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Looking good there Ieuan...fertilised yet(?)

Spring flush pretty much started, just a few spots waiting to start, the Easterly does keep temperatures down a bit here with temperatures hovering around 6⁰ to 8⁰ and lack of rain just slowing the flush a tad.

Cloud coming in from the Southwest now so should be some rain around soon, better get my head around putting some seed in and order my fertiliser. 

Trivia. It is estimated fertiliser production is responsible for 5% of the world's pollution! 

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Have messed around with a bit of rubber crumb today with a light dressing to the driest goalmouth, Mmmm dont know - may take it off again, dont want the grass rooting into it and getting kicked out during a match. Grass/ all plants will always take the easy option and this rubber maybe to easy to root into. 

This goalmouth is all creeping fescues from the original sowing and does not have deep roots like Rye grasses. (Rye grasses have both types of root)

They only have adventitious roots predominantly near the surface and are essentially a summer grass so may grow into the rubber.

The crown (meristematic tissue) of fescues is also 90% above ground so may tend to send new roots and tillers into the rubber rather than the ground. I'll have to keep a sharp on it to see what happens! 

 

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And a nice line of freshly painted posts... and one of my dogs...lol

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fertilised about 14 days ago, couldn't wait to use my new spreader can't walk for 2 and half hours pushing a spreader any more . So one on the back of the Kubota cut spreading down to 25 minutes and no walking! Used slow release 180 days, see how it goes, the 90 day one used last October lasted through to March . Good to see you are getting the Penryn pitch back to its former glory. Stay safe

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As well as it's sporting uses grass is quite a versatile plant . After I retired  I worked at a Bovine Transport Cleansing Consultant , this is a modern title , what it means is that my boss said do you think you could wash my cattle float out ( so he consulted me ) I would say yes  and wash it out . A bit similar to my Police career really !!!!.  During the course of working with cattle , I learned quite a lot about them and the food they eat .  The most obvious is grass  in in many forms , either raw , sileage or hay  , these are all the food and  nutritional side that  most of us know about . But the thing that surprised me was the medicinal benefits grass gave them .One cattle farmer said that grass was such an effective medicine that it was nicknamed " Doctor Green " in many parts of the country .

Just a bit of useless information about grass really .

Allotment still dry Older , weather here cold wind but rain forecast tomorrow , sad to see the local sports field with long grass and daisies .

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2 hours ago, Ieuan Gregory said:

fertilised about 14 days ago, couldn't wait to use my new spreader can't walk for 2 and half hours pushing a spreader any more . So one on the back of the Kubota cut spreading down to 25 minutes and no walking! Used slow release 180 days, see how it goes, the 90 day one used last October lasted through to March . Good to see you are getting the Penryn pitch back to its former glory. Stay safe

Nice one Ieuan,  and thanks for the comments...long way to go on the pitch yet! 

What did you think of the slow release fertiliser over the winter(?) Putting it down at that time goes against how this stuff works to my knowledge! 

Did it work(?) What was the NPK value of it(?) Do the high lift blades suck it up of the ground(?) and so on!

Yes as well to spreading it, I've had a tow behind spinner for over ten years or more, although I still have the push one which I used fix to the back of the mower rather than push it.

Even even whe I did not look after the ground I still did the fertilizing as it's so critical to get it right, get it wrong and fertiliser is the best grass and plant killer going!

Too much fertiliser causes plasmolysis the opposite of osmosis and sucks the plant dry of all nutrients and its  death is unstoppable. 

Also fertiliser is chemically hot and will burn the grass if not put down in the perfect conditions. 

The long release ones do not have this problem as the prills are polymer coated. 

Natural organic fertilizers do not burn either but have a much lower NPK value but are useful when you need to add a bit of humus type material into the profile. 

Normally used on well draining pitches to hold onto moisture a bit longer.

Anyway Ieuan best of health to you as well buddy.

