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55 minutes ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

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?

Wont matter Ieuan,  this rain will cancel the footy anyway...pouring down here, been raining since 11.00

Drying up next week...lmfao

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Had a look at the trench this morning...hohoho water had gone up by 15" overnight but had fallen 3" by the time I looked at it, the tideline on the trench showed me that.

The water level is now only 3Ft from the top of the pitch!  Remember this trench is 8ft deep.The only way this water can drop is to filter under the pitch out of sight but shows the amount of water grounds are having to deal with,  not just the water on the surface!

The real problem is with the water table this high the surface water has nowhere to go and keeps the whole profile wet, lack of air spaces in the profile will undoubtedly cause water to wick upwards and keep pitches overly wet.

With this problem exposed there is no option but to wait for the table to fall unless you can pipe it to a free draining area...major works and expensive. 

 

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And the water has now dropped by 6"

If I remember tomorrow I'll take few measurements to give me a rough percolating rate, but happy it is dropping at least and when it stops that is the water table we will have to work with.

This shows all how to find your water table but all will be a different set of circumstances you have to work out.

And some will be so deep you cannot reach them...lucky you!

To find an accurate percolation rate.

Open your ground up to any depth, dig a 1ft square hole at the bottom of your dig and fill it with water. Roughly time how long it takes to drain, so 1 cubic foot of water drains through 1 square foot of soil or sub soil in 12 hours your rate is 1 inch per hour as a basic,  just adjust your figures according. 

Trivia. The most efficient soakaway I ever dug drained at 150 gallons per minute!  Yes it was a huge dig.

I should add the test pit was approximately 10 cubic metres, draining at if I remember correctly 40 cubic metres an hour! It was 35 years ago now, still working but a lot slower no doubt due to silting again!

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Happy to get our game on at VP today, another fixture out the way. Was great to get the game on after using our new machinery thanks to the Football Foundation, St Day PC, Chris Matthews plastering and selling our old Mowers. Too big and heavy for your pitch I expect older.

Water table not really dropped this week, dry on Friday when I spiked but Water logged again by 7pm and this morning but thanks to no rain we were game on.

 

Hopefully with next weeks drier weather we can get the water table down a bit more and grass growing a bit quicker. Games coming thick and fast (unless league's say otherwise). Would be bloody typical, games called off through weather, now get some drier weather and along comes Mr Virus!!

Agree with investment older, we've got lucky and invested more so in our pitch and machinery in the last 4 years and it's now starting to pay off. Oh yeah and let's not forget hours of hard work from many volunteers.

 

More rain over night, cannot see the youth playing tomorrow....god sake!

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Should also have said it is possible to have a topographical survey done with a drone, the drone surveys your site with infra red lasers (or maybe ultrasound, I read this stuff many years  ago! )and can give you an underground map of your site showing what exactly is down there...good or what!

I have seen this being done in the university grounds by students I think,  might have a sniff around up there to see if they want us as a project...would be useful for sure.

Edited by TheolderIgetthebetterIwas
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27 minutes ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Should also have said it is possible to have a topographical survey done with a drone, the drone surveys your site with infra red lasers and can give you an underground map of your site showing what exactly is down there...good or what!

I have seen this being done in the university grounds by students I think,  might have a sniff around up there to see if they want us as a project...would be useful for sure.

Great idea, will the drone reach St Day older??😂😂

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Water back up by 6" after last nights rain...endless!

Looking at the volume of water in the dig I'm planning to use drainage boxes instead of stone to backfill the trench, these take up no space at all and will allow the trench to hold a greater volume of water.

Back filling with stone will take away too much space and push the water higher in the trench...boxes it is I hope.

Showing the silting in the stone used in the old infill, this cannot happen with a drainage box system. 

 

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Had a bit of time today so used a pin bar to check the saturation levels on the pitch.

Push the pin bar into the ground,  little or no resistance tells you roughly the depth of water saturation in the ground.

This is the same principle that a pentrometer (measures soil compression ) uses

The worst part of our pitch the bar went in comfortably 14" that's bad!

Generally over the pitch penetration averaged out at

6 ¹/²"so drying up from a week ago when it was around 9"

The pin bar is 14" into the ground...crazy!

 

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Did a bit of weeding with the plugger as well, if you have few weeds on your pitch it saves money on selective weed killer.

 

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Did a bit of weeding with the plugger as well, if you have few weeds on your pitch it saves money on selective weed killer.

Now you see it...now you don't .

Useful if you don't have many weeds on the pitch.

