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This is no doubt due to the rain in the last few seasons bringing the fines/silt to the surface. The net result being no air spaces in the top of the soil profile, without them grassland will retain w

Best thread I have read on here for years! Keep up the good work all you groundsmen out there. Some of us fans do appreciate you and I suppose you do enjoy the challenge of it if you are honest.

PLEASE NOTE: This forum does not necessarily support the opinions of its users. We categorically state that worms are our friends and should not be abused under any circumstances. It should also be no

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Bit the bullet today and brushed opposite to the pattern!

The grass had started to lay too much in the pattern and started to get too many long ends so needed to stand it up for a better cut and thin it out a bit.

Standing up nicely after putting the heavy brush over it.

If I had had a verticutter I would have used that, this is simply a mower that cuts vertically instead of horizontally. 

 

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After brushing and the pattern still showing,  tomorrow I will cut against the pattern as well and that will remove the majority of the long ends and stolons.

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Spotted this today out walking my dog, an area that has not been cut for a few months and full of a weed called self heal.

A seriously tough weed to get rid of if you get it in your pitch.

A bit of white clover showing as well. 

 

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Also the dry spots are just starting to show again...sod it out with the watering machine again if no rain in the next few days. 

 

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3 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Haha Bruegel, it is the mundane part of the season, not a lot happening,  just cut and catch up on other jobs other than on the pitch.

First friendly booked for 1st August! 

Then it gets busy, busy!

If it's played..lol.


I’m sorry Older, would you please delete the above post, it’s just not interesting enough. We do have standards here on the forum I’ll have you know! 
To all the ground staff, wishing you the best of luck for the new season. Not that there will be any problems this year with such a long preparation time, I’m sure that there will be no cancellations due to pitch conditions⛈️, just the inevitable periodic local lockdowns😷

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Just now, Bruegel the Elder said:


I’m sorry Older, would you please delete the above post, it’s just not interesting enough. We do have standards here on the forum I’ll have you know! 
To all the ground staff, wishing you the best of luck for the new season. Not that there will be any problems this year with such a long preparation time, I’m sure that there will be no cancellations due to pitch conditions⛈️, just the inevitable periodic local lockdowns😷

And the rain!

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44 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Are you some kind of masochist Older, “happy days” indeed, when some bunch of ruffians are going to come along and wreck your lovingly prepared pitch, without caring about all the time and effort you’ve put in perfecting it (or will have to put in repairing it afterwards)!

We've been training on it for 4 weeks...lol

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Ryan and myself went up to do the first markings today.

Got this far and then the rain came in!

Anyway we got the two baselines in so at least we got that done.

Always put the byelines first as these are the basis for nearly all the measurements.  Stringline down first then marry up the measuring tape and adjust to position and mark in.

 

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Gave the dry patches a good soaking yesterday and today to take advantage of the rain forecast, caught it spot on.

Problem is the Rooks can now dig in for Chafer/leatherjacket grubs...little sods making  a right mess!! But being an animal man I'll just live with it...ggrrrr!!!

Never mind.

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Been a busy week achieving very little. Pitch was growing at a ridiculous rate. So much the cylinder mower just couldnt cut it. Out with a rotary to get it cut. Followed by another rotary which basically hoovered the pitch up nicely. Even now its very thick. Not got the finish i want. Then the sun burnt one end of the pitch very quickly. Out with a sprinkler. Weve also gone from a pitch with the odd weed to weeds everywhere in the space of two weeks. Finally today we started painting the lines in. Made a good start and in came the rain. Wont moan about that but typical timing. All in all a busy week but not the finish i want. The areas around the ground have had a detailed strim around posts and walls. Looks nice and tidy. The bank is next and thats at least 5 hours work on its own. Onwards and upwards. 

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Yes Paul the heat this week has certainly dried out the pitches! 

I have almost finished spot spraying, certainly a good time for weeds, I've used 5 litres of selective chemical this season so far, that's double my normal usage! 

My growth has slowed up with this heat more the pity, this rain will help and a vertidrain and fertiliser in about 6 weeks will put the growth back on no doubt. 

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@TheolderIgetthebetterIwas Going ever so slightly off topic...