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5 hours ago, fenman said:

As well as it's sporting uses grass is quite a versatile plant . After I retired  I worked at a Bovine Transport Cleansing Consultant , this is a modern title , what it means is that my boss said do you think you could wash my cattle float out ( so he consulted me ) I would say yes  and wash it out . A bit similar to my Police career really !!!!.  During the course of working with cattle , I learned quite a lot about them and the food they eat .  The most obvious is grass  in in many forms , either raw , sileage or hay  , these are all the food and  nutritional side that  most of us know about . But the thing that surprised me was the medicinal benefits grass gave them .One cattle farmer said that grass was such an effective medicine that it was nicknamed " Doctor Green " in many parts of the country .

Just a bit of useless information about grass really .

Allotment still dry Older , weather here cold wind but rain forecast tomorrow , sad to see the local sports field with long grass and daisies .

Trivia. Without grass the planet and virtually all life on it would die.

Yes Fenman,  grass is beneficial to herbivores, as well as feeding them it has a huge amount of roughage which keeps their insides very clean. 

We all need roughage. 

Dogs eat grass when they are not too good for the same reason to clean their guts.

The trouble with grass grown as silage is the amount of nitrogen fertiliser that is used 34% to push the grass to maximum yield...this ends up in your steaks, beef and burgers and is no good to man or beast!

Raining here and more for tomorrow...happy days.

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Rubber crumb.

May I suggest you consider brushing into tine holes, instead of dressing  the surface. As you suspect, I believe it will make the very top to unstable  and vulnerable. It does work really well if mixed with dry sand and brushed in as deep as you can get it. Maybe a job for some of your furloughed players. The columns of sand and crumb will drain and root really well,  and will be virtually impossible to compact. But the ground will stay firm and stable.

Fertiliser.

Slow release verses Controlled release.

Slow release Fertilizers will release their nutrients over a set period of time regardless of conditions. Usually relying on soil microbe activity. There is more involved, but that will suffice for now.

Controlled release are nearly always coated with a type of polymer. This coating is usually broken down by moisture, again over a set period. A fairly recent development, is the autumn/winter range. These rely on both moisture and temperature, and are “clever” enough to shut down when not needed.

The Prills are quite tiny, and I don’t believe they would be hovered up by a rotary mower or pick up by a cylinder. They may be vulnerable to a mechanical scarifier, as these may crack the coat and dump all the nutrients at once.  The prills are usually different colours as these are the different nutrients.

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Excellent Mrgreen,  thank you for the update to my knowledge. 

I had decided to do as you say, make a few holes and brush the sand and rubber into them, thanks for confirming my thoughts on using it as a top dressing. 

It seems also that slow release fertiliser has moved on a leap or two from when it first came out which is when I first read about it...seems to be the way ahead...very interesting I'll have to think about that being a bit old school...lol

Thanks again for the updates.

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yes it worked well over the winter kept the sward nice and green although a high level of N didn't run away with too much growth.Took a bit of a gamble hoping for a mild winter got that but also wet! When conditions allowed was able to cut the pitch every week. Don't know but suspect that the slow release controls the amount of N let out at any one time. The 180 day release is 28;5;8+1.2Mg. Bit of a trial to see how it works if it does what it says on the tin like the winter one I shall be well pleased. Simon Johnson the PIP rep used it on his rugby pitch with half slow release and half with standard 9.7.7 with favourable results. So I followed his lead.Attached photo of the sward today still got some meadow grass but expect that surrounded by cropping fields.

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Ieuan.

How many kg of fert do you apply to your pitch in one application. Also I see the 28 5 8 analysis and the 9 7 7. What was the analysis of the autumn product. 

Given that over feeding and over watering in finer turf encourages meadow grass (Poa) and therefor thatch, is this something you guys have to worry about.

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Hi all,

Sorry been away for a while busy catching up on jobs. Been great weather for spraying weeds and painting. We seem to have lots of dandelions this year so after three days, nearly 35,000 steps!!!haha we have manged to spray the entire site for all of dandelions, daisies etc. Used Weedol lawn, really cheap and it has given great results already and hopefully will contain the intrusion for another year. Christ i have walked to parts of Vogue Park that i haven't been to for a while, every corner was sprayed

 

