The Groundsman

June 2012

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44 MAINTENANCE CALENDAR JUNE Bowling greens By now the greens should be producing a very good playing surface, with any slow growth from late spring being a distant thought. Verti-cut and groom regularly to help control annual meadow grass seed head production and to produce a more upright growing grass sward. This in turn will also help to provide a slightly faster surface without the need to reduce the height of cut, which is always a contentious issue. Maintain growth at 5 mm, typically mowing four or five times per week. Localised Dry Patch may start to appear this month, however, this condition should not be confused with a poorly developed root system which will also produce a rapid browning and drying of the surface. Aeration should not be neglected, even though many other tasks may seem more pressing. Solid tine spiking is the favoured method throughout the drier months: This can be particularly successful in the form of surface spiking to 25-50mm depth with the use of a sarel type spiked roller which also helps to firm the immediate surface layer. Cricket square Use the verticutter and scarifier to continue thatch removal and prevention of thatch build-up. Weed growth may be a problem due to the weather in May, so consider a selective herbicide application. A light nitrogen fertiliser application may be required towards the end of the month. Basically though it's making sure the wickets are prepared well in advance and that the wickets are used in the sequence that was planned before the start of the season - or at least fairly close to the sequence. Immediately a game is finished try and carry out any minor repairs as this may enable the wicket to be used again, straight away - depending upon the level of cricket and the length of the match - or at least provide the groundwork for re- using the wicket later in the season, if need be. Cricket outfield This should be mowed on a regular basis [usually once per week], with a ride on/pedestrian cylinder mower if possible. Clippings should be collected and removed if possible; this will create an aesthetic value. Check outfield for broad/narrow leaved weeds and control if required using an approved selective herbicide. The application of herbicide must be carried out when active growth is present and ground and climatic conditions are favorable [check product label for more information]. Repair any worn/damaged areas as soon as possible. Football Make sure any end of season renovation work that was carried out in May is properly maintained. August is not far away and the players will be expecting a good surface for the start of the new season. Important maintenance that will need to be undertaken will include: • Regular irrigation, wherever possible, to help the grass establish adequately; • A light nitrogen fertiliser application to maintain sward thickening; • Oversowing of any areas which look like they aren't thickening up quickly enough, don't wait another month to see what happens; • Mow regularly to prevent perennial ryegrass flower stalks from initiating, otherwise this will lead to a thinning of the sward; • Lightly top-dress any uneven areas. Wherever possible try and keep people and animals off the renovated areas, as this all helps in the recovery process. If time permits this month, consider painting the goal post etc. in anticipation of the new season. Golf courses Some top courses would have been on television screens by now and golfers will invariably be expecting their own greens to be above the normal standards, although apparently forgetting about the available budget at these top courses when compared to their own course. Maybe now is the time to consider including a brief appraisal for a 'greens' report indicating some improvements which might like to be considered. This would probably be prepared and taken up in more detail after the summer because of time constraints. The important point may be to get some general agreement on potential improvements. Mowing will most likely be the main task carried out this month, but don't forget other tasks such as: • Divoting of a couple of fairways; • Regular raking of bunkers - maybe partial raking one day and then a total rake the next - it all depends on sand disturbance!; • Divoting of tees and regular moving of the tee blocks/boxes to spread wear; • Herbicide application to fairways may be considered if weed growth is a problem - don't wait until the soil is too dry. The end of season renovation is only some three months away, so make sure all materials and any contract hire machinery is ordered well in advance. Horse racecourse Routine maintenance work over the summer months will include the following: • Artificial irrigation will be more frequent to produce a suitable firmness of ground for the day of a race meeting • A liquid nitrogen fertiliser may be considered in June for the home straight, show paddock and ornamental lawns around the grandstand area Alternatively, the whole of the racecourse might be treated to a light nitrogen application • Continue to divot and repair after each meeting • Weed control may be required, especially if none was carried out in May. Continue to mow regularly, with this operation forming a significant part of total work input. Do not neglect mowing on courses that are rested over the summer. the Groundsman June 2012

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