The Groundsman

June 2012

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the Groundsman June 2012 JULY Rugby Union The end of season renovation should ideally be completed by now. Post-renovation work will include: • Artificial irrigation, if inadequate rainfall occurs, to aid grass seed growth and establishment • A light topping of the new sward, being careful not to cut too closely • A light rolling of some areas may also be required to refirm the contact between newly germinated and establishing seeds and the soil profile • "Keep off the grass" signs might be erected - well for players and the general public anyhow! Rugby League • Constant cutting would be advised to thicken up the sward and create effect, also generally cut no lower than 20- 25mm as to create cover for play. • Irrigate if possible. • Scarify numerous directions if possible to help remove the poa annua. • Overseeding may be required. Try not to cut corners with cost as this will effect the percentage of germination. • Make sure markings are bright and consistent to give full aesthetic effect. • Spray for weeds if required. • On the amateur side, if a renovation was completed then a light topping off of the sward maybe needed. Tennis Roll if there is still a suitable amount of moisture within the soil profile. Avoid rolling if there has been a prolonged dry spell, otherwise there is a good chance that the soil surface will crack and crumble. Check nets and winding gears regularly to ensure they are in a satisfactory condition. If there are any special events held during June then additional brushing and mowing may be carried out to increase presentational quality. Verticut and groom regularly, but care needs to be taken around renovated areas, with the blades probably needing to be raised over these areas. Bowling greens Dry weather and the application of water is one of the major concerns for July. Care needs to be taken to neither over or under water. To assist in irrigation management, consider doing a soil moisture deficit chart, combined with your visual observations of the sward and dryness of the soil profile. This will act as a useful guide and can help towards reducing the costs of water used. Currently a cubic metre of water (220 gallons) costs about 90p. This might not seem a lot, but when you consider that a typical recommendation is to apply 25mm of water per m2 per week during the summer months (depending upon rainfall), this can add up to quite a lot especially where additional hand watering occurs on areas susceptible to drying out. The calculation for the weekly cost of this is: • Area of green, 38.4m x 38.4m = 1475m2 • 25mm of water per m2 = 5.5 gallons/m2 • 1475 x 5.5 = 8113 gallons (or 8113 ÷ 220 = ~ 37 m3 ) per week • 37 m3 x £1.00 = £ 37.00 per week. • This calculation doesn't allow for wastage or overlap, which invariably occurs. Ensure that rink usage is spread sideways on a regular basis and the rinks are also turned 90° daily. Failure to do so will result in 'runs' developing, with bowls following the line of the run. Some less accomplished bowlers will prefer this situation, however, it is really cheating, especially when playing visitors not used to the green. This situation also doesn't allow for the improvement of ones skill in bowls and for a challenging game. Continue to mow regularly and be prepared to raise the height of cut to 6mm, especially in dry weather with strong winds on coastal areas. A good, dry sward of fescue/bent grasses will produce a faster surface when mown at this height, than an annual meadow grass, thatchy sward when mown at 4.5 mm. Be careful when scarifying and verticutting at this time of year, as you do not want to stress the plant, reducing its ability to withstand wear. Cricket square Besides the continuing preparation of wickets to meet user demands, the square is typically mown on two occasions per week and the outfield once a week. Wickets that had been used and renovated earlier in the season might be able to be re-used again if they have recovered adequately. Correct watering to a suitable depth, combined with planned rolling will produce a really consolidated playing wicket with excellent bounce. Be careful not to wet just the surface of the wicket and then roll, otherwise the shallow layer that was watered can crack and crumble when rolled. If not carried out at the end of June, then July is a good time for a light nitrogen-only fertiliser application to the whole square, as this will help maintain sward strength without encouraging unwanted excessive growth. Towards the end of the month, some wickets will be coming out of use for the few remaining weeks of the season. A head start on some end of season renovation tasks may be considered. Cricket outfield If herbicide was applied to control broad/narrow leaved weeds, this should now have cleared up the problem. Continue to mow outfield with a cylinder mower at approximately 12mm in height. Remove clippings to maintain an aesthetic and presentation value to the outfield. Monitor any worn areas and repair as necessary, check the progress of previously repaired areas. Football The football pitch is mostly establishing itself following the end of season renovation. However, there are a number of tasks that will need attending to. MAINTENANCE CALENDAR 45

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