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Well done gents, great work 👏🏼 Lucky lads to be playing on those pitches...whenever they do!? 🤔👍

Don’t know if anyone from the SWPL looks on here but both these clubs have applied to go up next season!! Have a look at those pitches and facilities!!!.........Just saying 😀👊🏼

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Well done Leuan, no stopping you now, we will see pictures all the time.

I didn't get any message from you last week, hence I haven't replied. By all means text me if easier 07875596798. Hope you are enjoying your new equipment as much as I do.

 

Rappo - here here two great facilities and both grounds and their groundsman give so much inspiration to me. If anyone out there is thinking of getting involved at their club, don't hold back. Nothing better when pitches are stripped and looking good and sometimes just sometimes the players really do appreciate it.😁

 

Things do seem to be warming up bet getting cold again by the weekend....

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

Well done Leuan, no stopping you now, we will see pictures all the time.

I didn't get any message from you last week, hence I haven't replied. By all means text me if easier 07875596798. Hope you are enjoying your new equipment as much as I do.

 

Rappo - here here two great facilities and both grounds and their groundsman give so much inspiration to me. If anyone out there is thinking of getting involved at their club, don't hold back. Nothing better when pitches are stripped and looking good and sometimes just sometimes the players really do appreciate it.😁

 

Things do seem to be warming up bet getting cold again by the weekend....

Three facilities Mark, include your own in that comment. 

It will have to go cold for a few days and nights to stop the spring flush now, my record of morning temperatures is steadily climbing from 0⁰/2⁰ up to 6⁰ most days now.

Grass will grow a bit at these temperatures,  and positively fly at 10⁰+

The ground temperature is hovering around 8⁰ most days as well. 

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One of my new toys arrived today, a 42" drop spreader. 

Spent a couple of hours home putting it together and it looks initially to be a decent bit of kit,  time will tell on that.

It carries a 170lb payload so a reasonable size. I intend using it on the wet areas of the pitch using the sand we have been given, this should improve surface stability in these areas. 

My new  48" hollow corer arrived as well today but as yet un-boxed, if the weight is anything to go by it might be good...I cant even pick it up it's that heavy!!!

 

 

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Going back to the last slitting a couple of days ago this time I slit across the field as opposed to length ways.

This would not normally be the case as doing this during  the season causes an effect  called cubing. Normally this is avoided as cubing can give rise to greater damage during a game. The picture shows cubing and is self explanatory as to the damage it could do during a match.

But with no games it can be done to hasten drying, and in fact almost overnight with the Easterly wind the pitch has virtually dried out, soft areas all gone...happy days.

I would prefer to slit across the field to stop a lot of surface water movement but the turning area (technically known as the headland) is only one metre on the wings and not really enough to manoeuvre the kit without making a mess in winter.

 

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Going back to the spring flush it must be remembered that there is as much going on underground as what you can see on the surface. 

The roots are also becoming active and looking for spaces in the soil profile to grow into, vertidraining is very proficient at creating these spaces and giving the soil a much improved porosity...the balance between water holding spaces and air retaining voids.

By using a vertidrain you also initiate fresh air into the profile (gaseous exchange) the air has been trapped in the ground for months and the breath of fresh air will produce 30%+ more grass within 10 days, so again no need to fertilise yet. It will also allow the Ryegrass to grow deeper into the profile making it less susceptible to drying out during the summer. 

It's such a pity that this operation is on the expensive side and not affordable for many.

Myself I would always have a minimum of 5% lift when vertidraining,  and always check that the entry holes are at 90⁰ if they are not then the action of the vertidrain is reduced and means the forward speed of the tractor is to fast...ask the contractor to slow down! 

Trivia. In friable(open) soil a lettuce can root as deep as 2 metres!

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Been out and got my morning exercise, giving VP a good brush and cut. Nice bit of movement in the grass and looking a fantastic colour.