Older - As I said to you on the phone the other day i have too used the slow release product for the first time this year, I applied 6 bags to each pitch back in February and initially gave good results. Obviously things seem to have stopped lately, although that said i have managed to keep things green with moving sprinklers around, however i was struggling towards the end of the week, but its good as you say forces the roots down to find moisture. If visually the slow release fertiliser last until August, we will have saved money and most importantly saved volunteers time in putting it down. I agree with Leuan, i spoke to Simon Johnson who gave the same advice about the product and is a very knowledgeable man. I have cut the pitches twice since and run the new machine over it a couple of times to roll the newer seed. You can still see, in a couple of places, a pellet or two so it is still around. Obviously the verti drain will have punched some into the ground, i did spike prior to putting it down and we managed to get a couple of games in after application. Lets see what happens this week, but visiting the club today the pitch is looking greener and just fresh today. Will get a cut and spike on it tomorrow ahead of a little more rain on Monday and a very warm, dry week ahead.

 

Three of us groundsman managed to pressure wash everywhere today so keeping on top of those jobs and i have been lucky, like you older, to have a couple of players and our U12s manager painting the last couple of weeks. Yes its a shame not to have football but I am getting loads of my to do list done!!!

 

Best Wishes to all - Loving your comments, knowledge and input Mr Green!!

 

Cheers

 

Mark

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Thanks for your interest Mr Green, in old money 3/4 once per square yard.As Older says the fert companies are selling the stuff so they want it spread thick!. Don't suffer too much with thatch try to drag my old chain harrow over once a week ground conditions permitting.Then take off any dead rubbish.Not a lot of chance of over feeding down here my budget certainly won't allow that! Yes Mark the dandelions have certainly invaded this spring along with a wonderful crop of thistles around the edges of the field.Slowly getting on top of them with this fine weather. Hope Dave is OK hasn't posted for a couple of days. Stay safe people.

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Still here Ieuan,  thanks for the concern...I'm fine mate just been enjoying the rain - lovely stuff, certainly pushed the spring flush on...you can see the grass growing! 

No need for fertiliser at this time with the pitch looking pretty good. 

 

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Your both right about the Dandelions, I'll be spraying them for the third time this week, turn your back and another 100 show themselves! 

I have put down some old organic fertiliser I found (treated human poo!!!) Had 3 bags so I put it down on one goalmouth and an area where we had a bit of dry patch last year. I've double slit the area over the winter and now a bit of organic material to encourage some good bacteria should fix the problem hopefully.

Yes the picture shows pelleted human waste and it smells like it too!!!!

I put it down on Friday and the prills are already softening up, I may run the heavy brush over the areas to facilitate breaking them down a bit quicker. 

It is low NPK at 4.5 - 0. 8 - 0.2 so not going to set the world on fire but will give the bacteria something to munch on.

I'll do it early doors so the dew can soak them as well. 

 

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Had a bit of spare time in the evenings so did a bit of studying on controlled release fertiliser. 

Your ¾ ounce application rate equates to 21 grams square metre Ieuan. 

Reading about the stuff is quite interesting. 

The release rate is dependent on the thickness of the coating.

It is as much to do with water infiltration into the prills as heat.

The more you water or it rains the quicker the prill will empty its nutrients. Go easy on the water Mark!

The nutrients leave the prill by osmotic pressure (osmosis from your school days)

They are expensive due to production costs of the coating. 

You need approximately 7,000 to 7,500 prills per sq metre to have the correct response, this equates to 50+ million prills per average pitch.

You will need 7 bags × 25 kgs to apply the minimum dose.

And so on.

The cost I have looked at would mean £350+ per application!!!!

I'm going g to stick with good old national grow more 7.7.7

I can fertilise the pitch for £114 that's 3 times for the same money, less if you can claim your VAT back and get decent results with it.

Also it seems to last a good 8 weeks, from memory I think there's a bit of hoof and horn in it giving a bit of organic to the bacteria. 

 

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Started repairing the bottom goalmouth today, thought I may be able to use the plugger after the rain and it worked a treat, full depth with a bit of effort behind it which was a bonus. Used it to take cores out of the areas that had lost all its  grass, these will be filled with a sand, rubber and bit of soil mix and seeded. Note the rubber in the cores still working after 12 years...good stuff. I will break the cores up and re-use them in the mix.

