The Groundsman

December 2015

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MAINTENANCE CALENDAR 46 the Groundsman December 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions JANUARY OPERATIONS Cricket square • Continue to check for disease activity and, if identified, spray with a proprietary fungicide. Continue to brush as regularly as possible to allow sward to remain upright and to remove excess moisture/dew, and if any earthworm activity is noticed try not to smear the casts. If possible aerate using solid tines to a depth of 125 mm. • If climatic and ground conditions allow, mow sward, by 'topping off'. Cricket outfield • Continue to check for damage especially if used for winter sports. If climatic and ground conditions allow, mow sward by 'topping off'. If possible, aerate outfield to 125 mm. Bowling greens • During this period of snow and cold weather, very little will be undertaken on the green. Watch out for any Fusarium/snow mould that might develop beneath the snow. Golf courses • If the weather is very cold/snow, temporary (or winter) greens should be the order of the day to help protect the main greens. • Watch out for any Fusarium/snow mould developing beneath any snow cover. • Now is an ideal time to carry out machinery maintenance or scrub land clearance. This year's maintenance budget and work programme should also be completed, if they haven't already been done, as this will also help to identify optimum times for the taking of annual leave and will help to avoid holidays clashing with peak work loads. • Now is also a good time to attend training courses and to read up on current trade literature to see what is available or what might be launched for spring. Football • No doubt games will still be played, unless the pitch is frozen and unsafe. • Where undersoil heating is provided, games will still be played and the rootzone will no doubt provide a relatively soft surface. This will make divoting a priority after each game. The need for additional turfing in goalmouths and possibly the centre circle areas may also be required this month. • Be careful not to dry the soil too much if using underground heating as the grass plant will dry out and may die. Rugby Union • Most work this month will concentrate on pitch presentation, for example: - ensure line markings have good consistency - drag brush the pitch to produce a striping effect - divot as required - fork and sand worn / bare areas. Rugby League • The frosts and inclement weather might have arrived so remedial jobs such as machinery maintenance or store maintenance may be required. • Switching and dragbrushing to be completed when conditions allow. Dragbrushing can be used to create striping effect. • Aeration would be useful if pitch conditions allow to aid drainage. • Make sure the pitch is still secure so no damage from footmarks occurs. • Complete remedial jobs around the stores or to machinery. • On the amateur side, constant divoting is of the highest importance to repair the surface. Dragbrushing or chain-harrowing could be used to aid playability and presentation. Communication is vital as one bad game at this time of year could send the surface backwards until the growing season. Handforking would be useful to aid drainage. Horse racecourses • Continue to 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 by the end of the winter period. • Continue to divot and repair after each meeting. • Look ahead to planning/ordering materials ready for the April renovation work. Tennis • Little work will typically be required except for the essential removal of dew and earthworm casts, and watching for signs of disease attack. • Aeration can be considered, if ground conditions permit and if the machinery is not being serviced.

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