Had the 9ft brush made by a local fabricator and each season buy a new set of brush heads (£15) from warriors and screw them on. Had it made at 9ft (equivalent to 3 yards) as i mostly strip our pitch at 6 yard or 3 yard stripes. Brushing is good for taking off the morning dew, therefore getting less infections, good for stripping a pitch and getting air around the roots, takes about 30-40 minutes to do a pitch in both directions.

 

VP is being vertidrained tomorrow, I will get some pictures/videos and upload on here and our social media for everyone to see what older means about 90 degree entry.

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Looking like the dogs goolies there Mark...nice work buddy.

Look forward to the posting tomorrow now.

I have a 6ft dew brush I use in the mornings or the 6ft heavy brush to stand the grass up and give it a good grooming prior to cutting for a better finish. 

As you say brushing freshens up the grass micro climate in the sward allowing fresh air to circulate around the leaves and tillers (new shoots)

The diseases associated with grass show when the grass starts to struggle for moisture and a drop off in nitrogen content, brushing will alleviate this problem quite well, not eradicate it but will help reduce the spread.

Red thread and pink patch are the ones to watch out for, easily identifiable by their name alone...you'll know it when you see it. First chance to pop a light dressing of low dose nitrogen fertiliser will take care of these diseases. 

Although today with genetic engineering a lot of modern grass varieties are resistant to this type of disease.

And. With the news the season has finished I'm going to let the pitch grow for 7 to 10 days to drive the roots down a bit.

Root growth is commensurate with  top growth so letting the grass grow a bit longer will give me better roots. When we cut the grass we stall the roots as well as the top growth so a rest for the grass and a rest for me...sort of.

Will be playing with my two new toys for a couple of days and repairing the goalmouths. 

 

Anyway I'm babbling on...lol.

No top dressing this year(?)

 

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No top dressing this year as the funds normally come from our end of season awards weekend and the finals and cup finals we host making extra funds over the bar and kitchen. We have incorporated 60ton of sports sand for the last 3 years (180ton in total), the sand alone cost £1,100 each year then contractors to spread it. We must live within our means.

Also instead of seeding both pitches, we are only doing the one pitch, been done this morning in two directions with bad areas being done in four directions. Taking your advice and cut down the number of bags used too.

 

Both pitches are being vertidrained as we speak, the cost of having the second pitch done is minimal as contractor is on site. We've got to a depth of 8-10" today with a good solid tine too, so not bad at all.

Now to leave the pitches rest for a couple of weeks, let the roots travel as you rightly said in your last post. Lots of other jobs to catch up on at the footy club and of course at home too!!😂😂

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Blimey Mark that some lump of kit he's  got there...what weight is that lot(?) Is that Sierra blend grass seed or fertiliser (?)

I'd cack myself with that weight on the pitch! it would have to be a lot firmer before I let that thing on the ground!

I know from being over your place a few weeks ago I thought then that you didn't need any sand this year, I would let the sand you have applied work it's way into the profile a bit before you add more buddy. Too much sand can also over drain the top of the profile resulting in rapid leaching of nutrients,  with that could come a hefty fertiliser bill to try and correct it?

Also using our local sand supplier it is an angular sand and that can interlock through water and vibration making the pitch very hard if not careful. 

It should be remembered that top dressing is not necessarily always sand, it can be fertiliser, organic material, soil or soil sand mix among other things.

Our pitch this year I'm planning top dressing using sand in places, sand/rubber mix in others, along with other areas getting pelleted chicken manure for its organic content and Gypsum for the clay pans.

Gypsum makes clay particles stick together (flocculate) and thus create bigger voids for quicker drainage. 

So as you can see a variety of top dressings this year.

It is beneficial sometimes to have a soil analysis done to fine tune your top dressings, it can give you nutrient shortages, clay content, the Ph level(Power of hydrogen) and so on.

Camborne school of mines used to do it but I don't know if they still do.

Finished putting the corer together today, quite impressed with it just looking at the quality of it, the proof of the pudding will be what sort of job it does...I'll found that out next week, and a 48" working width...fingers crossed. 

Remember to roll your new grass at around 35/40mm to firm it and make it split to encourage tillering before you cut it, then only the merest nip would do.

