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55 minutes ago, Keith B said:

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

Haha...no degree, just inquisitive on a need to know basis.

I've posted this already but if you are engaged in an activity I like to know the science of why,  and the reasons that the function works.

I know I'm an anorak...lol 

Just come off the pitch.

50% playable  30% jelly like

20% totally unstable. 

My groundsman hat on....keep off!

BUT... signs that it is beginning to firm up!

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4 minutes ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

Kind words indeed Dave but like you it's good to know how things work,however a life long passion for football drives me,much to my wife and daughters dislike of the game

Haha Ieuan,  most people dont even know I'm married,  you want find me - go to the football club!

Just like you I suspect...lol

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19 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Looking forward to the before and after pictures!

Here you go Bruegel, bad enough but not as bad as I expected it to be.

Mainly compression damage with the grass pressed into the ground. 

Normally I would like a guts full of rain on this type of damage but with a game Tuesday night I hope not.

If it stays dry a day on the fork to put the big divots back, then a brush or spring tines to get the grass standing up again. 

General damage showing with the deepest divot at 6"

The before piccy first.

 

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19 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Looking forward to the before and after pictures!

 

 

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St Ives the better side yesterday defended the wind well      The rain  and hails this sunday morning penryns pitch under water I can not see it fit for tues  v Redruth

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What a day, 4 huge downpours stopping any work on the field today.

So took the opportunity to study the plug holes and the reaction each filling has had to all the rain today.

The sand filled drained completely, followed by the sand rubber mix also emptying completely. 

However the rubber filling was still holding water at the top...disappointing that.

 

 

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But 2 hours later it had drained...so not too bad. Might be that it is a lot smaller in size than I used 12 years ago so the air spaces are much smaller for drainage. 

I'll now increase the test area for confirmation that the results were accurate, probably a square foot of plugs for each filling and monitor it again.

Interestingly the holes that where left open/empty had 4 to 5 inches of water in them...will have to think about that...strange!

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You would think that growing up in the Norfolk , Cambridgeshire , Lincolnshire corner of the Fens with it's myriad system of tidal rivers , drains , channels and ditches I would know everything about drainage . Like most people in that area I took it all for granted , but now I can see just how complex it all  is and marvel that Dutch engineers centuries ago worked it all out .I only really looked into drainage systems when I was secretary , groundsman etc. etc . of a club on the East Coast of Norfolk in the 70's .  During one season our pitch was constantly waterlogged , in spite of  forking over . The pitch was only about 300 yards from the clifftops  but was on the downward slope from the cliffs , as a result the water wouldn't drain upwards but was at the beginning of a complex drainage system  that went towards the Broads and back to the sea further along the coast . This system is dependant on all of the ditches and channels being kept clean and well dredged . Our problem at that time was caused by one farmer  some miles away letting his ditches become clogged and stopping the water from flowing and holding it all back toward our pitch  . Once he had sorted it out the pitch rapidly dried and in spite of several heavy rainfalls over the years we had no more problems . A drainage expert explained it all too me , he said that it wasn't just a case of letting water away , if the water runs fast enough it will actually create a pulling effect on waterlogged land  and make it drain quicker , but all of the waterway had to be clear with no obstruction . He said that we could fork the ground all we liked but if the water had nowhere to run it would stay there .This sort of problem doesn't arise so much in your area because of the ground structure and hilly ground which means water can run downhill , but here , being flat  we have to rely on correctly built ie, sloping , drains and ditches and pumping stations to get the water away . 

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Yet another problem showing now...Moss.

Moss likes the damp wet weather we're having, along with close mowing,  so I'll raise the cut to 35mm to try and alleviate the problem. 

When it's dry enough (laughs) I'll get the spring tines on it and give it a thorough scarifying, couple that with a good going over with the star wheel and a dose of rye grass seed it should ease this problem. 

I only ever sow seed at half the recommended rate as it has been proven you get a better end result doing this.

I also do this for fertiliser application and found it is just good as the full rate...but each to their own.

