The Groundsman

January 2015

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MAINTENANCE CALENDAR 46 the Groundsman January 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions FEBRUARY OPERATIONS Bowling green • Finish off any turf repairs that might be outstanding. Ensure you use a suitable turf, ie one that is closely matched to the indigenous green sward. Consider applying an application of propriety turf hardener, at say 25-35 g/m 2 , to help reduce the chance of disease attack. Drag brush and/or switch daily. Continue with slit tining of the green when ground and climatic conditions are suitable. • Ensure the surrounds to the green are clean and tidy and that any outstanding work is being completed, at least for no later than March.. Cricket square • Most likely the square will be too wet to carry out much work. However, dragbrushing should be a priority, especially if earthworm activity is significant. • A light topping of the sward may be required; perennial ryegrass sward may have produced some leaf growth. • Maintain any perimeter fencing. • Towards the end of the month, it might be possible to start rolling, but this will depend on soil moisture content. A soil sample to a depth of 75mm should be taken to establish if the correct amount of moisture is present. • Try and plan wicket usage for the coming season and the sequence of use. This way the centre wickets will be available for use during high profile games if required. Cricket outfield • Carry out a thorough inspection of the outfield to identify any worn areas; this will be especially important if the outfield is used for winter sports. Check all bowlers' run up areas and repair if required. • Start to set out the stripes for the outfield; this will aid presentation and efficiency of cut. Football • Brush/chain harrow, depending on the quality of the facility, if ground and climatic conditions are suitable. • Aerate the pitch wherever possible, although again make sure to use tractor- mounted equipment only if the correct ground and climatic conditions are present - otherwise hand fork goalmouths and centre circles. • Apply a suitable sand to the goalmouth and centre circle areas to allow a more consistent, playable surface, and to aid surface drainage. • High-quality pitches may require turf to be laid in the goalmouth areas. This should be deep cut turf (150mm) that will not be displaced following pitch action, such as tackles etc. Golf • Mostly non-green course work will be underway. This might include: - bunker renovation or reconstruction - construction of pathways - cutting back of branches from overhanging tees and the edges of fairways - also consider raising lower branches of trees from the edges of fairways. • Have materials been ordered for the spring renovation work? • Machinery maintenance should ideally be completed by the end of the month. • The completion of topping up of bunkers should be done this month, especially if major events are planned for April/May. This will allow sufficient time for the sand to become adequately consolidated. Racecourse • Avoid the use of relatively heavy machinery over the winter months when ground conditions are generally unsuitable. • Aeration can be carried out during dry periods, assuming the soil moisture content is not high. • A light topping of the sward might be required. • Continue to divot and repair after each meeting. • Ensure all materials have been ordered ready for the April renovation work. Rugby League • If the weather is suitable, a light topping of the grass may be required. • If possible some form of aeration would be useful - vertidraining, slitting or even handforking would be good for airflow and drainage. Use of dragbrushes is two-fold. Use them to get rid of dew and to stand the grass up. This will also help put the stripe effect onto your surface. • Make sure all machinery is back from servicing. • Consider any improvements and targets you want to achieve for the coming season. • On the amateur side, a light topdressing of worn areas with sand may be required. Chain harrows on the smooth side will help you gain a consistent surface. Constant divoting is essential. Brushing the surface will stand the grass up and give the surface some cover, this will also put you in good stead for the growing season. Make sure markings are bright and straight. Rugby Union • If the weather is very mild. then a light topping of the grass might be required. • Aerate if ground and climatic conditions permit and if machinery is available from servicing. • Overmark lines regularly, making sure that when needed string lines are used for accuracy and presentation. • Continue to hand fork and sand wet areas. • Has all the end of season renovation material and machinery hire been ordered? If it hasn't, now is a good time to do so. Tennis • A light topping of the sward might be required, if the ground and climatic conditions allow. • Aerate if ground conditions permit. • Continue with dragbrushing to remove dew and earthworm casts.

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