a sand carpet sports field and shortening the expected ‘life’ of the field. In addition, the high concentration of available calcium may induce foliar deficiencies of other nutrients, mainly magnesium and potassium.

The trial demonstrated that there were no differences in the growth characteristics in any of the three grasses between the Fields 800 sand and control sand used in the trial. The elevated concentrations of exchangeable calcium in the Fields 800 sand did not result in any induced deficiencies of other nutrients. Elevated soil pH did not result in any significant increases in worm activity or increases in contamination of the Fields 800 sand by fine soil material.

Next Project →