 

 

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Took the ground temperature today 8⁰ sod it, spring flush is underway but slow, Easterly wind and low night temperatures keeping the flow in check slightly,  just have to wait I s'pose.

Also noticed this on the pitch...couch ("cooch") grass.

 

 

 

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Couch is an invasive weed grass and if unchecked will take over the sward, spreading by underground stems (Rhizomes) it will soon take hold. Normally it would require taking the area out completely and relaying it again, but I'm going to severely scarify it to halt its progress for a while.

It is probably in a lot of older pitches that were once farmers fields but make up most of the sward so unnoticeable and no need to do anything.

It is the lighter coloured areas in the picture. 

 

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39 minutes ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

yeah I 've got a bit of it as well Dave normally disappears during the spring flush but this year is a little more prominent with grass hardly moving at all.Guess it's hurry up and wait time  

Yup, grass has slowed due to the Easterly wind and cold mornings.

Only 1⁰ here this morning with the wind in the North, my storm glass is saying there's potential for snow and it's certainly cold enough for it!

If these clouds tinge pink we'll be having some for sure!

Crystals at the top means there's snow around but only the  potential for it.

Fingers crossed for none!

 

To cold for most of the works I had planned,  I won't  do much now until the ground temperature reaches a consistent 10⁰

Bit of a holiday though, might mess around with my new toys today...lol

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Just a comment on this interesting subject , slightly different subject I know . Regarding your comment about frost Older , when I  worked on the royal estate at Sandringham  during my Police career , I noticed  that during March  on an early morning shift on the way in to work at first light that the fruit  farm workers were spraying the blackcurrant bushes .Being a nosey ( I can't spell inquisitive ) bugger I asked the fruit farm foreman why they did this . He explained that they sprayed the emerging bud's with water  to stop the frost , which rose with the sunlight , damaging them . The water spray froze rather than the buds ,. Relating to your article about drainage and grass preparation it proves that if you can be bothered to look at life you learn something every day .

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Same with grass Fenman,  when its frosty dont walk on grass. The frost is on the outside but if you walk on it you break cell walls inside the leaf, this allows the sap to escape into the structure and freeze. That's why if you do walk on your grass when frozen you see brown footprints a few days after thawing...dead grass!

Grass has an enzyme in it (EHR I think from memory) which is a natural antifreeze which is why grass does not die in freezing conditions. 

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On 28/03/2020 at 00:17, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Blimey Mark that some lump of kit he's  got there...what weight is that lot(?) Is that Sierra blend grass seed or fertiliser (?)

I'd cack myself with that weight on the pitch! it would have to be a lot firmer before I let that thing on the ground!

I know from being over your place a few weeks ago I thought then that you didn't need any sand this year, I would let the sand you have applied work it's way into the profile a bit before you add more buddy. Too much sand can also over drain the top of the profile resulting in rapid leaching of nutrients,  with that could come a hefty fertiliser bill to try and correct it?

Also using our local sand supplier it is an angular sand and that can interlock through water and vibration making the pitch very hard if not careful. 

It should be remembered that top dressing is not necessarily always sand, it can be fertiliser, organic material, soil or soil sand mix among other things.

Our pitch this year I'm planning top dressing using sand in places, sand/rubber mix in others, along with other areas getting pelleted chicken manure for its organic content and Gypsum for the clay pans.

Gypsum makes clay particles stick together (flocculate) and thus create bigger voids for quicker drainage. 

So as you can see a variety of top dressings this year.

It is beneficial sometimes to have a soil analysis done to fine tune your top dressings, it can give you nutrient shortages, clay content, the Ph level(Power of hydrogen) and so on.

Camborne school of mines used to do it but I don't know if they still do.

Finished putting the corer together today, quite impressed with it just looking at the quality of it, the proof of the pudding will be what sort of job it does...I'll found that out next week, and a 48" working width...fingers crossed. 

Remember to roll your new grass at around 35/40mm to firm it and make it split to encourage tillering before you cut it, then only the merest nip would do.