 

Can you give me a rough idea of the science behind these things and what they do exactly 

And

The rough cost for a club of they were having to get a contractor in to carry out the works (no machinery at the club etc)

  • Aeration
  • Chain harrowing
  • Fertilising
  • Flail mowing
  • Vertical Decompaction

 

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Going even more off topic but after looking for advice elsewhere and getting no response I've come to what seems a far more qualified area of the Internet. I had turf laid a couple of weeks ago and with constant watering I've ended up with this...without getting the paintbrush and a tub of green paint out is there anything I can do to save it or is my pocket money going to have to go on grass seed?

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DW23

It really wasn’t a perfect time to turf,  much better to do it between  October and January. However, that wasn’t you question.

Assuming ground preparation was correct,  if really is a case of lots and lots of water. On the bright side, it doesn’t look to be dead or dying, and the joints are still together..

If you could get some feed on it , it may help. Possibly the easiest thing to get hold of is a seaweed based tomato fertiliser. Apply with a watering can, and water in well. 

If it gets any worse, and joints open up, brush some compost between them.

 

water, water,WATER

Post another pic when it greens up.

Good luck.

 

 

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Sadly it was the housing association that opted not to turf the garden in the winter when the property was being built but to do it on the hottest day possible. It was a company that came to do it so I am assuming it was prepared correctly and I will continue the watering along with some feed this weekend. I'll put some pattern in just to keep up with the pros in the thread and so it isnt a total off topic hijack. Thanks for the advice though!

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On 31/07/2020 at 11:56, Dave Bartlam said:

@TheolderIgetthebetterIwas Going ever so slightly off topic...

 

Can you give me a rough idea of the science behind these things and what they do exactly 

And

The rough cost for a club of they were having to get a contractor in to carry out the works (no machinery at the club etc)

  • Aeration
  • Chain harrowing
  • Fertilising
  • Flail mowing
  • Vertical Decompaction

 

Aeration is to make space in the soil structure to maintain porosity, this keeps a balance between the air filled voids and the water holding voids. Both are needed for plant growth as the plant requires air and water to live, the action of maintenance and sport on grass reduces air spaces (porosity) and you get water logged ground and poor growth/weak growth. 

Therefore aeration is done by slitting, spiking, vertidraining and forking to open the ground up to fresh air entering the ground and stale air being replaced  (gaseous exchange) probably the second most important operation after regular cutting. 

More later Dave if I get time!!!

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Chain harrowing. 

Old fashioned but still effective.

Chain harrowing is used to scarify the grass, stand grass up and crumbling and filling divots and lumps after a ground is "chopped" up after a wet old day.

Chain narrows depending on which type you have can be aggressive, passive and soft depending on which side you use and the direction you drag it in, not all have this option.

It is simply a series of linked chains some with spikes giving the three options or with none which have one option only.

Farmers used to use them after ploughing to create a finer finish on the surface.

__________________________

Fertilising.

Basically a food for the grass or a food for the soil bacteria.

Grass will survive happily without it but if you want a lush green and thicker sward you would apply a fertiliser to enhance what the grass would normally do but a lot slower.

The 3 main ingredients of fertiliser are displayed as N.P.K. and are N for nitrogen, P for phosphate, and K for potash.

Nitrogen to colour the grass and assist the top growth, phosphate to enhance root growth with potash for general plant development ( my favourite)

A lot of other factors apply in fertiliser use but by far too much to put on here right now!

Those 3 will give you 99% of your grass/ground requirements. 

Now I'm going to watch a film ...lol, more Dave another day.

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Flail mowing.

Not really used in pitch maintenance,  an aggressive form of cutting hedges, rough ground, brambles and so on. 

There are flail mowers used for grass cutting but not really a fine enough finish for sport pitches.

Avoid!

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Vertical compaction.

Vertidraining,  the most efficient form of vertical decompaction, basically a large mechanical fork giving variable degrees of lift and depth. 

You will usually find up to 30% increase in growth and density a few days after vertidraining.

Increases porosity and gives the plant spaces to grow into and a lot of fresh air through gaseous exchange. 

_______________________________________

 

Costs.

Aeration. 

Slitting, spiking...you probably won't find anyone to do it, if you could I would hazard a guess at the £100+ mark if the contractor was really local to you.

4 to 6 times a year as a minimum. 

