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Yes Mr Green. You are talking about nitrification in an aerobic soil, microbes changing electrical charges on fixed nitrogen molecules and changing them into soluble nitrates (most nitrates are soluble salts) and so on, too deep to go into on a football forum as you say methinks! 

Plants do need nitrogen to build their cellular structures though and too stay green, which is why when soil is waterlogged (anaerobic) the grass turns yellow as lack of oxygen stops nitrification.

Also at the time of the spring flush brighter days facilitates the start of photosynthesis vital in the growth of grass as well. 

Enough of this anyway...too heavy bro'.

The flush after aeration is due to gaseous exchange,  stale air being replaced by fresh air. The soil, and all that entails can breathe again.

I would consider a blanket spray of selective weed killer if my initial reaction to looking at a severely infested pitch was... F#$% spraying that by hand!

 

 

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13 hours ago, Mrgreen said:

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.

 

Sorry Mr Green I missed the worm bit on your post. The worm casting has slowed down now but still a fair amount showing, the difference now is the cast dries out within a couple of hours so no fear of smearing and capping the ground anymore.

Our pitch has been regularly treated over many years so not a lot of weed seeds being brought to the surface as not as lot of weeds. Those seeds that germinate on the casts are doomed in this heat as they dry out to quickly for germination to be successful. 

Curses, a couple of mild frosts here the last two days! 

 

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And still water in the trench...this the true water table now I'm sure.

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Was going to put a bit of seed in the goalmouths today but the ground temperature is down to 8⁰ again, and I think I'll have to give the goalmouths a bit of water before seeding them. Always better to water the seed bed before seeding than after as afterwards the seeds can float to the surface and you lose them to any heat drying them out.

New lawns from seed will come up patchy at first dont be tempted to water them,  just wait until all germination has taken place and the patchiness will be gone.

When watering new lawns or any grass area make sure you flood it or you will get surface rooting only, make sure the whole profile is wetted. Give the area a good soaking and do it again later in the day to ensure water penetration,  in the evening is always best to avoid too much evaporation.

‐------------------------

So I took the nets and goals down instead...that's the end of this season for sure!

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How can a potentially boring subject be so interesting  .I'm unfortunate in that in spite of my advanced years I have a thirst for knowledge  so I read this saga with some interest . Although I'll never be marking out  a pitch or forking it for drainage with a bitter North Sea wind blowing me about  I have learnt a thing or two about the effect of water on growing crops from this post . Older has explained why some of my sweet peas haven't germinated in an indirect way  , I've obviously overwatered them . I realise it now but more importantly I now know why this is , the excess water is preventing the seed from breathing . A valuable lesson learnt , it also illustrates the fine balance between not enough water and too much water in grass and other crops . Having said that grass is a far more resilient plant than  most flowers and vegetables .

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Interesting to me as well buddy.

Resilient beyond belief if you study it, amazing stuff.

Trivia. 

90⁰ of the planet is water.

92⁰ of the land mass is covered in some species of grass. 

600 sq ft of grass produces enough oxygen for one persons requirement per day.

It is the most efficient plant at absorbing Carbon dioxide. 

A very valuable asset to the success of the planet. 

3 hours ago, fenman said:

How can a potentially boring subject be so interesting  .I'm unfortunate in that in spite of my advanced years I have a thirst for knowledge  so I read this saga with some interest . Although I'll never be marking out  a pitch or forking it for drainage with a bitter North Sea wind blowing me about  I have learnt a thing or two about the effect of water on growing crops from this post . Older has explained why some of my sweet peas haven't germinated in an indirect way  , I've obviously overwatered them . I realise it now but more importantly I now know why this is , the excess water is preventing the seed from breathing . A valuable lesson learnt , it also illustrates the fine balance between not enough water and too much water in grass and other crops . Having said that grass is a far more resilient plant than  most flowers and vegetables .

Always soak the ground well (before) you put your peas and beans in.

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These are travelling sprinklers that follow wherever you lay the hose, they are able to pull the hose behind them for up to 9 hours so you can actually leave them run all day without returning to move them to other areas.

We have two of these about 30 years old now but still super efficient in what they do.