 

 

 

 

It certainly is a massive piece a kit and one that I thought you may cringe at older. Our pitch at VP is really incredibly dry, I have put the sprinklers on our goal mouth (Us groundsman arfe never happy!!) and a couple of other areas as they started to crack in the dry, plus I want to feed that seed that we put down. Ground temp is 10 degrees over in sunny St Day with my probe showing an air temp of 11-12 degrees, even in the bitterly easterly wind. No sign of frost out are way yet either. We fertilsed our pitch about 4 weeks ago with a trial of a 6 month slow release fert and initial outcomes seem to be good but im interested to see what things are like at the end of the 5-6 months. On Tuesday he was just seeding, using a product we have used for a few seasons now; Rigby Taylor R140, its hard wearing and good week - to - week recovery. https://www.rigbytaylor.com/product/grass-seed/football-grass-seed/r140-tetraploid-perennial-ryegrass-blend-seed-20kgs/#tab-description

Because the contractor buys so much he gets a good price (don't worry I check!!!haha). I would encourage everyone to also do this. Last season he suggested he buy the 60 ton of sand but when I told him our price he was not amused as this was a lot less than he was paying and he buys a heck of a lot every year. Like I said always worth checking.

 

Leaving the pitch for at least 14 days to allow to rest and seed to establish as I said before, but taking your advice of rolling the new seed lots before the first cut. Hopefully upload some more pictures soon of the new seed as I honestly don't think it will be long looking at things today. 

9 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

Same with grass Fenman,  when its frosty dont walk on grass. The frost is on the outside but if you walk on it you break cell walls inside the leaf, this allows the sap to escape into the structure and freeze. That's why if you do walk on your grass when frozen you see brown footprints a few days after thawing...dead grass!

Grass has an enzyme in it (EHR I think from memory) which is a natural antifreeze which is why grass does not die in freezing conditions. 

I always knew this and explain it to dog walkers whenever I get chance if they are at the club. I always have to remind other club officials and referee's if we do pitch inspection when its frosty.

 

Best wishes to all

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Nice one Mark. 

Firstly you only have to roll the new grass once to split it and start it tillering. It will be too soft for continuous rolling early on.

You're certainly way ahead of the temperatures here, two mornings of frost here last week and a touch more this morning!  This all means everything is on hold until it warms up, the flush is still on the move but very slow, dont even have to cut the pitch again this week. I cut the training area for the first time today!

It is probably because we are on the coast and a bit higher above sea level than you.

Pitch cracking, I'm thinking too much sand or a high clay content, I'd have a soil analysis done to establish the possible cause on that buddy.

I know when I was over last time I was surprised how solid the pitch was, my monies would be on no sand for a couple of years. 

People walking on the pitch? no way, tell them to walk around the outside or you'll shoot them...that works well here...lol

I'll have a look at that seed your using and see what varieties are in it.

I'll be interested to see what you think of the slow release fertiliser,  I've never used it.

It is a polymer coated prill that expands with heat allowing the fertiliser inside to leach out into the soil, it contracts when temperatures fall stopping the leaching.

I've always thought with modern high speed rotaries that are designed to suck up grass debris they would probably do the same to the prills.

Have you noticed if that happens (?)

Trivia. Modern rotary mowers have a sail (the angled part at the rear of the blade) which creates a vortex above the blade which in turn creates a partial vacuum below it creating a sucking action to the ground.

The vortex then ejects the debris out of the shute or into a collection box.

Best of luck to you as well Mark. 

........................

Took my new toys up to the pitch today, hope to christen them tomorrow. 

 

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And back to couch grass.

Took my mutts out this afternoon, walked them in an old field not farmed anymore, the couch has totally invaded the field...a classic example. 

Note the spring flush showing here as well.

 

 

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I'll start with the temperature here today, the morning started at 4⁰ in the wind it never got past 7⁰ no good for warming the ground up.

 

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But in the sun out of the wind in my sun trap of a garden 36⁰

The highest it's has ever reached was 52⁰ !!!

