The Groundsman

August 2016

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MAINTENANCE CALENDAR 46 the Groundsman August 2016 Visit for more information and digital editions SEPTEMBER OPERATIONS Bowling greens • Hollow-tining a green can be readily carried out within a day using a suitable machine which may be designed to collect the cores or staff may be used to brush, rake and shovel up the cores as soon as the machine starts working. If the cores are dry, a litter blower vac can be used to blow most of the cores into defined areas of the green making it easier to remove them. • Once the hollow-tining and clearing up has been completed, the green should be cut to provide a satisfactory playing surface. This hollow-tine operation can also be carried out a second time, at the end of the playing season, if needed. Cricket square • With the season now closing, or closed, a thorough renovation of the square will be required. • Mow the whole square to 5 mm or so, to produce a fairly clean top surface. • Scarify thoroughly: this could be from three to 10 passes/occasions. • It is important that if the square is to be aerated, ideally with a punch action solid tine machine to 100–150 mm depth, that sufficient irrigation is carried out beforehand to assist in tine penetration. • Sarel spike the square then overseed at 34 - 50 g/m 2 . Typically a pure 100 per cent perennial ryegrass mixture is applied to the whole of the square. • A pre-seed fertiliser containing approx 5-8 per cent of nitrogen can be applied, if an application wasn't given in August. Cricket outfield • Now is the month to reduce the amount of mowing; also, height of cut should be raised to 25-35 mm after the final game. • The onset of winter sports games will mean that an application of fertiliser will help and assist in creating strong growth to help sustain the required usage throughout the winter. Football • The pitches should be in excellent condition by now. A few divots may have been made, and these should be repaired/replaced wherever possible. A light topdressing may be needed in a few places. • Weeds can be a problem. This is the last realistic month for any selective herbicide application, although the grass should be growing well if an application is to be considered. • Thin areas can be seeded and a germination sheet applied to help make the most of the remaining good growing conditions before autumn really sets in. Rugby League • Mowing at 30 mm every day plus a once weekly cut at 25 mm to remove annual meadow grass seed heads. • Vertidrain bi-weekly going down to a maximum depth of 12 inches with 4 inch spacings. • Fertilising – generally using 12+0+9 or a 14+2+4, 12 x 25 kgs. • Brush every morning - this will help stand the grass up and eliminate morning dew. • Spraying – an application of selective weedkiller will be required, plus liquid fertiliser. • Irrigate as often as possible as time constraints and training times allow. Rugby Union • The season is about to get underway so the pitch should be getting to somewhere like its best for the beginning of the season. • Mowing – at 30 mm everyday. Plus a once weekly cut at 25 mm to cut off the annual meadow grass seed heads. • Aeration – Vertidraining bi-weekly going down to a maximum depth of 12 inch with 4 inch spacings to aid drainage and root development. • Fertilising – with a pedestrian cyclone spreader, generally using 12+0+9 or a 20+10+10 if a flush of growth is needed - 12 x 25 kgs. • Topdressing – generally not required but if needed then use medium grade sand or a 70/30 rootzone depending on drainage. • Brushing – brushing every morning using a tractor mounted dragbrush, this will help stand the grass up and also remove morning dew. • Irrigation – irrigate as often as possible as time constraints and training times allow. Tennis • Commence renovation as soon as possible after the end of the last match. • A typical renovation programme will probably include the following: - irrigation to soften the surface soil profile - initial aeration to penetrate the surface layer - further irrigation to soften the lower soil profile - further aeration, this time at a greater depth - scarification to remove any thatch build-up and lateral growth - mowing to produce a clean surface - overseeding [especially important along the base line and service boxes] making sure to use the correct type of grass seed - topdress with a suitable loam, with 1 to 3 kg/m 2 being suitable depending on the degree of wear and aeration equipment used. • If a fertiliser has not already been applied, now is the time to do so. Horse racecourse • This is the main renovation period for flat racing courses. Where race meetings finish at the end of September, renovation will occur during early October. • Typical renovation work will include: - scarification (or chain harrowing with the tines face downwards) - deep aeration - mowing grass to a shorter length to expose thin areas - fertiliser application, if not undertaken at the end of August - overseed thin and bare areas - topdress thin and bare areas - light roll - irrigate, particularly seeded and thin areas. Golf course • Renovation of the greens will be a priority this month: if the tees and fairways haven't yet been renovated, then they will have to wait until after the greens have been completed. • Aeration of the fairways can be carried out before the soil becomes too wet. Scarification of the fairways should be done this month while there is still adequate growth for rejuvenation. Ideally, collect the resulting debris with tractor sweeper attachments, or similar. • Traffic areas around greens and tees should be forked, or cultivated if relatively bare, then seeded or turfed

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