If we run both the whole pitch can be heavily watered in 5 days, but you do need a lot of pressure to run them, it would be advisable to check what BAR pressure you have before purchasing one.

Also not cheap to run if you are on a meter.

To keep them running for around a month on and off would be in excess of 1K + per month!

 

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WHAT IS GOING ON? 60 hours without an update on how the grass is growing! In these troubled times watching the grass grow is one of the biggest things in our lives (apart from eating and drinking too much). Come on Older, Mark et al, anyone would think you’ve got better things to do with your time!

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14 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

WHAT IS GOING ON? 60 hours without an update on how the grass is growing! In these troubled times watching the grass grow is one of the biggest things in our lives (apart from eating and drinking too much). Come on Older, Mark et al, anyone would think you’ve got better things to do with your time!

I think Mark has been busy with another event at his club following the sad death of David Searle last week.

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Maybe, of course, Olders been nicked by the P.P.P. (Penryn Police Patrol) for overstaying his daily exercise ration. He’s used up his lockdown excursion limit until the twelfth of never!

On a more serious note, I hope that you and all our regular (O.K. and irregular) posters are fit and well, and stay that way.

Just now, bighairydave said:

I think Mark has been busy with another event at his club following the sad death of David Searle last week.

My apologies bhd and Mark, I wasn’t aware. My condolences.

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1 hour ago, baldy said:

No. You’ll try to tell us you have a life next lol

Sort of. Spent the last few days sanitizing the clubhouse and sterilising the bar equipment,  beer lines, ice machine and glass washer, plus kettles jugs, cups and so on.

Just a thousand glasses to treat now!

Quite a bit of work, more than I thought!

Not bad Thursday though, a couple of furloughed players came up and litter picked the whole site.

Also gave them a quick tutorial on spot treating the weeds and away they went...bonus while I carried on in the club.

Back on the pitch tomorrow hopefully. 

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sorry Bruegel, all very boring at the moment, waiting for the new seed to establish,spot selective weed spraying, chain harrowing and cutting. Highlight of the day yesterday was vacuuming the 3G to remove leaves and assorted debris. Waiting for the good Lord now to bring ,believe it or not,some rain don't have enough water pressure to irrigate any farther then the goal outside the clubhouse! So onward and upward.

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Hi Bruegel,

 

Yes as BHD say we have recently lost our Chairman Dave Searle, who gave 55 years, continuous service to our club and sadly in these times giving him the send off he deserves has been difficult, but i think it was achieved on Thursday with lots of people "exercising" along the route at 2:30pm.

 

Anyway back to the grass, like Leuan and Older catching up on other jobs, painting dugouts, organising a few other things whilst the new seed establishes. I did brush and roll our pitch but you have to be careful not to pull out the new seed. I have been also working on our training areas and warm up areas with new seed and top soil so that these areas are ready when we return. On top of this i have been watering our pitch so the last week for me has consisted mainly of painting at home (got to keep her in doors happy too) and going to the club every hour to move sprinklers, thank god i live fairly close. Both pitches are coming on nicely, trying to stripe the pitches in different ways to normal so that the grass becomes as strong as possible.

Maybe get a cut in early next week.

 

Thanks for taking an interest.

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Managed to get back on to the pitch again today for a couple of hours, few things have moved on in the last few days.

Weeds are having a bit of a second spurt with a few dandelions and plantains showing up well - so they got a blast of selective. 

Also the annual meadow grass has started to flower! Not the best of grasses to have on your pitch but at this level better than nothing. Bit of a weak grass in terms of rooting and can become very invasive producing over 500 seeds in its life cycle, known to be the most prolific grass worldwide! 

If there's a crack in the pavement, slabs, gutters you will see a meadow grass growing it's that successful. 

Repeated scarifying is the only way to keep it under some sort of control, with an annual sowing of Rye grass to deny the the seeds light and space but you will be chasing your tail a bit with this grass!

 

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Took a core out to have a look at the moisture levels and not bad at the moment, still plenty of moisture to keep the winter grasses growing on. This time of the year is when the winter grasses are storing energy to get them ready for the dry period where they will go dormant until the rains return.