I replaced the plugs with those I originally took out when I first got the plugger. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regarding your point about surveys older , my sons are well borers ( I'm just boring )  and the company they work for has plans showing soil conditions and water table depths for East Anglia . As your posts have shown  , in normal circumstance we tend to take water movement , drainage etc. for granted , but having to find solutions to drainage problems can be quite educational  .

Just to make you envious , we've had dry weather with drying winds up here since I came back from Cornwall , which was wet and windy all of the 10 days we were there , and the allotment is ready to be worked on . Unfortunately with this possible ban on older people  having to keep indoors in isolation I might have to work on it at night with a hurricane lamp for lighting . 

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1 hour ago, fenman said:

Regarding your point about surveys older , my sons are well borers ( I'm just boring )  and the company they work for has plans showing soil conditions and water table depths for East Anglia . As your posts have shown  , in normal circumstance we tend to take water movement , drainage etc. for granted , but having to find solutions to drainage problems can be quite educational  .

Just to make you envious , we've had dry weather with drying winds up here since I came back from Cornwall , which was wet and windy all of the 10 days we were there , and the allotment is ready to be worked on . Unfortunately with this possible ban on older people  having to keep indoors in isolation I might have to work on it at night with a hurricane lamp for lighting . 

YOU THINK THERE'S A HURRICANE COMING! Whatever next...LOL

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Actually Ieuan  it's an illusion . The ground isn't as dry as the top surface appears , its still too wet underneath . Potatoes aren't too much of a problem though , as my son races motorcycles we acquire quite a few tyres during the season , stacked 4 high and filled with compost they soon become warm and I get an earlier crop than the one planted in the ground , plus they come up nice and clean .

Refering back to olders drainage post , my son's are always fascinated by the types of earth and  crushed molluscs  that come up to the surface when boring a new well . That stuff has been under the ground for god knows how many years  

With no football to discuss we will soon have a section dedicated to drainage , gardening and DIY

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1 hour ago, fenman said:

With no football to discuss we will soon have a section dedicated to drainage , gardening and DIY

We’re well on the way already 😀👍!

Keep it up you guys - as the heading of this thread suggested - interesting reading! 

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Yes fenman, when you open the ground up you are looking at the history of the world and planet.

We used to do a lot of work for English heritage on their ancient sites, we always had an archaeologist with any dig incase we unearthed any artefacts, strangely enough we always found clay pipes...big smokers back then! 

 

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Moving on,  had 36 hours now with a no rain!!! The water has dropped around 10" which gives an approximate percolation rate of 15/20mm hour...reasonable. I'll just keep observing for now but the granite base of the trench is dictating everything. 

I noticed the spring flush of grass has slowed which is disappointing, it should be in full flow by now. The colder night temperatures and overcast days are playing havoc with this years flush, we should be cutting twice weekly by now instead of almost fortnightly! 

The flush is caused by the ground warming up and bacterial activity beginning,  releasing fixed nitrogen into the profile. Also brighter and longer daylight hours facilitating the start of photosynthesis, poor light delays and slows this action. 

Modern stadiums virtually never have enough light which is why you see them lit artificially. Without photosynthesis grass will simply starve to death. 

Also at this time the balance of air spaces improves (porosity) with water retaining spaces so the grass and bacteria can function properly again.

During the winter porosity is lost due to rain so everything slows down and eventually stops, the grass can go yellow at this time due to an overload of water filled voids.

Fertilising at this time is too early as the ground is not warm enough yet and if it rains a lot of it will simply flush though the profile. The spring flush in full flow will give you enough free nitrogen at this time without adding to it.

The flush also includes the roots starting to grow and if you overload the plant with nitrogen at this time you will delay rooting as the grass has to much nitrogen pushing leaf development. 

Mid to late spring is a reasonable time to add a balanced fertiliser. 

9.7.7. NPK is a nicely balanced fertiliser, not too much N.itrogen, a bit of P.otash(K) for balanced growth and a bit of P.hosphate to help photosynthesis.  There are other nutrients added to fertiliser ( trace elements) which can be beneficial if your grass and soil need it...but that's another chapter...lol

Hope this helps.

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Had a look at the water level 7 hours later and it had only dropped the 2" that it had gone up last night,  disappointing and looking like this going to be the permanent level during the winter period...could be better!

Interestingly it seems to mirror the fall in the nearby reservoir. 

 

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If I now filled the trench with stone the water level would rise according to how much space the stones take up. Probably 50%+ of the void taking the water up to near the surface...bad.

Two options, firstly drainage boxes already shown before, or take the entire trench out at this level to increase the holding capacity.

First option expensive second one not so costly.

I'll continue to study the trench to give us the most viable option for the future. 

But with this rain again (heavy here) it will be back up where it was a few days ago.