Chain harrowing probably around the same cost and as required.

Fertilising.  Annually a full programme £450 ...£800 depending on what type of fertiliser you go for.

Vertical decompaction...£300/£400 and ideally twice a year.

You would also need an occasional light rolling to maintain a relatively level playing surface, and always the lightest roller required for the conditions at the time.

Again if the contractor is local around the £100 mark.

Pitch maintenance is expensive if you are not going to do the majority of it yourself,  and to do that you require a lot of free time!

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On 31/07/2020 at 17:46, DW23 said:

Going even more off topic but after looking for advice elsewhere and getting no response I've come to what seems a far more qualified area of the Internet. I had turf laid a couple of weeks ago and with constant watering I've ended up with this...without getting the paintbrush and a tub of green paint out is there anything I can do to save it or is my pocket money going to have to go on grass seed?

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Typical turf laying at the wrong time of the year and looks like very poor ground preparation to me...not unusual! 

The ground should have been soaked  before the turf was laid, it obviously was not.

When you water you do really have to soak it so the water gets through the  dried out turf and into the ground underneath. 

Water early morning and late evening and drown it...puddle it up if you can.

If the turf floats when doing this it almost certainly will have died and you will not be able to sow seed into it, it's a start again from scratch job I'm afraid...sorry.

If you do have to start again it would be best now to wait until September when the rains start again.

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6 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Typical turf laying at the wrong time of the year and looks like very poor ground preparation to me...not unusual! 

The ground should have been soaked  before the turf was laid, it obviously was not.

When you water you do really have to soak it so the water gets through the  dried out turf and into the ground underneath. 

Water early morning and late evening and drown it...puddle it up if you can.

If the turf floats when doing this it almost certainly will have died and you will not be able to sow seed into it, it's a start again from scratch job I'm afraid...sorry.

If you do have to start again it would be best now to wait until September when the rains start again.

No need to apologise I just won't be recommending the company to anyone who is looking for lovely new turf. If they did soak the ground prior they didn't get the water from me but I wasn't home to watch them. I will give it up until the end of the summer holidays to see what it does and if it is a poor job ill pull it out and seed it instead or buy some astro and save the hassle. 

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This arrived yesterday, a scarifier come verticutter. 

Will be using this as a verticutter to trim stolons and thin the grass out, it will take the sponginess out of the sward and will speed the ball up.

Very happy to get one of these at last but now to find a machine to drive it as it is a powered drive.

 

 

 

 

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First chance to try my new 7ft brush out today, brushed against the pattern to stand it up for cutting later this week. 

My god it is heavy! because its cantilevered it was lifting the back of the ride on up on the turns, will have to have a new redesigned tow hitch made to offset the cantilever...sod it!

Then the rain came -  so happy to see that with the pitch rapidly drying out again. I did flood a few areas on Sunday so caught the weather nicely.

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Went on the pitch early doors and brushed the opposite way to the pattern again today...down came the rain but I finished the job with the forecast saying drying up later.

6.15 pm went up and cut the pitch...blimey what a difference the brush made to the cut, took a mountain of grass off leaving a bowling green finish - too good for football really!

Really took the grass down turning the pitch a bit yellow cutting that low but give it a fortnight and should get a load of new tillers from lower down...free new grass.

Cut the cross pattern in tomorrow and mark in for Saturday. 

 

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Pitch turned to yellow with the lower cut!

 

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I say a lower cut but not really, mower height still 1¼" but standing it up gave lower cut and nipped a lot of stolon's off that were lying down before. 

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The pitch looks amazing @TheolderIgetthebetterIwas. The only problem I had with the pitch when I played at Penryn was that I could never blame the pitch on my poor touch because it was always like a bowling green. I hope the players appreciate how lucky they are to have someone as dedicated as you caring for the pitch. Keep up the good work 👍

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2 hours ago, Chris Davey said:

The pitch looks amazing @TheolderIgetthebetterIwas. The only problem I had with the pitch when I played at Penryn was that I could never blame the pitch on my poor touch because it was always like a bowling green. I hope the players appreciate how lucky they are to have someone as dedicated as you caring for the pitch. Keep up the good work 👍

You were not that bad Chris 🙄

Thanks for the kind words buddy.