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Had a bit of practice with my new drop spreader today. 

 

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Put 1½ bags in and spread it over the  headland (turning area) then brushed it 4 times to put it into the spiking slots from last time...all filled in with a light covering left on the surface...more than happy with that.

Initial reaction to the spreader is excellent bit of kit, works really well and looks to be well made.

170lb payload means 13 fillings to spread one ton, so not unreasonable I think, would I be happy to spread 30 tons...probably with a couple of boys fetching and loading it and me just sitting on the tractor...why not?

Certainly to top dress a few smaller areas this would be a cracking bit of kit. But, I must take into consideration the quality of sand I'm using, would it spread wet sand...maybe.

It has an agitator in the bottom so may find that out one day.

Trivia. The term top dressing is used anytime you put something on the pitch, from sand, soil, organic material,  fertiliser and so on.

It is not a term used solely for sand dressings. 

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Also had a trial with the new corer.

 

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Mmm! Bit more experimentation  needed with this.

I think I need to change the angle of the draw bar to force the tines into the ground more. On this machine the tow hitch is fixed unlike 3 point linkages where you can raise or lower them, I think I'll have to lower this one to have a greater forward pressure to produce a deeper penetration.

The cores came out reasonably well but were only 1" to 1½" long and should be around 3"... the cores are shown behind the red dots.

Also the pattern is a 6" pattern so I would go over the area twice to improve the capacity for the top dressings. 

 

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pitch verti drained today down to 300 mm,looking good. Seeding at weekend and hopefully drop of rain on Monday. Then sit back and watch it grow,never in 30 years have I been in this position in April. Sad that no soccer,but groundsmans heaven no hassle over pitches or phone calls ,however won't last too long I suspect

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Went up to the pitch this morning and didn't  expect a frosted pitch!

Meant I had to wait until 12.00 for the frost to go from under the trees.

The ground is never going to warm up at this rate...grrrr!

 

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Got started at 12.00 with my new scarifier.

Did the wing with the worst of the moss infestation and did 12 passes on it, results look reasonable, I'll take the debris off tomorrow and see if it needs doing a bit more.

I had the kit on maximum pressure so I could remove moss and thatch at the same time, always beneficial to scarify or verticut annually to freshen up the micro climate in the sward, this should also stimulate a lot of tillering and produce a fresh new sward.

Taking out thatch reduces the protection it gives to pests in the ground and reduces available dead grass which diseases thrive on.

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Looking good Luean, and I'm glad you've vertidrained then seeding as I seeded then vertidrain. 

 

So which is the correct way?? Or does it not matter??

Keen to hear people's thoughts, where are all the other groundsmen and/or women out there. Please feel free to comment.

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Although scarifying seems dramatic and damaging to the grass it is not.

The physiology of grass is such that it can withstand this treatment. 

The engine room of grass is in the crown (meristematic tissue) this area of the grass plant produces the leaves and roots, in summer grasses the crown is predominantly just above the ground whereas in rye (winter grass) it is more or less underground so scarifying does not damage this area at all but stimulates new growth. 

Talking to the Arse-anal groundsman many years ago he would scarify their pitch up to 30 times until virtually all top growth had been removed, and it was the best pitch I have ever seen?

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Also as I said earlier older, whilst you are fighting frost, only 8 miles up the road our new shoots are coming through.

 

Think this is worth noting by players....whilst one club has conditions to be watering and growing grass, a club a few miles down the road is no where near that ground temperature. Next time you player think about saying "can't believe they've called it off" maybe think about how localised and diverse the weather is in cornwall.

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3 minutes ago, Mark said:

Looking good Luean, and I'm glad you've vertidrained then seeding as I seeded then vertidrain. 

 

So which is the correct way?? Or does it not matter??

Keen to hear people's thoughts, where are all the other groundsmen and/or women out there. Please feel free to comment.

I would always seed first, then vertidrain. 

If I was top dressing as well l would seed first, top dress, vertidrain and brush with the lightest machine to fill the holes...l have an aversion to heavy machinery! 