 

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Bought my fertiliser today, bit of a change from my original intentions and went with a 9.7.7 NPK for a tad more nitrogen,  and a 3.12.12 NPK for a bit more root strengthening and general winter toughness with more phosphate and potash. 

These are tried and tested formulas and stand the test of time well. 

Found a company on the internet with good prices for this stuff delivered, worth a look I think.

Agrigem...ask for Dan, bit of a discount the more you buy more so I bought my summer and winter top dressings at the same time, or get another club/clubs to buy together to take advantage of the discounts. 

Going to put down 5 bags of each when the time is right and worked out at £24 a bag with delivery,  so £120 a pop...not too bad I thought.

 

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There are a number of the most popular blends of fertiliser. These are usually the most cost effective, due in part to quantity produced.

7 7 7 (growmore)

9 7 7

12 6 6

20 10 10

46 0 0 (urea)

13 0 45 (potassium nitrate)

The theory behind applying the 9 7 7 along side the Controlled release products, is that the 9 7 7 is instant. Being,I assume, ammonium sulphate based. Fairly short lived(8 weeks) by then the controlled  will kick in.

There are various different brands, and some are given fancy names, but are basically based around the same base ingredients. There is often little point in paying big bucks. (The grass doesn’t know how much The fertiliser costs)

With most plants(especially grass) growth, and uptake of most other nutrients is driven by nitrogen. I would even suggest that on a heavy soil based pitch all you need is N. There may be enough P K and micros to sustain healthy growth. Maybe apply a bit of Iron if you like a bit of colour.

Organic verses artificial.

Both make the grass grow.. However as far as the soil is concerned. My view(and it is only an opinion) is that organic, though slower acting is better. All of the artificials are salts. Some are higher on the salt index than table salt. These, can, if used in excess damage soil biology and therefore drainage and rooting.

Older.....

I remember, being asked to use the organic you refer to. Not happy...We jokingly referred to it as SH 1 T

 

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Yes Mrgreen as previously posted it does smell like S.H.1.T as well...lol

Salts are used in artificial fertilisers for there ability to instigate osmotic pressure supporting the start of photosynthesis and so on.

Clay heavy soils certainly have a high C.E.C capability but are poor due to there low porosity which although holding a high concentration of nutrients they often lack oxygen and nitrogen so turn yellow. 

Possibly you could get away with a nitrogen only based treatment but I've never thought about it...interesting. 

Certainly you do not want too much fertiliser as you rightly say the salt can seriously damage your soil microbes, although research suggests fungi not so much.

Over sanding can also lead to salt related problems in the soil.

Anyway enough of the heavy stuff! 

Intended to complete the goalmouth repair today but noticed a very healthy crop of annual meadow grass seed heads! Too many to ignore so out with the mower and box...they had to go.

 

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And now they're gone.

‐-----‐------------------ Trivia. A single annual meadow grass plant can produce up to 700 seeds in its lifetime!

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A few left but will remove them when they show above the leaves next week,  probably removed about 80% so happy with that. 

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Options.....

Just a few points to get you thinking. Different ways to achieve broadly similar results.

Try to stay awake and focused.

 

If you were to apply 5 bags of 9 7 7 to a pitch, costing £20 per bag 5x25kg=125kg of product supplying 12kgN costing £100. Lasting 8 weeks.

20 10 10 applied at three bag rate costing £25 per  bag 3x25kg=75kg of product  supplying 15kgN costing £75 lasting 8 weeks.

46 0 0 applied at two bag rate costing £40 per bag 2x20kg=40kg of product supplying 18kgN costing £80 lasting 12 weeks.

Speckling is possible at lower rates due to lack of granules per metre. But the longer the grass the less likely.

 

The 46 0 0 is probably best applied as a solution, maybe more on that another day, if everyone hasn’t nodded off.

 

I’m not for one moment suggesting or recommending any fertiliser programs. But hopefully given you something to ponder over while trundling up and down on your mower.

 

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Thought provoking when you consider the nitrogen totals in the sums...nice one.

I have experimented with numbers of bags per application over a few years starting with 12 and going down as low as 3 bags per application. 