Go easy on the fertiliser, especially nitrogen as if you force too much top growth the energy used is diverted from its storage needs.

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Just a note on meadow grass and nitrogen.

Not all meadow grass is bad, only the annual variety. Which, buy the way, is nothing more than a weed in most cases.

Older will tell us for sure, but does smooth stalk meadow grass have a role to play within a footy pitch sword?

NITROGEN.

There can be a bit of math involved, but fert bags have 3 main numbers on the front. The first of these refers to % Nitrogen. Basically a 20kg bag of feed, with a N P K of 20 10 10 contains around 4kg of Nitrogen ie. 20%.

Again over to older for some advise, but depending on amount of play and soil type. A reasonable figure would be in the region of 40-70kg/N per pitch, per year....Note, per year. Not per season.

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Yes, annual meadow grass is classified as a weed grass because it is so prolific. 

Smooth stalked meadow grass on the other hand  was extensively used years ago in a sports sward, today with the genetic engineering of the Ryegrass species ...not so much. Certainly a creditable grass to have in your pitch though, deep rooting and very green, but not used a lot today. 

The picture shows an annual meadow grass I spotted growing in a seriously dried out bit of ground where nothing else can!

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Fertiliser requirements vary from site to site so I never really follow recommended levels for nitrogen or anything else.

I would decide what is needed by looking at the grass or having it tested. 

Myself I'm a bit of a fan of Potash giving me a more controlled growth rather than the big flush you can get with Nitrogen. 

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Spent a bit more time with weed killer today, only it was a total killer (glyphosate) and did the edges of the pitch around the posts and areas that had recently been strimmed, saves any more strimming for a couple of months or more. 

Also spotted another weed attack on the pitch...creeping buttercup (Celandine) so out with the 2lt sprayer again and gave them a blast of selective. Spotted the clover as well starting to push on giving the pitch a nice dose of free nitrogen , there is a lot of free nitrogen around at the moment...excellent. 

I will leave the clover to keep giving  up the nitrogen until just after flowering,  then I will  spray it but will get the seeds from it into the ground for next year...old pasture land trick farmers use to reduce nitrogen fertiliser requirements. 

Dont want clover in the sward for the season as its weak rooting and can be quite slippery when the ground is hard.

The clover is the red dot,  the celandine is blue.

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Clover is in the Legume family and has the ability to take nitrogen from the air and fixate it into nitrates the plant can use.

This is transferred to the plant by bacteria who create a symbiotic response within the rhizomes, it only becomes available to the grass when bits of clover die off before regeneration...a daily occurrence hence the flush of grass in and around the clover.

Trivia. Nearly 80% of the air we breathe is Nitrogen. 

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Judging by the leaf the yellow flower is definitely a butterfly, as opposed to a lesser celindine. Same family different species. Good news is, it's easier to kill with selective.

The other, white clover, is as you say a great nitrogen fixer. Difficult to control fully, but rightly say Autumn best time to spray when plant dies back for winter. 

Some of the new micro clover is very impressive. Still provides free N, but barely noticeable in a tight sward, even at low mowing height. 

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Dear Mr. Deacon,

I note that the topic “Interesting” has been running since February 23rd and has taken up six pages of correspondence. Do you, or one of your trivia experts, happen to know how long it would have to be in both time and page use in order to set a new forum record?

Lots of love

Bruegel the (increasingly) Elder! 

P.S. Mr Green,🧈️ rather than 🦋 methinks

1 hour ago, Mrgreen said:

Judging by the leaf the yellow flower is definitely a butterfly, as opposed to a lesser celindine.

 

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3 hours ago, Mrgreen said:

Judging by the leaf the yellow flower is definitely a butterfly, as opposed to a lesser celindine. Same family different species. Good news is, it's easier to kill with selective.

The other, white clover, is as you say a great nitrogen fixer. Difficult to control fully, but rightly say Autumn best time to spray when plant dies back for winter. 

Some of the new micro clover is very impressive. Still provides free N, but barely noticeable in a tight sward, even at low mowing height. 

Haha Mrgreen there is a butterfly flower, most would have seen it as a weed commonly known as Milkweed.