 

 

 

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Apologies for appearing boring , but all this groundsman talk reminds me of  the many stories surrounding Russell Allinson the legendary Norwich City groundsman  in the 60's and 70's  . In trhose days the players used to do maintenence   work around the stadium during the season ( how times change !!!!  )  such as painting the side rails and posts around the spectator area  . To him the pitch area was sacred ground  and only he and his son were allowed on there  when there was no match on .Even the manager wasn't  allowed on there and had to do any TV   talks well off it . One of the players at the time Keith Robson was telling me that a group of them had finished some sweeping up on the terraces and were going back to the players changing entrance , no one was about they thought so they took a short cut across the pitch . They hadn't got far when Allinson's voice boomed out " get off my bloody pitch  , you do enough damage prancing about there on Saturdays when I let you use it " . He was totally devoted to his job and took great pride in pitch condition and as soon as the match was over he would be out there ushering players off as soon as possible to avoid any more damage . When I used to have to do football duty at the ground all the officers were instructed no to encroach on Russell's playing area . Even the great Martin Peters was in awe of him during his time at Norwich . Of course we know that much of his abuse was light hearted and part jest  but nevertheless he became a legend at Carrow ( pronounced Carrer ) Road and I bet that there aren't many groundsmen ( except Older ) who will be remembered like he is  . I believe that when he died his ashes were scattered  on the pitch . What he would have made of pop concerts being held on his pitch today God knows , more to the point what would he have made of the performers ?

Edited by fenman
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1 hour ago, fenman said:

Apologies for appearing boring , but all this groundsman talk reminds me of  the many stories surrounding Russell Allinson the legendary Norwich City groundsman  in the 60's and 70's  . In trhose days the players used to do maintenence   work around the stadium during the season ( how times change !!!!  )  such as painting the side rails and posts around the spectator area  . To him the pitch area was sacred ground  and only he and his son were allowed on there  when there was no match on .Even the manager wasn't  allowed on there and had to do any TV   talks well off it . One of the players at the time Keith Robson was telling me that a group of them had finished some sweeping up on the terraces and were going back to the players changing entrance , no one was about they thought so they took a short cut across the pitch . They hadn't got far when Allinson's voice boomed out " get off my bloody pitch  , you do enough damage prancing about there on Saturdays when I let you use it " . He was totally devoted to his job and took great pride in pitch condition and as soon as the match was over he would be out there ushering players off as soon as possible to avoid any more damage . When I used to have to do football duty at the ground all the officers were instructed no to encroach on Russell's playing area . Even the great Martin Peters was in awe of him during his time at Norwich . Of course we know that much of his abuse was light hearted and part jest  but nevertheless he became a legend at Carrow ( pronounced Carrer ) Road and I bet that there aren't many groundsmen ( except Older ) who will be remembered like he is  . I believe that when he died his ashes were scattered  on the pitch . What he would have made of pop concerts being held on his pitch today God knows , more to the point what would he have made of the performers ?

Haha me telling people to get of the pitch/ goalmouth...never 🤥

There's enough donkeys running around on it without all and sundry on it as well...lol 

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A couple of interesting posts there Fenman. 

Water attracting water is technically called adhesion. Simply explained it is the electrical charge on the water molecule being attracted to the charge on another molecule, water has a plus and minus charge on it so that it can maintain itself as one entity ...one single body of water.

What you have described is slightly different to what you have been told, water moves down through the profile because of gravity and atmospheric pressure,  it moves horizontally through the profile by attraction/adhesion. Adhesion is also how water fixes to the soil particles but is the termed as CEC - cation exchange capacity, again it is to do with opposite electrical charges attracting. That is why lateral drains should not be more than 2ft 6" apart, the CEC adhesion on the soil particles is too strong for the water attraction/adhesion and the water movement will stop. There is a critical pipe size involved as well at 4" to 6" or nothing will happen at all, this also applies when the air/water spaces are imbalanced. 

Of course the whole process is delayed or stops completely if the soil is silt saturated as the air spaces are too small.

A basic explanation would be turning a bottle upside down with the top off, no air can enter the bottle so the water cannot come out  put a whole in the top and out it comes!

This is what you are doing when you fork or slit/vertidrain the ground...allowing air to enter the profile to facilitate quicker drainage. 

