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Blimey Older, have you got a degree in soil chemistry or the like? I would say that you are a fount of subterranean knowledge. Incidentally, is groundsmanning an art or a science? Either way, there’s a university just up the road, get in there and give them a few seminars!

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24 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Blimey Older, have you got a degree in soil chemistry or the like? I would say that you are a fount of subterranean knowledge. Incidentally, is groundsmanning an art or a science? Either way, there’s a university just up the road, get in there and give them a few seminars!

No degree but a great interest  in agronomy, with that goes soil structures and all that entails. 

I am a believer that to do a job properly you have to understand all aspects of it and have an appreciation of the affect your sport and maintenance has on it.

I did work in horticulture for 40 years and that helps.

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On 28/02/2020 at 15:09, Bruegel the Elder said:

Blimey Older, have you got a degree in soil chemistry or the like? I would say that you are a fount of subterranean knowledge. Incidentally, is groundsmanning an art or a science? Either way, there’s a university just up the road, get in there and give them a few seminars!

Grounds work on pitches is now very much a science but the final product and presentation is very much an art.

If you can present your pitch professionally and give the participants and spectators that initial wow factor...you've cracked it. 

Out with my dogs today I came across two examples of what I've been posting about.

Note the silt deposited by the rain in this area, covered in water while all around it has drained. 

 

 

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Out with my 

 

 

 

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An example of compaction (a worn footpath through a grass area) that we have all seen, exactly the same thing is happening on a pitch just covering a larger area.

That is why aeration is so important to keep your grass healthy and able to breathe.

Grass breathes in through its roots and exhales through its leaves...keep air in the ground at all times.

 

Screenshot_20200229-205113_Gallery.jpg

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Some trivia. 

It is estimated that 25 sq  ft of grass takes in carbon dioxide and converts it to oxygen through photosynthesis (very complicated subject) which is enough to keep one person alive for one day!

90% of the dry  land mass on earth is covered with a  grass of some description. 

Bamboo is a grass and lb  for lb is stronger than steel!

There is only enough natural light on Wimbledon centre court for photosynthesis to happen 10 days a year!

It is continuously lit artificially or the grass would simply starve to death.

Same problem with most modern stadiums.

The pitch in the Millennium stadium is grown in Holland and shipped in by lorry 3 times a year!

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Lovely drying day and a couple of hours on the trusty old fork, still bit wet on the surface though!

The silt is still holding a bit of water on the surface,  but underneath is starting to dry out, some places could only get the fork in 7" instead of 9"  no slurping noises either (saturated ground sucking air in) good signs at last.

 

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Took my dogs out this afternoon and looked up over Mabe hill...here it comes!

 

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Normal service is resumed! 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Interesting information coming out of the Met office.

In December,  January and February the average rainfall figures show a standard football pitch would have had just under 3,000 cu mts of rain  fall on it!

I make that about 23 inches of rain.

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1 hour ago, The Town Man said:

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.

A big well done from me!

Thanks town man. Knowledge shared is a wonderful thing.

I was over St Day on Saturday having a bit of chat with Mark their groundsman, conversation got around to line marking, particularly spray markers of which I know nothing about.

That was an interesting chat in which he passed on his knowledge to me as they have had two of them...thanks Mark. 

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1 hour ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Thanks town man. Knowledge shared is a wonderful thing.

I was over St Day on Saturday having a bit of chat with Mark their groundsman, conversation got around to line marking, particularly spray markers of which I know nothing about.

That was an interesting chat in which he passed on his knowledge to me as they have had two of them...thanks Mark. 

Come on then Mark, do the decent thing like wot Older does and share the info. If Older doesn’t know about it what chance the rest of us?

Also, come on DD isn’t it time to have an agronomy sub-forum?

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We have had a spray marker for the last 8 years. It's a Fleet product and I use Blinder marking paint  expensive but you can still see the lines after 3 weeks of rain. I believe Mark has a different product ,there are 5/6  different manufacturers Rigby Taylor, Pitchmark to name but two. Very light to use and don't leave wheel marks on the pitch if it's wet, need regular cleaning and flushing through with clean water after every use. Jets last about a season before they wear.Battery needs charging after 5 pitches. Parts are expensive, had to replace the pump on ours a couple of years ago that was £90.Well pleased with mine 20 minutes to mark a full pitch ie over marking existing lines.  10 litres paint will dilute to 20:1` over marking, but about 10:1 for initial mark . 10 litres will do about 20 pitches, so about 30 litres , £270 for a season. Obviously not as cheap to run as a wheel to wheel but a little less effort. Larger to store!

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Took my dogs out this afternoon and noticed the reservoir had fallen below the 10+ mark for the first time in the last 3 months...good sign.

 

Screenshot_20200303-185934_Gallery.jpg

Also noticed this on the path, a severely smashed up section, if you do this to your pitch it is called liquefied and is the most severe damage your pitch can sustain.

Very, very expensive to repair!

 

Screenshot_20200303-192757_Gallery.jpg

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4 minutes ago, 6times said:

Older this topic started off interesting now it’s essentially you talking to yourself !!! 