12 bags I found wasteful as it gave too much of everything and you end up chasing the grass growth endlessly.  You can certainly get away with 3 but have to make sure you get a very even coverage which with only 3 bags is actually quite time consuming to get right. I settled on 5 per application as it was the easiest amount to put down for decent results.

I suppose if you think about it you could just aerate and brush the grass and leave it to its own devices and it would still perform perfectly well,  there are plenty of pitches that have nothing done and serve their purpose adequately (?)

The spring and autumn flushes would give the grass what it needs in its natural cycle of growth...maybe(?) Might try it one year!

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Got onto the goalmouth at last today, used my trusty old half moon turf edger to cut sowing slits, push it in full depth so the roots have an easy passage for 4" then bring it back to ½" and slightly lever it open...pop a bit of seed in and step it down to firm the seed.  Always works quite well and managed to do most of the 18 yard box as well.

Got the furlough boys coming up tomorrow and we'll mix up a bit of soil, sand and rubber to top dress the goal mouth and do a bit of divoting.

 

 

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Never make plans they say!

Started off with the intention of finishing the goalmouth  and doing a load of divoting...ended up just filling the plug holes and a few other bits and pieces,  rest of the time was getting the second mower to fire up and putting the main drive belt back on the gearbox!

 

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Here's a tip if you use mowers like ours. Buy a set of motorcycle jump leads...saves removing the battery from the housing.

Here's the plug holes filled with soil,  sand and rubber,  will give them a bit of seed tomorrow and finish it off with a light top dressing.

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Grass and wood are two things that have fascinated me  for a few years .I have discussed the wonders of both of these with friends  but they either don't grasp what I mean or they are too dim to consider them . Take grass as the first example . Grass isn't just grass unless you take it at face value , why are there so many types ? Each type has certain properties that are invaluable whether it be nutritional or holding substances like sand and soil together  , uses for sport  or  thrives in water helping drainage . Expanding on this we have the offshoots of grass such as cereal crops with their many uses .

Take wood as the second example . Why are there so many types of trees whose wood serves a useful purpose  ? why isn't there just one tree type ? Without the variation in different trees and their wood mankind would have struggled to survive or progress . Just to use one example , the humble wagon wheel . Without a suitable hard wearing wood for the hub , a flexible but strong wood for the spokes and a tough wood for the rim it would have been difficult to make a good wheel . It  wouldn't have been so effective with only a hard wearing wood  in it's construction . This is just one simple example , an intelligent person could quote hundreds of examples .

My question is ,  and I know it's evolution , but why and how ?  It's not a situation where a  person wanted to make a wagon wheel and said  " no suitable wood exists so I'll create some " it's already there  .

Sorry about a rambling post , I can't use being locked in the house as an excuse , because I've spent hours over the allotment , which has ever looked so good . The main topic being shouted across the allotment today is severe lack of a good overnight rain  and being less than impressed with the BBC  offering last night . I didn't see it so I couldn't comment .

Weather much warmer now the Easterly wind has dropped Older , but the ground is desperately dry and the daisies are in full flower on my neighbouring  sports field .

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It is evolution pure and simple, each species adapted to what the conditions were at that time in the planets journey. Each can multiply and spread across the globe over time and are almost certainly evolving right before our eyes now...but we cant see it. 

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Managed to finish the goalmouth at last...not too many distractions!

Put a few shovels of soil, sand and rubber down then out with the trusty old lute.

This bit of kit is lovely for spreading top dressing, one side gives a perfect level, turn it over and rub it into the sward. Various sizes available but this one I had made bespoke. 

 

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Now just wait for a bit of rain.

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Fenman.. I for one totally get it.

While I don’t have your passion for trees. I can understand why you do.

After grass my next passion would have to be soil biology and science. The soil food web and fungi, is all that stops us being knee deep in plant litter. (Yawn Yawn)

 

Older.. 

Great bit of kit. The off the shelf version, SISSIS trulute can cost around £300. But once bought will last forever. 

I assume yours cost a little less but does exactly the same job. And probably better built

If anybody has a larger area to level, an aluminium ladder laid flat with a little weight added pulled with a rope does a decent job.

What soil and sand do you use? Any seed under dressing?