If you push a fork into the ground the holes simply fill with water, lift the ground and you hear it slurping that is air entertaining the profile and you have created an access point for atmospheric pressure to start pushing the water through the profile. 

Remember at this time that water can also rise and go up through the profile when there is enough rainfall!!!

Just going back to CEC in a clay heavy soil this is because clay particles have a very strong cation exchange capacity which is why they drain slowly, they can hold the water to the clay particles much stronger than  sandy soil. Clay particles are also almost brick shaped so they sit together like a wall with very small water holding spaces between them.

Go back a number of years before pool liners and clay was used to create pools and lakes, if you smear clay it becomes totally waterproof...no water can go through it as there are no air space in it.

To deal with clay soil is a subject in itself. 

Hope this has not bored the pants of you  but you can actually go further into the subject down to atomic particle sizes but I don't see the need for that, it gets very heavy!!

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2 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Hope this has not bored the pants of you  but you can actually go further into the subject down to atomic particle sizes but I don't see the need for that, it gets very heavy!!

Would that be the subject matter, the state of the pitches down west or the rain? 

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Back to basics. 

Took the ground temperature yesterday,  the thermometer is under the bucket, this is to get an accurate reading unaffected by by the air temperature or chill factor of the wind.

Out of the ground the temperature was 7⁰ while the ground was 8⁰ still to low for fertiliser application imo.

Interesting to note behind the 20 is clearly showing a Stolon, this is one of the ways a creeping grass spreads through the sward.

It is the woody like structure with roots on it, when the roots attach to the soil they also send up top growth (leaves) to make the sward denser.

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1 hour ago, Dave Bartlam said:

Older, just diverting slightly...

If a goalmouth has a raised profile (leading out to the six yard box), what is the best way to flatten it out to match the surrounding areas?

If it was excessive you would cut the turf and remove it, then lower the surface before breaking it up and firming it before putting the turf back down. 

It is very beneficial to soak the ground the day before relaying the turf. 

This facilitates the turf rooting a lot quicker,  and as the ground dries you will get deeper rooting as the grass goes in search of water. Let it get to the point of wilting before giving it a good soaking early morning and again in the evening. 

Dry turf is difficult to wet properly so it's better to do it twice. If you do not do the soaking and watering the turf will shallow root and not last 5 minutes when you start to play on it.

I also do this for seeded areas to drive the roots down as deep as possible. 

I learned it from studying the Arse-nal groundsman many years ago.

It pains me to say it (COYS) but it is the best pitch I've ever seen, the old Highbury one that is...absolute carpet! 

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Thanks Older.

I'm entering a team into the TL next season; the only ground I've been able to acquire is Madron.  I'm set within the next few weeks to increase its size (I can reach the 18yard box and the byline)... There's quite a raised area at the top side, nothing huge that I wanted to flatten.  I wanted to dig it out and returf it.  I'll have to send you some pictures at some point if you don't mind :) 

Thanks for this thread, for someone who has absolutely no idea about any of this, it's been really informative.

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3 minutes ago, Dave Bartlam said:

Thanks Older.

I'm entering a team into the TL next season; the only ground I've been able to acquire is Madron.  I'm set within the next few weeks to increase its size (I can reach the 18yard box and the byline)... There's quite a raised area at the top side, nothing huge that I wanted to flatten.  I wanted to dig it out and returf it.  I'll have to send you some pictures at some point if you don't mind :) 

Thanks for this thread, for someone who has absolutely no idea about any of this, it's been really informative.

No problem Dave, send the pictures buddy.

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I should add as well that incorporating a bit of sport sand in the soil preparation before the turfing helps the drainage and should make it harder wearing. 

Also if it is a large area it is easier to hire a petrol turf cutter than using a turfing iron.

And the same applies before cutting the turf....soak the area the day before. 

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35 minutes ago, TheHoneyBadger said:

Great Thread Older. How is the pitch holding up today? What are the odds of Penryn vs Illogan going ahead Saturday? Should be a cracker! 

At this time 100% on buddy.