Did manage to use the air dagger today on the area that had caused a lot of cancellations, may have found the problem,  a lot of compaction at 12" to 18"

The dagger may have resolved this but will back it up with some vertical drains in the summer and some hollow coring with sand infill.

Ground temperature now up to 11⁰ ...getting better at last, all we need now is brighter days to get photosynthesis up and running at full bore to accelerate the spring flush...fingers crossed. 

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Well, well, well. 

Had a look at the trench this morning expecting to see the water gone up after last night's rain and it had gone down by 2" excellent news.

Looked at it 7 hours later and it was a further 2" lower, must be a fissure/crack in the granite somewhere. 

Then spent the rest of my time un-jamming the belt on the air dagger...Grrrr! 

AND. The football club has just officially closed due to the virus and for community safety.

 

 

 

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Grass loves being brushed, think about brushing your own hair and how your scalp feels afterwards. 

It knocks all the dew and moisture off preventing many disease from establishing on the damp leaf, spring and summer morning dews are always best removed daily. It also drags out lose debris and surface thatch helping the sward micro climate to breathe clean air.

The picture showing debris that have been brushed out of the surface along with the cursed worm casts. 

 

 

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And the end result.

Tomorrow if dry...cut roll and slit.

I will load weight on the roller as well expecting it to be last chance to flatten the surface slightly to produce the final playing surface for the rest of the season (if)

 

 

 

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Trench still dropping slowly, but dropping, and can now see some stones on the bottom.

 

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And...had a couple hours on the pitch cutting, rolling and slitting today...bleddy cold though!

With the worm casts disconnected and dried out (first picture)  the best cut since the rain started back in October! Had to slow down in places as the grass was long and quite flushed full of sap making it bulky to mow. When grass is like this it is better to slow down as the mower is only as efficient as its designed to be if it can clear the deck of trimmings. If it cannot clear the shute clogs and jams and the finish will be poor...slow down or if it keeps clogging raise the cutting height. 

 

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Also I cut across the field today to stop any problems with the pitch corrugating (forming ripples) this can happen with roller mowers or rollers being used constantly in the same direction,  this is caused by the small bow wave ( as in a boat ) that rollers create when used on the ground, so it is advisable to every so often change direction of cut and roll.

The bow wave effect is noticeable on amateur cricket grounds where you see the ends often raised,  too much rolling in the same direction, and over rolling. It is most common when a small narrower roller is used, it applies to bigger rollers when the weight is too much.

As well as stopping this affect you get the favoured box pattern as well...bonus.

Trivia. The light and dark stripes are simply light being reflected away and towards you depending where you are standing when you look at at it.

Go to the other end of a light coloured stripe and look back...it is dark green. Simply put the light stripes the grass is leaning away from you and the dark stripes towards you.

A box pattern.

 

 

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Just bought a 48" soil aerator/corer and a 42" drop spreader for the sand we've been given. Going to concentrate on the wetter areas while the ground is still usable for this kit.

Arriving next week, hopefully it's a decent bit of kit...we'll see!

Pitch about 6 weeks behind where it should be at this time of the year! 

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46 minutes ago, Goldeneye said:

Won't be long before older is head-hunted to be in charge of the pitch at Wembley and the courts at Wimbledon!!!

Too old now,   and a real stay at home and look after your mates one club man.

I've had a few offers in my time though, cant beat doing something for nothing.

At this level its called integrity...not for sale! 

At 17 years of age I was offered a trial with first division WBA , never took it. Live in the Midlands or live in Cornwall...no brainer for me.

But if anyone asks a question when out and about I will always do my best to answer it.

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This sunshine is  exactly what the grass needs now, without it the spring flush will keep stalling.

Here is an example of the affect lack of usable light has on grass.

The top goalmouth by the clubhouse gets full light all day.

 

 

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The lower goalmouth under the trees gets 5 hours less.

 

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Both goalmouths are constructed the same, mainly sand, rubber and a soil mix.

Lack of usable light and fewer hours makes grass weak and easily damaged through lack of photosynthesis not being able to produce enough starches for viable growth, and at our level there is nothing you can do about it unfortunately. 

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Looking Good older. Trying to get on top of jobs at VP too, think we may only have a few days left to go outside our front doors.

On another note the reason for my post is the line marking conversation we had. Here are the markings on VP, last time it was marked was Fri 13th, so we've had a game on it and numerous times on with the new machine. How does that compare with yours??

 

Hope your keeping safe.

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Looking good there as well Mark, got a bit of a box pattern on the go as well buddy.

Looks like the lines would still do a game there as well,  our pitch would last perhaps 2 weeks maximum before the lines would need re-doing, although the pitch is marked for every game...just habit I s'pose.

