Update on Groundsmanship matters from Paul Tatton (Chairman of the Lancashire Groundsman's Association).
Thank you to all who responded to my comments in my previous update with regard to ‘Scratching’ and the Jonathan Trott saga.
Successful autumn renovations should be the norm this year with favourable weather conditions. Many squares and outfield have been ‘put to bed’ which suggests nothing needs to be done from now until next spring. Nothing could be further from the truth. May I suggest some out of season activities:
1. Regular drag brushing to rid the early morning dew and help reduce autumn/winter diseases.
2. Autumn / winter N.P.K.368 plus 4% FE at recommended rates when conditions allow i.e. not wet and no frost.
3. Monthly solid tine spiking is essential to keep the surface open to receive oxygen, water and nutrients to the lower root level, say October through to January no later.
4. Ideally squares with new germination should be topped off with a sharp rotary mower for the first 2/3 cuts at a height of millimetres and no lower. Ideally a good grass leaf cover will more readily receive the elements.
A good sharp frost around December/January for about 5/6 weeks would be ideal to send worms down and a ‘heave’ (when frost expands the ground) will aerate the sub-soil.
There will be plenty this year and will drop quickly. Try to keep squares in particular free from wet leaves.
A good impression of managed squares, striped outfields and tidy surrounds during the close season help sell the internal facilities for functions leaving a better budget for ground maintenance and support equipment.
DO NOT leave until next March. Good winter deals are available.
The IOG have advertised some groundsmanship vacancies which can be viewed at the following link: http://www.iog.org/train-education/careers/jobs/IOG-nationalmanger-regionalpitchadvisors.
Hoping everyone a good winter.
PS: A meeting has been arranged for the LCB Groundsman’s Association at Haydock CC on Thursday 21st November at 7.30. All are welcome to attend. Speaker will be Simon Hedley from Boughton Loams Ltd.