Not been on it today...sitting on a dumper all day...but will have a few hours on it tomorrow. 

Thanks for the comments. 

 

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Well opened up the main drain today, no surprises it was badly silted throughout the whole profile as it's over 30 years old and this type of system is normally good for around 20 years. 

This drain does not drain the pitch but catches all the water off the building and the two carparks to stop it going on to  the pitch. 

At 6ft we started to notice water creeping into the dig from the top side of the trench, then at 7ft it looks like a small stream coming into the trench from the pitch side wall, and quite a little stream it looked like, at 8ft we hit solid granite and couldn't go any deeper. 

 

With this the trench started to fill with water, after two hours it was 3ft deep and 7.00 pm tonight it was 4ft deep...interesting. 

What this tells me is there is a body of water under the pitch which is higher than the dig which is why the trench can keep filling above the stream level filling it, when the levels equalise the water will  stop rising and tell me the water table level in the immediate area.

Last season we had a problem with a spring 20yds from the trench and I suspect this is where the water is coming from. We've had no problems this season with as I have heavily air daggered the area around the spring to allow water to escape, but now the trench being the lowest area the water will naturally migrate to this point.

This trench will now be left open for a few days to see if,  and how fast the level falls.

This is normally what is done with this type of drain to see how efficient it is going to be, if it is too slow it would be normal to pipe the water to another area that will drain efficiently. 

 

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Also notice at the top of the trench the orange layer approximately 18inches  thick, this is the edge of a clay pan in this area,  there are 3 in top 18yd box and one where the spring showed up last year.

All have been punctured at their lowest points to stop them holding too much water,  but with the change to wetter winters the small drains that were put in are obviously now not big enough and probably silted as well. 

To alleviate this problem I will be putting in a series of vertical drains in these areas to solve this problem. They will go in as a grid so I know were they are and will be able to keep them open in the winter with a fork or pin bar.

I have sourced a contractor who has the appropriate soil auger for this work, I will probably link each each drain with a sand slit to facilitate faster water removal from the surface. 

Almost certainly these clay pans are feeding into the trench as well,  gravity will pull the water there as it is the lowest point.

Going to be interesting tomorrow to see where the water level is and if the immediate pitch area has firmed up a bit.

 

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Disappointing but expected the water has dropped by only 1" the drain had probably continued to attract water for a few hours after I last looked at it.

However that is the water table in the immediate area so I've learned something, and that the water from the last few months...a lot of it.

Looking at the lay of the land (topography) in this area it has almost certainly pulled from the cricket field next door which has caused a few problems over the winter, a veritable river on occasions coming into and onto the pitch. 

Will have to put another drain in this area to stop this happening. 

Now just wait to see how long it takes to empty. The picture shows the water coming into the field from next door.

(Just for you Bill...lol)

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1 hour ago, TheHoneyBadger said:

Very interesting! Has this helped with the pitch? The weather looks good so expecting some football this weekend? 

So, so, a bit firmer around the drain area.

Had a couple of hours on the ground today and with last night's rain and the rain here the last couple of hours the top is a bit soft...but game on I would think.

Will take a chance and mark it in the morning! 

Checked the drain before I left...gone up 3" b*gger it - but at least it's attracting the water away from the pitch. 

Appearances can be deceptive! 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

So, so, a bit firmer around the drain area.

Had a couple of hours on the ground today and with last night's rain and the rain here the last couple of hours the top is a bit soft...but game on I would think.

Will take a chance and mark it in the morning! 

Checked the drain before I left...gone up 3" b*gger it - but at least it's attracting the water away from the pitch. 

Appearances can be deceptive! 

 

 

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Older, does your insurance cover you for players overshooting the pitch and ending up in your new pond?

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Know where you are coming from Dave, I worked at Cygnus Marine for many years just 100 yards from the club. Every time we tried to dig down to construct or alter anything we hit marsh then water at about 6 feet. The whole of that area is I believe built on 18 miles depth of granite. so not much to take the water table away instantly. With the postponement of grassroots football in Cornwall can your crystal ball tell me if the grass will stop growing now the weather is forecast to moderate and warm up. Does convid 19 affect grass?

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