Marked the  pitch in today just in case we start again this Saturday...lol

 

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Trench still dropping which is good, but night temperatures and the cold Easterly wind is keeping the ground temperature down at 8⁰

The summer grasses are not doing bad but the winter species are still hardly moving yet.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, RAPPO said:

Mark!! Someone has nicked your goalposts mate!!! 😳🤔  Both pitches looking superb gents 👏🏼 

Thanks for the comments Mark. 

I'm going to use the heavy slitter tomorrow based on the weather forecast of frost for a couple of days, I will be hoping to get a bit of frost into the ground to hopefully open it up a bit.

Its against the warmth I've been after but I think getting the ground opened up a bit will be beneficial. 

Also I'm itching to heavily scarify the wings to rip out the moss that is taking over,  ideally I would give the wings a touch of fertiliser 2 weeks before doing this but I think in the current situation I will get away with it, and I can always do it later when the rains return!

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Seems that Mark was right, full on house arrest all round! Fortunately you’re allowed out for one “piece” of exercise per day, I guess for some that will be a longer piece than others, and I guess you won’t be getting too close to others; just shout “get off of my pitch”.
You really will need to get out there and keep busy though, hosepipe ban next week!

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56 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Seems that Mark was right, full on house arrest all round! Fortunately you’re allowed out for one “piece” of exercise per day, I guess for some that will be a longer piece than others, and I guess you won’t be getting too close to others; just shout “get off of my pitch”.
You really will need to get out there and keep busy though, hosepipe ban next week!

Get it right Bruegel. 

GET OFF THE EFFING PITCH...OR YOUR DEAD!!!

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IAW the gospel according to St Older brushed cut and slit the pitch today never seen so much grass at the end of March must have 90-95% coverage.Soil was ideal for slitting no scaring what a difference a week makes. Have to say Mark and Dave your pitches are looking excellent, did pm you a couple of weeks ago Mark don't know if you received it. Now seems likely that the FA have decided to end the season, so posts down tomorrow and end of season renovations start here, hopefully not a lot to do! Keep safe ground keeping guys I keep everybody away when I'm down there!

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3 hours ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

IAW the gospel according to St Older brushed cut and slit the pitch today never seen so much grass at the end of March must have 90-95% coverage.Soil was ideal for slitting no scaring what a difference a week makes. Have to say Mark and Dave your pitches are looking excellent, did pm you a couple of weeks ago Mark don't know if you received it. Now seems likely that the FA have decided to end the season, so posts down tomorrow and end of season renovations start here, hopefully not a lot to do! Keep safe ground keeping guys I keep everybody away when I'm down there!

Not my gospel Ieuan, all grounds keepers I would think and definitely not a saint...lol

Pictures Ieuan...pictures save a thousand words.

Cut, rolled and brushed as well buddy.

 

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1 hour ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

sorry Dave a dinosaur when it comes to tech nothing to take  a photo with and couldn't even start to download it! Suffice to say you're my Guru for pitch maintenance thanks

Hardly a guru Ieuan!

You must have a smart phone(?) Easy peasy to post piccy's then buddy.

I'll start a how to thread on it...lol.

There is a member called pitch care guru on here but has never posted I think.

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Onwards.

The trench as it stands now, still dropping and showing just how much water this dig/sump has attracted...lots.

Note the silt again, this shows how much the action of water has on soil structure and mechanics. 

 

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Today was probably the last time that the roller will have any affect on the playing surface as the pitch is now firming rapidly with the spring flush gaining a bit of momentum. 

This is now starting to show in the summer/warmer weather grasses...Fescues, Bent's and meadow grass, the deeper wet weather tolerant grass...Rye's are just about starting to move. These are winter tolerant grasses and much deeper rooted so are still sitting in a lot cooler soil.

The summer grasses rooting at around 3" with the winter Rye's at 6" to 9"

Picture showing the pin bar used last week to check water/compaction levels now at 50% less than  a week ago.

Note the fresh wet area to the dried level of last week. 

 

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I will continue to use the heavier roller at this time as it is advantageous to thicken (tillering) emerging grasses and shoots, also regular cutting to also facilitate tillering is a must at this time of the season. 

Grass is a monocotyledon (single stemmed) plant, rolling and cutting makes it tiller (produce multiple stems) so thickening the sward.

Grass shoots start of in a protective sheaf (coleoptile) if you split this by rolling or cutting you generate more shoots from the same plant. 

Trivia. You will notice that farmers roll their grass, wheat and corn fields in early season, these are all grass family crops that all benefit from rolling by making them tiller and therefore create a bigger yield. 

They don't cut them as this would produce too many shoots and the end product would produce too many small seeds making it a smaller yield per acre.

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