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Just a point to make regarding brushing the grass.

Remember that regular brushing stands the grass up allowing air to circulate and dry the sward out.

This is done not only to enhance the cut but is a good way to reduce the effects of red thread.

Red thread, dollar spot and all the other fungal infections rely on moisture in the sward to establish themselves and with this heat  and morning dews fungal attacks will be commonplace. 

You can also strengthen your pattern with a good brush when there is no need for a cut...its a lot quicker as well. 

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Out with the brush again today against the pattern to stand the grass up for cutting tomorrow and to pull out the damaged grass from yesterdays double header v Mousehole. 

After Tuesday's game against St Austell it will be out with the collector mower to pick up all the damaged grass from the 3 games.

Then get the pitch ready for Saturday's game against Sticker...no rest now with friendlies coming thick and fast.

Pitch is seriously drying out everywhere now with this heat with no chance of rescuing all of it...but that's life at this level. 

 

 

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The grass standing up and the loose damaged grass from the games.

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Spotted this last week on our neighbours cricket square. 

Pretty sure this is Dollar spot. 

Morning dew not being brushed off, too much thatch, late application of high nitrogen fertiliser, high temperatures all contribute to this serious fungal disease, normally associated with finer grasses luckily.

If not dealt with it will kill an entire lawn down to its roots.

Conditions this year are perfect for this disease.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the rain we all needed at last. 

 

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Turned this dried out grass.

 

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In to this in 36 hours!

 

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Still getting problems with dogs (bitches) peeing on the pitch!

Maybe foxes as we're getting a bit of fox poo regularly as well now...sod's.

Will have to douse these areas with water to dilute the nitrogen in the urine then scratch it up a bit and put a bit of seed in.

Normally a bit of pee in the wetter part of the year will only give a bit of a flush of grass but in this hot dry weather it will kill the grass almost instantly! 

 

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Spotted this today, a bit of recovery in the multiple pee spots... can't beat a BIT! of rain.

Might try a bit of grass seed in them to see if that helps.

More rain like this and I may put a bit of 3.12.13 down. Firs time ever I would have fertilised in August! 

High on the potash and phosphate to give a bit of general growth. 

3 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Spotted this today, a bit of recovery in the multiple pee spots... can't beat a BIT! of rain.

Might try a bit of grass seed in them to see if that helps.

More rain like this and I may put a bit of 3.12.13 down. Firs time ever I would have fertilised in August! 

High on the potash and phosphate to give a bit of general growth. 

 

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3 hours ago, John Mead said:

 

Rain's just stopped; blue sky at Pz!

70 year old drains still removing gallons per minute from the pitch. No idea where the water goes though! Will try to upload a probably poor video.

Go on John you can do it!

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On 27/08/2020 at 10:34, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Absolute stair rods here!!!

Played Tuesday night and had a few divots...unbelievable, never had divots in August before!!!

End of the world is nigh.

 

 

On 29/08/2020 at 11:19, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Another first for August, after the first ever divot in this weeks friendly ...the first ever wormcast in August! 

 

 

Well Older, do I see the first green shoots of a climate change eco-warrior emerging? I could see you as an extinction rebellion activist. You could get a green army to close down Penryn (as if anyone would notice!).

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Well went up to the pitch this morning and it had turned silver! Heavy, heavy dew with the warm ground and low night temperatures.  The dew had to go as planned to cut it later today.

 

 

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Out with the brush.

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Went up 3 hours later and decided to use the rotary on a lower setting to pick up the debris from the previous friendlies. 

Also to lower the sward to reduce the length of the stolons which are tillering near the surface and need to break lower down to reduce the spring in the sward.

 

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The result is a few brown patches where the long stolons have been nipped off, but this hopefully will make the tillers break lower.

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Also checked the ground temperature after all the rain and low night temperatures, still at a reasonable 13⁰ so the grass will still happily grow at that.

May consider popping a bit of 3 12 12 fertiliser on if this dew persists as I can brush the dew off to take the chemical burn off the prills, a bit of rain on it then and the results will be pretty quick.

Don't want a huge amount of nitrogen at this time as it will only detract from general and root growth which the pitch needs at this time of year.

Will also book in the vertidrain soon to assist deeper rooting.

 

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