 

 

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Yes Mrgreen I don't like the off the shelf lutes so I sort of designed my own and had it made 30 odd years ago, £40 from memory but really well made by a local coach builder and will last to infinity! 

The soil came from the estate next door, it was part of the nursery which our pitch sits on, so the same as our field. The sand is a kiln dried silicate given to us by a local fella,  and the rubber given to us by the contractor who built the local 3G. No seed under the top dressing other than the bit I put in with the half moon turf iron.

It always irks me to see topsoil just thrown away,  if people only knew the value of it and how long it took to become topsoil and what it contains and the value of it to the planet.

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It’s a good feeling when the seeding germinates. The “slit” seeding Older did with his trusty half moon, was essentially the same operation as mark had done at vogue. Albeit more hands on and personal.  The vredo machine that  the contractor used is a slit seeder. 

The other choice is “pot seeding” again various machines are available. But a simple fork or home made dimple board will do. Make lots of holes and brush seed in first then follow with soil.  Basically all about getting seed IN the surface not ON the surface.

A. relatively new development is coated seed, In fact its becoming difficult to still get un coated. The coating is usually some kind of Fertilizers or a wetting agent.

I personally don’t think a coating is necessary, I suggest you stay away from them if possible. 

Pre coating,   I’ve never had any trouble with germination. If prepared properly and seed is viable it will work. Nature takes care of it pretty well.

Also seed is sold by weight, and coatings weigh a lot. You could lose as much as 30% seed. Try and specify un coated if possible.

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Totally agree, grass will happily germinate without any coatings as long as there is moisture and warmth and the seed is below ground.

In reality grass will quite happily look after itself, it's only our desire to run around on it that makes maintenance necessary. 

Myself if I'm seeding a larger area I will use this dimple seeder, it is a great bit of kit for getting spaced germination. 

Simply prepare the seed bed, create the dimples, sow the seed then run the dimpler over it again to press the seed in...sit back and wait.

You can also use it when the ground is a bit on the soft side to create seeding slots, but you should always cover the seed still. 

 

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2 hours ago, Bruegel the Elder said:

Fascinating as always Older. I may be thick* but what and why is the horizontal plate covering the right hand half of the tynes at the bottom of the dimple seeder?

*My dear wife insists that there’s no “may” about it!

Simply a footplate so if the ground is on the firm side you can apply a bit more pressure. 

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Well started seeding the divots in earnest today with the half moon and a bucket of seed. 

Did about 20% in a couple of hours so not too bad, I reckon maybe 20 to 30 hours over the next couple of weeks should see that done...hopefully! 

The rain overnight went in about ½ inch so may germinate the seed, if not it will come up in September anyway so no problems there, the forecast for rainfall is good so fingers crossed on that.

Bit of a bonus today going into B&Q saw these mole hills,  too good a chance to miss so got a bag and shovel and the soil will be mixed with sand and rubber for a top dressing...lovely stuff.

I'll run the soil through a sieve first but it almost certainly will be very fine already.

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Probably got near to a couple hundredweight...happy days.

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Cold wind up here Older , but much needed rain arrived yesterday , its surprising how quickly plants grow after a rain , you can put as much water on them as you like , tap water or water butt , but it's not the same as a shower .

Mr. Green I don't particularly have a great interest in wood it's just this fascination ( I would say amazing but its such an overused word today that I don't know what it means anymore )  in creation , I suppose you'd call it . I agree Older it's evolution , but to me it's  all incredible .

Any way back to the purpose on my post . Older and Mr. Green , from your vast knowledge of pitch preparation etc. , how are modern professional pitches prepared , what is their construction . I remember a dear old friend of mine explaining how the surface of the new Wembley was causing headaches when it was laid and had to be re laid several times .until it was right . To the layman / idiot  a grass pitch is a grass pitch . From my several visits to Plymouth Argyle  I've noticed that the grass surface doesn't tear up or leave score marks on it . Someone said that the grass was grown in a rubber mesh to help drainage and make it more hard wearing  . Obviously most pitches are of a similar construction , so what is the modern technique  that makes the pitches more durable  than in the past . I watched a Wolves cup tie from the 70's  last night and the pitch was a quagmire  and heavily sanded in the penalty areas  , this wasn't uncommon in the past and you wonder how todays superstars ? would cope with it .