 

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Last time I read about micro clovers (over 10+ years ago! ) they had to be left to grow 2" so at that time not suitable for sport surfaces...has that changed now (?)

2 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Dear Mr. Deacon,

I note that the topic “Interesting” has been running since February 23rd and has taken up six pages of correspondence. Do you, or one of your trivia experts, happen to know how long it would have to be in both time and page use in order to set a new forum record?



 

 

Alright Bruegal...I know - I talk too much!

But people keep telling me to carry on???

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Keep it up Older (et al) absolutely fascinating! They say you learn something new every day; here it’s every paragraph! Why do you think that I keep butting in to this thread, despite knowing nothing about the subject matter. I want to be part of this record! 
Incidentally, our local (senior club) pitch used to have horses🐴/goats🐐/sheep🐑 (not all at the same time) grazing on it during the summer months a few years back, before the groundsman got stuck in a couple of weeks before pre-season. Pros and cons of this naturalistic approach please experts?

 

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3 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Dear Mr. Deacon,

I note that the topic “Interesting” has been running since February 23rd and has taken up six pages of correspondence. Do you, or one of your trivia experts, happen to know how long it would have to be in both time and page use in order to set a new forum record?

Lots of love

Bruegel the (increasingly) Elder! 

P.S. Mr Green,🧈️ rather than 🦋 methinks

 

Well spotted bruegel.

damn that auto correct.  I did indeed mean butterCUP not FLY

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43 minutes ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Keep it up Older (et al) absolutely fascinating! They say you learn something new every day; here it’s every paragraph! Why do you think that I keep butting in to this thread, despite knowing nothing about the subject matter. I want to be part of this record! 
Incidentally, our local (senior club) pitch used to have horses🐴/goats🐐/sheep🐑 (not all at the same time) grazing on it during the summer months a few years back, before the groundsman got stuck in a couple of weeks before pre-season. Pros and cons of this naturalistic approach please experts?

 

Simple...manure! ...lol

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There are a few golf courses that have animals grazing on fairways etc. Mainly ponies and sheep, and mainly on moorland. Yealverton and Tavistock are two fairly local.

They co exist without too much hassle. Most are kept off greens by either a physical fence or a collar and virtual electric fence buried in the ground. Also some turf growers will graze land with sheep and harvest turf after.

Sheep would therefor seem the most suitable. They graze fairly tight, and unless spooked are gentle on firm ground.

Trivia: Sheep actually have a grass named after them.......Sheep’s fescue

Donkeys would not be suitable,  despite having played with a few over the years!!!!!

 

Just reading this back to myself, I realise how BORING I am.

 

 

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Love it...welcome to the club...lol

Just read about sheeps fescue,  interesting,  very tough grass survives drought and lives in virtually any conditions.

Prevalent on very acidic moorland areas so heavily grazed by......sheep! Hence the name. 

Being looked at for lawns due to its ability to withstand drought.

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Cut the pitch today, first time for 25 days! Gave it a light scarifying at the same time to take the pattern out.

Spring flush in full flow and the sward now thickening up nicely. 

Did raise the cutting height to 2" as this gives the new tillers time to store energy for the year ahead and the roots to get deeper into the ground.

Just waiting for the weekend rain...hopefully. 

 

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9 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Dear Mr. Deacon,

I note that the topic “Interesting” has been running since February 23rd and has taken up six pages of correspondence. Do you, or one of your trivia experts, happen to know how long it would have to be in both time and page use in order to set a new forum record?

Lots of love

Bruegel the (increasingly) Elder! 

 

No sorry, afraid I wouldn’t know without manually going back through the years that the forum has been going.

If not already the longest, I suspect it must be very close.

