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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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