Just showing what pitches are having to deal with,  and it is essentially impossible to deal with  at this time.

I don't mind talking to myself...gets it out of my head...fed up with it, and I'm sure others will comment when necessary...maybe lol

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Onward and upward. 

Worm casts, real problem now, millions of them showing as the brown lines of the wheel tracks.

Worm casts act as a wick bringing water up from underground, first chance to brush them off is the best way to stop this happening. 

Normally after a couple of drier hotter days is the best time to dis-connect them and let them dry out before hopefully cutting the grass.

 

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Took the ground temperature today after the warmth of yesterday 10 degrees, excellent news.

Grass starts to grow at this temperature and if this is maintained for a couple of weeks then it's fertiliser time.

A bit of additional nitrogen will drive the worms down,  they do not like it, I'll be going for a 9.7.7. composition with a medium sized prill (correct name for a pellet of fertiliser) at half the recommended rate which has always worked fine for me.

Screenshot_20200304-152234_Gallery.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

Keep talking Dave those of us who want to are learning all the time.

Thank you Ieuan, just passing on some basic knowledge of ground work and the reasoning behind what we do.

It is much more technical than my posts but there is no need to go to very depths of agronomy. 

I have the feeling I'm teaching you to suck eggs though Ieuan...lol

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16 hours ago, 6times said:

Older this topic started off interesting now it’s essentially you talking to yourself !!! 

But its what all us groundsmen are battling with. I find it very interesting and a bit reassuring that its not just my pitch struggling! Keep up the great work @TheolderIgetthebetterIwas

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44 minutes ago, JonColenzo said:

But its what all us groundsmen are battling with. I find it very interesting and a bit reassuring that its not just my pitch struggling! Keep up the great work @TheolderIgetthebetterIwas

Thank you Jon.

Everybody is in the same boat, been on the pitch this morning and the plug holes are back to the top with water, what chance Saturday? 

None would be my bet at this time!

The forecast for today, tomorrow and Saturday! 

 

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No egg sucking here Dave always a pleasure to listen to you.Best 4 hours since early October today spent all that time on tractor with spiking, brushing, cutting. Starting to resemble a football pitch again! Just hope we can use it in the near future despite Andy and his predictions!

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Nice one Ieuan. 

I went up to the pitch intending to mark it in...no chance -too wet after the nights rain!

Sod it I thought I'll take my dogs out instead.

It turned into one of the best decisions I've ever made. Ran into a fella and got chatting about this and that, the conversation inevitably turned to the weather and how wet the ground is, anyways sand came up in the chat. Ah! he said I've just bought some land with a derelict large shed on it, cutting the story short it had 40 to 50 tons of kiln dried silicate sand in it and he gave it to me!!! Got a fella collecting it and bring it to the club next week...happy, happy days.

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Mixed it 50/50  with some rubber and filled a few plug holes with it...note the perfect shape of the sand, nicely rounded and will not compact and maintains air spaces all the time.

The mechanics of sand is a subject in itself and quite an interesting one if you're an anorak...lol.

Note also the grass species from the original sowing over 30 years ago still going strong...a creeping fescue.

No longer used in football pitches, all clump forming Rye grasses now for deeper rooting, but that's another subject again!

 

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Also added some rubber to the soil and sand mix the chairman made back in june last year.

This is used as a divot filler when the ground is dry enough to drive on. The mix allows the grass to grow through it to fill the void, if you use a soil only filler it tends to get compacted and stays as a bare patch.

You cannot roll out divots, you put the actual divot back or fill it with a mix like this one filling each one individually. 

Would normally have been done by now but again the weather has stopped it being done.

Theres about 2 tons which should be enough to do the whole pitch. 

 

Screenshot_20200305-165306_Gallery.jpg

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On 28/02/2020 at 13:53, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

The same area 4 hours later and the water level now well down.

The pitch of course would still not be playable.

 

 

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Happy with that, now if I put a main sump into that area it will speed up the percolating rate even more.

But remember water attracts water but can only travel horizontally for around 2ft 6" (that's why lateral drainage should never be more than 5ft apart ) before the pull on each molecule breaks down.

A Dutchman discovered it but I forget his name (?)

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Van Dyke ! 

Got to hand it to you older - if the pitch's not playable, it won't be your fault. Good man !

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1 hour ago, Keith B said:

Van Dyke ! 

Got to hand it to you older - if the pitch's not playable, it won't be your fault. Good man !

Van Dyke...very good Keith LMAO

1 hour ago, John Mead said:

Filling divots! The most tiresome job for a grounds man - especially when it looks like a herd of bullocks have invaded the pitch. Takes me about 1 hour for each wheelbarrow full of sand, soil and seed mix - but I am getting slower!

I know the feeling John, old age is no good to anyone.

2 hours on the fork these days and I'm done for!

 

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20 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Question.

last night at 12.30 the heavens opened here and it poured with rain!

This morning 7.30 it poured down again, and 10.00 it has just done it again!

Is everyone getting this rain as well...or is it just in the Falmouth area?

Just the Falmouth area Bolder, I think you attract it like a magnet!