Keep up the interesting thread. So much involved! 👍

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I look at the photos of the pitch and the first thought that struck me was that Older must be very tall to take those photo's , then I read that they were taken from a drone . Secondly , more seriously I look at that pitch and think , how can you not play good football on it ? . I look back over my undistinguished  playing days and think back to playing in the Norfolk / Cambridgeshire fens , the flattest part of the country and think of the lack of grass , ruts and  slopes that we were happy to play on . As regards animals it wasn't uncommon  for sheep or cattle to be removed from the field the day before the game , I'm sure the same applied to Devon and Cornwall  . Very few changing rooms , even less showers but we loved it . Digressing to the subject of another post about works teams , in the 50'2s and 60's a company called W.N.F.  had the best sports complex in Norfolk . It's football , tennis , bowling greens and a hockey pitch were maintained regardless of cost . The football pitch was Cumberland turf  which at that time was the best turf for football ( Older would probably know ) the pitch was spirit level flat and it was a pleasure to play on . The only down side was that the turf sapped your energy  so you had to be fit  to keep going for 90 mins , it was big as well .  Sadly the company folded in the 1970's  and I find it sad when I go past the field  now , the tennis courts etc are now tarmacced   over and are the Kings Lynn bye pass and the football pitch is a travellers site As recently as 1980 I've played on pitches where animal have been grazing the day before , looking back I don't know how we played on those pitches with their uncut grass several inches long .

Hopefully your players appreciate  the  condition of your pitch older , I must look at it in ?????? whenever this is over  and I'm down there again . I've been to events at Sticker and I always think that looks a good ground .

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2 hours ago, fenman said:

I look at the photos of the pitch and the first thought that struck me was that Older must be very tall to take those photo's , then I read that they were taken from a drone . Secondly , more seriously I look at that pitch and think , how can you not play good football on it ? . I look back over my undistinguished  playing days and think back to playing in the Norfolk / Cambridgeshire fens , the flattest part of the country and think of the lack of grass , ruts and  slopes that we were happy to play on . As regards animals it wasn't uncommon  for sheep or cattle to be removed from the field the day before the game , I'm sure the same applied to Devon and Cornwall  . Very few changing rooms , even less showers but we loved it . Digressing to the subject of another post about works teams , in the 50'2s and 60's a company called W.N.F.  had the best sports complex in Norfolk . It's football , tennis , bowling greens and a hockey pitch were maintained regardless of cost . The football pitch was Cumberland turf  which at that time was the best turf for football ( Older would probably know ) the pitch was spirit level flat and it was a pleasure to play on . The only down side was that the turf sapped your energy  so you had to be fit  to keep going for 90 mins , it was big as well .  Sadly the company folded in the 1970's  and I find it sad when I go past the field  now , the tennis courts etc are now tarmacced   over and are the Kings Lynn bye pass and the football pitch is a travellers site As recently as 1980 I've played on pitches where animal have been grazing the day before , looking back I don't know how we played on those pitches with their uncut grass several inches long .

Hopefully your players appreciate  the  condition of your pitch older , I must look at it in ?????? whenever this is over  and I'm down there again . I've been to events at Sticker and I always think that looks a good ground .

Cumberland turf, was, I believe, harvested from salt marshland. Occasionally it would be covered by the incoming tide.

It was made up mostly of the very finest grasses, fescue and bents. More suited, I would suggest, to bowling greens etc. The advancement in dwarf ryegrass breeding means these hard wearing varieties are more suited these days.

Also, I have laid a bit of it over the years, and found the grass within soon start to struggle once removed from it’s growing environment. The coarser grass more suited to the new site became dominant. Of course this could be down to my lack of skill in agronomy.

Not sure why it would be energy sapping, maybe a little thatchy and grassy.

 

Now over to Older, to fill in any gaps.

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To be fair Fenman Penryn do play some lovely football as their league position suggested before the ‘expunged’ season and needless to say Older does them proud with that pitch 👍 lucky lads these days, as you said, played on some right dumps over the years but as long as it’s got 2 goals either end we were happy!! 👍😁

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Cumberland turf, blimey that was a long time ago, probably near 50 years now!

Mrgreen on the money with your post.

It was a salt marsh grass of mainly fescues, the continual soaking with a salt water made the leaves very fine and was favoured by golf clubs for their greens but they soon learned that the turf was silt loaded and drained very badly. Also probably why it sapped energy,  it would become very heavy when it rained. 

Also salt water changes the electrical charge on the soil particles tying up nitrogen (fixing) so the grass would very often go off to yellow and it would require feed to keep its colour.

Please correct any of the above as it was a very long time ago, back to my horticultural college days!

