The Groundsman

August 2015

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Visit for more information and digital editions AHEAD OF THE GAME 31 the Groundsman August 2015 the application of plenty of topdressing then overseeding with some bent fescue mixes. We've reached the stage now where the surfaces are drier than they've ever been and are therefore quicker." Michael continues: "The general height of cut is maintained at 7mm throughout the winter and at 4.5mm during the early part of the season for three to four weeks. This is then reduced to usually 4mm at the beginning of May – though if it is hot, we keep it slightly higher – then will drop it to 3mm for the Championships. This is when the rinks are mown every day – often double cut - and a turf iron is used prior to the matches. Surface performance is measured on at least five occasions during the final run-in and during the Championships, to optimise the playing qualities and to achieve a good level of consistency between greens. They are also rolled every day for major competitions to ensure smoothness, trueness, firmness and good pace, which regularly meets/exceeds the 12/13-seconds criteria. "While maintaining bowls greens is different to managing a football pitch, similar skills are required. Importantly, this includes the correct amount and frequency of both aeration, using sarel spike rollers and solid punch tines, as well as feeding. "Combined with the monthly application of wetting agents, we employ a balanced feeding regime using granular and liquid products, such as a slow- release 16.0.16 spring fertiliser plus regular liquid feeds every four to six weeks to maintain colour and vigour, as well as the use of Primo Maxx from May through to September." The result of the continual improvements at Victoria Park has seen a gradual increase in the number of competitions being played there which this year, in addition to this month's National Championships, include: • Junior International Trials – men and women • Senior International Squad – men and women • Women's Senior British Isles Championships • Women's Senior International Series • Women's Junior International Squad • Men's and Women's National Top Club Finals • Senior International Trials – men and women. Such a fixture list says more than enough about the high regard that Bowls England holds for the quality of the rinks, and of the achievements of Michael and his team. l Michael finds himself in the limelight regarding grounds expertise XL ProBio Products Tel: 01404 200031 Email: #goodbiologyworking XL ProBio Brewers 50 - 200 Ltrs Instant liquid biology Top dressing biology Compost tea concentrate Biology booster for early growth

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