What's the point of vertidraining if you the drive all over it with a top dresser loaded with a couple ton of sand and the tractor again.

8 minutes ago, Mark said:

Also as I said earlier older, whilst you are fighting frost, only 8 miles up the road our new shoots are coming through.

 

Think this is worth noting by players....whilst one club has conditions to be watering and growing grass, a club a few miles down the road is no where near that ground temperature. Next time you player think about saying "can't believe they've called it off" maybe think about how localised and diverse the weather is in cornwall.

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That's quite unbelievable to me with the weather we've been having here. I would not expect seed to germinate for a good two weeks or more at this time in this area, and if the frost got at it the seed would probably be killed by it!

If I remember I'll put a test patch in tomorrow and see how long it takes to show.

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Only seeding the touchlines and goalmouths rest of the pitch OK. Yes I see your point about heavy stuff on the pitch how come you let Rappo on there earlier in the season. Sorry Rappo!

We must have such a temperature difference between N and S coast. Haven't had more than one frost since Christmas. Ground temperature has been hovering between 9 and 10 for the last week, and looking like it could rise next week. Onwards and Upwards !

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With regards low temperature seed germination. Some of the new breeds of dwarf ryegrass will now move at 5 degrees soil temp.

Also worth remembering, as a general rule, ryegrass needs to be 5mm below surface. Seed you see on top probably won’t germinate.

Also if you only want to renovate a smallish area such as a goal mouth, consider a germination sheet. Prices start from around £50. Don’t leave them on to long as growth will be soft. But really good at getting a head start.

Mark, the vredo seeding rig you got in, is a hell of a piece of kit well worth the effort.

Not sure who you guys use for verti draining, but worth asking about switching solid tines for jumbo hollow ones. The one on Hayle pitch looks like a soil reliever, so not sure about that brand. But the charterhouse and weidenmann versions will take upto a 19mm hollow.

Only downsides are, you can’t heave with hollows, and lots of plugs to pick up. Although these plugs will break up and drag back in if dry enough.

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34 minutes ago, Mrgreen said:

With regards low temperature seed germination. Some of the new breeds of dwarf ryegrass will now move at 5 degrees soil temp.

Also worth remembering, as a general rule, ryegrass needs to be 5mm below surface. Seed you see on top probably won’t germinate.

Also if you only want to renovate a smallish area such as a goal mouth, consider a germination sheet. Prices start from around £50. Don’t leave them on to long as growth will be soft. But really good at getting a head start.

Mark, the vredo seeding rig you got in, is a hell of a piece of kit well worth the effort.

Not sure who you guys use for verti draining, but worth asking about switching solid tines for jumbo hollow ones. The one on Hayle pitch looks like a soil reliever, so not sure about that brand. But the charterhouse and weidenmann versions will take upto a 19mm hollow.

Only downsides are, you can’t heave with hollows, and lots of plugs to pick up. Although these plugs will break up and drag back in if dry enough.

It is a soil reliever but it could use hollow tines as well. When I asked the same company about using hollow tines their answer was that they found too many stones in Cornish pitches and the cost of replacing the tines was eating up their profits!

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5 hours ago, Mrgreen said:

With regards low temperature seed germination. Some of the new breeds of dwarf ryegrass will now move at 5 degrees soil temp.

Also worth remembering, as a general rule, ryegrass needs to be 5mm below surface. Seed you see on top probably won’t germinate.

Also if you only want to renovate a smallish area such as a goal mouth, consider a germination sheet. Prices start from around £50. Don’t leave them on to long as growth will be soft. But really good at getting a head start.

Mark, the vredo seeding rig you got in, is a hell of a piece of kit well worth the effort.

Not sure who you guys use for verti draining, but worth asking about switching solid tines for jumbo hollow ones. The one on Hayle pitch looks like a soil reliever, so not sure about that brand. But the charterhouse and weidenmann versions will take upto a 19mm hollow.

Only downsides are, you can’t heave with hollows, and lots of plugs to pick up. Although these plugs will break up and drag back in if dry enough.