 

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Went up to the pitch today intending to finish the scarifying and a bit of spraying around the ground. But. 3 furloughed players had been up there for an hour and had swept the moss of one side of the roof and cleaned the gutters and the roof on the standing area! 

Excellent...delighted.

So took the opportunity to get them to load up the top dresser with the sand we had delivered and spread it on some of the wetter areas. 

 

 

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Now you see the slots. Screenshot_20200415-231126_Gallery.thumb.jpg.4e49916cb4f2e3b35b4a890b1ae1e0d7.jpg

Now you don't. 

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Happy with that, a bit left on the surface will get pushed into the ground when the games start again.

Decent spreader but a couple of damp-ish bags did stick a bit so would have to dry any wet sand that was delivered.

Spread roughly 5 tons in a leisurely hour...so quite efficient bit of kit with a few hands assisting. 

Boys are coming up again tomorrow to paint the posts around the pitch...happy days here. 

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9 hours ago, fenman said:

 

Hopefully your players appreciate  the  condition of your pitch older , I must look at it in ?????? whenever this is over  and I'm down there again . I've been to events at Sticker and I always think that looks a good ground .

It flatters to deceive at the moment Fenman, only just started working on it after 10 years retiring from it.

Lack of investment has caught up with it so bit of a long road ahead to get it back to it's best.

The lockdown denying end of season income has stopped any proper investment this season...but life is more important than a bit of grass! 

But thank you for your kind words. 

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I believe that in the 50's and 60's the Wembley turf was Cumberland , from distant memory I think that  it's energy sapping was one of the reasons so many players suffered injuries in cup finals . Again , from memory and we are talking about 60 years ago , the turf was very springy and compact . At the time it was one of the only pitches with a true bounce , being  so flat  with a good surface . They obviously had a team of pre olders looking after  all the sports fields at that time , expense no object .

Refering to your  budget comment , a thought struck me whilst I was potting up some carnations in my greenhouse .The focus is all on professional clubs suffering  financially during this crisis , but little mention or thought is given to village football teams and other sports such as bowls and cricket  and the organisations that run village playing fields . I include leagues  as well . All these rely on finance  through match fees  and bar receipts etc. . I know from being involved with my old team that our ground rent was £600 per year , the cricket club and bowls club who shared the same facilities also paid £600 , this was 5 years ago . The players used to moan about having to pay match fees ( how I miss all that palaver ) and always accused the playing field committee of rooking them .  I showed them the outgoings for the field and pavilion several times and the more intelligent ones were shocked at how much it cost to operate a playing field and pavilion in a small village . Bear in mind that the bowls and cricket club had to fund their own playing surface preparation  and lawn mowers ,  quite a high cost   , particularly cricket with it's strip preparation ,  so their outgoings were much higher than ours . Things that those not involved or interested in , insurance , water rates , electricity , building upkeep and repairs , health and safety measures etc. etc . .    As  the football season has finished well short of time , the clubs will be extremely short of income and many will be unable to pay their ground rent . The cricket and bowls season may not start so a similar problem there . The same lack of income will mean that some clubs will be unable to pay affiliation fees to the F.A.  and respective leagues . Leagues could be in a similar situation sponsorship could dry up . I know my own league will have serious problems in that respect as our long term sponsor has retired  and finding a replacement  was going to be difficult even before this crisis .

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There is a government grant you can apply for and failing that a grant from Sport England. 

If you dont get one of them you're up the proverbial creek! 

---------------------

Did another light scarifying of the pitch,  that'll be enough for the time as it is really the wrong time of year for it but needs must.

September-ish is the best time but of course football is in full swing so forced to do it at this time...please rain!

The boys came up as promised and did the posts and dugouts...well done fellas.

 

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replying to a previous post I have a photo in an old book of horses grazing RFU Twickenham back in 1915, a much different stadium to the present one! Although back in the 70's I turned up at Long Lane St Erth to referee and half the team were putting the nets up and the rest were taking the cows off. Although I think they were on there for fattening rather than fertilising.

Yes the old Wembley was turfed with Cumberland as it was known then.The Spring flush has really kicked in over this side of the county photo attached and like older only cut to about 45 mm. Rain tomorrow please and we should see a vast improvement next week

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