The Groundsman

October 2014

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MAINTENANCE CALENDAR 46 the Groundsman October 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions NOVEMBER OPERATIONS Bowling greens • Regular out-of-season work will be undertaken from now on for the autumn/winter period. Drag brush daily, or as ground/climatic conditions allow to maintain a dry surface with upright grasses. The height of cut will typically be 10–12 mm, so just keep the grass topped if required. • Earthworm activity, as well as any sign of leatherjacket presence, will need to be treated. • Mild, humid autumnal weather will be ideal conditions for a Fusarium attack - so keep a close eye on the situation. • Aeration, probably with slit/chisel tines from now, should not be neglected. • Keep leaves off the green by removing them on a regular basis. Tennis courts • Leaves will continue to be a problem so do not ignore them and brush or rake them up on a regular basis. Moss may also be a problem on some courts. If this is severe then consider controlling moss using chemical application. • Earthworm activity might be high, with surface casts smothering some of the sward. Regular switching and drag brushing will be needed. • Disease potential can be high during November, so watch out for initial signs of attack. Do not neglect mowing - keep the grass topped. • Aerate if ground conditions permit. Cricket square • Carry out regular observations of the surface to check that grass health is good • Regular drag brushing will help disperse worm casts and keep the grass upright. Top the square at 18–25 mm height of cut if ground/climatic conditions and growth allow. • If any material in topdressed tine holes has sunk, carry out additional topdressing, although be careful not to apply too much. • Maintain any perimeter fencing. Cricket outfield • Aerate if ground conditions are suitable. Continue to be vigilant for pest/disease outbreaks. Repair areas as required if outfield is used for winter sports. Make sure the markings are clear and accurate. Football • Aerate the pitch when the ground conditions are suitable. Topping may still be required, although try and keep it as high as possible to allow for maximum amount of coverage going into the winter. • Divot as often as possible to help maintain an even surface. • Sanding of high wear areas may be required: ensure hand forking takes place beforehand. Golf course • Consider mowing the greens with hand mowers from now on. This will reduce wear on the green from heavy ride-ons as well as travelling between greens. In addition, ride-on mowers can be prepared for their end-of-season service. • Continue divoting fairways. Aerate greens with slit tines. Remove leaves from greens, tees and parts of the fairway. Consider starting any tee extensions or bunker renovations. Tees that are taken out of service for the winter period should have been completely renovated by now: finish off with any turfing as necessary. Rugby Union • Continue with aeration wherever possible. Occasional topping of the grass may still be required, especially in the south of the country. Replace divots on higher quality pitches, while chain harrowing on basic quality pitches will remove divots from the pitch for collection at the pitch edge. Rugby League • The traditional playing season should now have come to a close and the surface been renovated. Constant switching and light drag brushing would be advantageous to stand the grass up and dispense with any morning dew. • If the surface is stable enough, some type of aeration might be able to commence to aid root growth and drainage, preferably vertidrain to a maximum depth. • Make sure the pitch is protected to the best of your ability, to alleviate footmarks from unwanted visitors once the frost starts coming. • Complete any remedial jobs around the stores or edges of the pitch. • On the amateur side, pitch protection is essential now that winter is upon us. Any game that has a chance of destroying the pitch should be looked at as maybe being moved or replayed. It only takes one bad session or game to put you back for the rest of the winter. Constant pitch repair by way of divoting or chain harrowing will help you maintain levels. Drag brush if possible to stand what grass you have back up. A vertidrain or slitting of the surface would be advised also. Horse racecourse • Carry out general observations of the course to check against damage as this is typically the start of the National Hunt season. Prepare and repair fences/jumps prior to and after each meeting. Fallen leaves could be a major problem on some parts of a course. A light topping of the grass may still be required.

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