Nice post Mr Green, keep them coming, a bit of up to date info on the seed there...good stuff.

All of what I post is based on my career in horticulture and study of it over 50 years ago now, my agronomy info is what I studied as an interested amateur over 30 years ago as well,  so any up to date stuff that supersedes my postings please jump straight in and correct it buddy.

Never too late to learn.

Correct on the seed on the surface, it will absorb moisture and come to life but will dry out rapidly with no cover, the radical (main root) will simply shrivel and die in a matter of hours and end the viability of the germination. 

Never used a germination sheet, never saw the need for it in Cornwall, but with these changing weather patterns it could be the way forward. 

I have had our pitch hollow cored and have never picked the cores up, same as you suggest simply let them dry and break them up with a harrow, mat or brush which had always worked fine for me. 

Please keep posting...very interesting. 

Thanks.

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7 hours ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

Only seeding the touchlines and goalmouths rest of the pitch OK. Yes I see your point about heavy stuff on the pitch how come you let Rappo on there earlier in the season. Sorry Rappo!

We must have such a temperature difference between N and S coast. Haven't had more than one frost since Christmas. Ground temperature has been hovering between 9 and 10 for the last week, and looking like it could rise next week. Onwards and Upwards !

Yes Ieuan #Rappo is a big old lump these days but I did get the fork out after the picture in the goalmouth and lifted the ground again!

Temperatures, lucky you, not got above 8⁰ here yet and a lot of frosts since Xmas, January particularly the pitch was frozen solid for three days at -2⁰ and since then probably 10 to 15 more frosts since then!

I didn't think it would happen but the flush has stalled again here, 4⁰ this morning and did not get past 10⁰ air temperature all day, this bleddy wind is non stop cooling everything down.

Not cut the pitch for two weeks now...no growth! 

The pitch in January, it was like this for three days without thawing, god knows how deep it went! 

 

 

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Made up a longer pin for the draw bar which lowered  the angle on the scarifier and corer, made a big difference, both are now tilted forward so the mower is slightly pulling the machines into the ground, the law of physics means they have both increased in weight when moving forward. 

Scarified the same area as before ripping out the same amount again for only 4 passes, and the corer now pulling out 2"+ plugs.

With the corer though the ground has now become a bit to firm for it to pull out full depth plugs of 3" need a bit of rain...lol

Put the box on and hoovered up the debris, but even with the mower on its lowest setting there was no grass to cut!

The spring flush has stopped completely,  that's no growth since the last cut 14 days ago, disappointing  that...just have to wait for it to start again.

Big bonus today though, one of the players on a furlough came up and did all the strimming...excellent...thank you Cohen.

And got around to starting the selective weed spraying on the pitch. 

Remember to follow the manufacturer's dilution rate, do not make it stronger or it will kill the grass as well!

Trivia. Selective weedkillers work by volume. Weeds are broad leafed so hold more active chemical on the leaf than a linear grass leaf.

The chemical accelerates growth to the point that the plant cannot sustain itself and it dies, normally around 10 days. Sometimes a second application is necessary if the weed has a  tap root and recovers from the first application. 

 

 

 

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The result of changing the angle on the scarifier...brutal! 

And on the corer...not bad.

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Which selective is your favoured. Do you “blanket” spray the whole pitch, or, spot treat. 

i guess it will largely depend on the main target weeds.

Am I right in assuming weeds may be more prevalent on the wings where there is less wear? or is this not the case

The volume point was interesting, also growth point of the target. A rosette weed has the growing point nice and exposed in the middle. Whereas the grass has its deep inside the leaf so the herbicide cannot get to it. Clever science.

Whats even cleverer is some of the selective grass killers (graminicide) available now.  Basically you can kill some courser grasses and leave more desirable species. I believe these work buy rolling off the finer smooth leaves, and sticking to The hairier courser grass.

Worth remembering, a feed a couple of weeks before an application of herbicide will help with the accelerated growth of weeds and aid grass recovery from any inevitable stress.