Or, possibly the weather gods are enjoying your column and don’t want to give you any excuse to potter off down the pitch!

 

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Just now, John Mead said:

Penryn seems to catch the rain Dave; just a little drizzle in Pz this morning but we did have a gutsful overnight.

I had to wait an hour for the rain to stop here before marking it in!

The floodlight base showing the water we had here over the last 14 hours! 

That's a good inch of water, it has been up to 3" on this base!

Screenshot_20200306-133912_Gallery.jpg

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9 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Or is it?

 

 

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Now that is interesting. I’m surprised that with all your low to middling tech equipment that you haven’t improved on the development of the snow shoe to invent a mud shoe to avoid those unsightly footprints in the pitch.

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6 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:


 

Now that is interesting. I’m surprised that with all your low to middling tech equipment that you haven’t improved on the development of the snow shoe to invent a mud shoe to avoid those unsightly footprints in the pitch.

I'm considering growing rice...lol

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Dave - great thread and I have been reading with great delight. 

On 03/03/2020 at 15:28, Bruegel the Elder said:

Come on then Mark, do the decent thing like wot Older does and share the info. If Older doesn’t know about it what chance the rest of us?

Also, come on DD isn’t it time to have an agronomy sub-forum?

There is no secret from me, as Dave is this man that has taught me everything I know. And I'm always happy, like Dave and Leuan too to pass on my knowledge. However I would say to save time ask Dave or Leuan as if these gentleman don't know then it either isn't worth knowing or doesn't exist.😂 

 

To answer questions about line markers. Spray markers are good if throughly looked after, but one small blockage and they won't work. More premier league clubs use the old transfer wheel, but I'm unsure why. Both give good results with the right paint and tender loving care of the machine.

We were in need of a new one after starting to spend too much money on our old one and an application the the CCFA small grants scheme went in. We were lucky to take delivery of a new igo mini from rigby taylor with two drums of their marking paint "impact". Whole pitch marked with 1.9/2lts of paint, only need to travel in one direction (Both sides of the grass plant get painted) and it works out at about £3 in cost per pitch. The benefit is going to be when we get some drier weather and I won't need to keep over marking for mid week games. The paints are all very similar, the more you pay, the more titanium dioxide they put in and therefore the whiter and brighter the lines. Many now come with a weatherproof in them so once dry, they will stay visable for longer.

 

Older - these are my markings from last weekend, pictures taken yesterday. I will over mark today for this weekends fixtures but you can see if I was desperate they could be left.

 

Thanks for your time last week and normal advice. See you soon

20200307_070851.jpg

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22 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Van Dyke...very good Keith LMAO

I know the feeling John, old age is no good to anyone.

2 hours on the fork these days and I'm done for!

 

2 hours - those were the days. Triple bypass has done for me digging the garden. Still alive and kicking though, that's the main thing. No not kicking footballs ☺️.

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Blimey Mark you'll have the both of us squirming with embarrassment in a minute...but thank you for those kind words.

Since talking to you about the spray markers and the "paint" used in them as usual I have to know what it actually is.

Some interesting facts on Titanium Dioxide.

Chemical sign Tio but when used as a whitening compound it is called PW6 and some other things as well. 

It is sourced from the compounds of Ilmenite, Rutile and Anatase and is the 9th most common element on the planet.

It is widely used in many things we use today.

In food it is known as E171 additive and chemically changed to Tio2

It is heavily used in.

Toothpaste 

Make up 

Ice cream 

Cheese

Cake icing

And so on.

It is a nano particle which is virtually completely insoluble so classed as safe for human consumption. 

Its use is primarily as a whitener/brightener and is also used in line markers for that reason.

A load of trivia I know but if I use it I want to know why and how it works...I'm an anorak...lol. 

I suspect the premiership boys still use the old transfer system because it's simple to use,   easy to care for

and lasts for years, ours is 30+ years old.

I'm rabbiting as usual...got to go up and have a look at out paddy field now...cheers.

 

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12 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Blimey Mark you'll have the both of us squirming with embarrassment in a minute...but thank you for those kind words.

Since talking to you about the spray markers and the "paint" used in them as usual I have to know what it actually is.

Some interesting facts on Titanium Dioxide.

Chemical sign Tio but when used as a whitening compound it is called PW6 and some other things as well. 

It is sourced from the compounds of Ilmenite, Rutile and Anatase and is the 9th most common element on the planet.

It is widely used in many things we use today.

In food it is known as E171 additive and chemically changed to Tio2

It is heavily used in.

Toothpaste 

Make up 

Ice cream 

Cheese

Cake icing

And so on.

It is a nano particle which is virtually completely insoluble so classed as safe for human consumption. 

Its use is primarily as a whitener/brightener and is also used in line markers for that reason.

A load of trivia I know but if I use it I want to know why and how it works...I'm an anorak...lol. 

I suspect the premiership boys still use the old transfer system because it's simple to use,   easy to care for

and lasts for years, ours is 30+ years old.

I'm rabbiting as usual...got to go up and have a look at out paddy field now...cheers.

 

Blimey older - what did you get your degree in and at which Uni ? 

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