 

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Hello again Mr Green. 

24 D is the active ingredient I look for in a selective weed killer as its very effective on Clover and has a broad spectrum of kill.

Yes, weeds are most prevalent outside the diamond of concentrated wear on a football pitch,  here's a rough outline of the area known to grounds people as the diamond. 

 

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The growing point (meristamic tissue) has little to do with the action of selective weedkillers, it's  all about the volume of active ingredient held on the leaf by the surfactant, in selective weedkillers the surfactant is oily based so sticks to the broad leaf in greater quantities. 

Selective weedkillers enhance a compound in the plant structure called Auxin, this compound is a precursor to cell elongation which is how grass actually grows longer, it speeds this process up to a point where the other compounds in grass growth (roots included) cannot keep up and the plant literally grows to death.

Trivia. Auxins are also responsible for tropic responses, they control the phototropic response (growing toward light) and the geotropic response (roots growing downward)

The cell elongation manifests itself as the weed growing irregularly after absorption by the leaf.

In other words the auxins go crazy!

From memory there are five compounds responsible for grass growth, I can remember 3 of them but not the other two...old age!

Auxins, Meristems and Geberilic acid but no need to go any deeper into the subject  methinks! 

Graminicides were developed primarily for use in agriculture I believe, they are primarily used as a post emergence weedkiller in crop production. 

Although a few golf clubs use them to manage the rough on their courses.

Gramincide is based around the generic name for grass...Gramineae...so - grass killer! 

 

That's all I know about them I'm afraid. 

Yes. It can be beneficial to fertilise a couple of weeks before spraying but I've never seen the need for it myself. 

Had an hour today spot treating the weeds on the pitch. I've never sprayed the whole pitch as I see that as wasteful, I just spot treat over a couple of days using a small hand held sprayer, any I have missed I carry the sprayer and catch any stragglers when mowing. 

My 2 litre sprayer.

And today was the first time for the year I've worked on the pitch without a coat on...YAY! warming up maybe? 

A little bit of rain would be nice now!

 

 

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Good news. The ground temperature is up to 11⁰ that is in the first inch and the flush is starting again, when it gets a bit deeper it will fly...happy days.

Had another hour or so with the sprayer and another hour tomorrow will just about crack the first treatment. Plenty more will show yet but the bulk is treated.

Those sprayed yesterday are already showing signs of malformation due to the rapid elongation of the cell growth. 

As long as it stays dry for around 3 to 5 hours after spraying the weedkiller will work. Note how the Dandelion is already above the grasses with the accelerated growth. 

The other pictures showing the deformed new growth, nothing can stop it now.

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And the Daisy curling up nicely. 

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The deformities are caused by the auxins going to the shaded side of the stem as in direct sunlight auxins are destroyed. 

When the auxins are on the shaded side cell elongation continues on the light side and the stem bends,  this process happens each time depending where the light is coming from so the stem ends up deformed. 

Particularly noticeable in the bent stems in the daisy picture. 

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Just finished treating the whole pitch and surrounds,

Total cost for the application...7 x 16p per filling =£1.12p including a very pleasant 5 hours stroll up and down the pitch over 3 days.

Never seen the need to waste money spraying the whole pitch for a few weeds.

If I had the whole pitch treated it would have been £112 for the chemical plus the contractors costs, probably another £100 ...no way Jos'e.

And here is the flush starting for the third time...free Nitrogen! 

 

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The free nitrogen, and associated growth are down to the warmer soil temps, as most will know.

Whats slightly less known is why. Grass doesn’t grow with nitrogen, but in fact nitrate, which is converted from nitrogen by soil fungi and bacteria. Whilst I’m in danger of getting carried away with the subject.  Suffice to say these bugs become more active in warm soils.

They also require a healthy supply of oxygen, which is why you get a flush of growth after a spike. Especially around the tine holes.

Older..... At what level of weed infestation would you consider a blanket spray. Are you feeling the effects of no worm suppression yet. Do you think weeds will become more of an issue with increased casting.

 

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