 Having written all this rubbish I now realise that the Wolves game was nearly 50 years ago so ground construction must have improved a lot since then  although they must have had drainage  .

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Mainly built on sand. Over a gravel and pipe base. The suface has astro turf strands stitched in to the surface. The process and technology was developed in Holland. Very fast draining and very hungry.  Argyles pitch is slightly different called fibre sand. More on the subject when I'm not at work and have more time. But hopefully older gets here first to save me a job.

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On one of the IOG courses I have attended over the years I was told that if the enviromentalists amongst us knew how much fertiliser these pitches consumed, because they drain so well through the construction. Then they would be campaigning to have them banned!

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Where to start?

Modern pitches are constructed of silicate sand and polypropylene strands (fibre turf) extremely tough stuff.

A machine like a big sowing machine then actually sows strands of artificial grass into the surface mixing with real grass, that's the basis of it.

There are also fibrelastic pitches, the same as above but with elasticated strands that pull the ground and divots back into shape when damaged. It's used a lot on racecourses I believe, certainly at the Hongkong course.

A third type is when a carpet is laid and the sand and fibres are laid on top , worked to the surface before seed is sown.

I've actually laid 80,000 tons of fibre turf to construct a grass carpark, still there today and incredibly tough stuff, it is virtually impossible to even get a fork into! 

All will drain at 20mm an hour plus so incredibly expensive to maintain as they hold zero nutrients and have to be continually fertilised. 

I would think a foliar fertiliser would be the main way of feeding these pitches (?)

The real top of the range pitches are actually grown in rubber pallets and simply renewed when required.

Trivia. The millennium stadium is a palletised pitch system. 

The pitch is grown in Holland and shipped over when required. 

It takes 3 men 3 days to swap the pitches over! so the then groundsman told me!

Had to spray another flush of dandelions today, that's 4 times now!

Also started working on this bit of kit, sent the cutting units away for sharpening and gave it a bit of a run up to see it was all working ok.

 

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Older, Kindly remember that you are writing “Groundkeeping for dummies” at least in my case!  So what is that particular piece of kit then, and what does it do?

Looking at the vast array of kit that you (and Mark, and Ieuan) possess, do you have a hanger for a groundsmans shed? I always thought that with a mower, fork and a roller you were good to go!

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Cricky Older, is that an old 1800. Haven’t seen one for years. 

Remind me. Are they belt and pulley drive to the cylinder or hydraulic motor? And no roller on front of unit?

As I remember them they are a bit of a brute to steer at slow speed.

Not sure where you send your cylinders to be ground, but a guy from St Austell will come to you and do them on site(south west reel grinding)  very good.

As far as cylinder verses rotary is concerned.....

Nothing beats the finish of a sharp, well adjusted cylinder mower.HOWEVER nothing cuts worse than a dull, miss adjusted cylinder mower. This includes a set of gang mowers.

Unless you have the knowledge and desire to keep them sharp and “on cut” stick with a rotary mower.

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Good spot there Mrgreen, yes an old 180.

Belt and pulley to the cylinders, but hydraulic drive to the wheels, not used it yet as still getting it up to scratch with the cylinders just gone away for sharpening. 

Certainly feels strange on turning! Picked it up last year from a big private estate, 1991 model I think but has only done 1200 hours in 29 years! hardly used as they say. Definitely a bit of a beast when it comes to keeping it cutting nice but done regularly it wont be that bad I'm sure...done enough of it in my time.

Just see it as a autumn  summer and spring mower while the ground is still firm enough, should be a time saver with a 6ft cut...we'll see.

If not I'll sell it on, probably to a cricket club I would think. 

Hopefully have its first trial next week. 

Rotary mowers are certainly considered the way forward now with quite a few professional clubs using the new Dennis 34R which does look the business at circa 5K I think. 

Just for you Bruegel...it's a mower...lol

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Chris at Plymouth Argyle uses two of the Dennis mowers.

If you pay close attention at a live premiership game and look at pitch during end of game punditry, first job is to mow surface with these high suction mowers. It’s less about cutting grass, but about getting ALL loose material off the top. Something even an high end cylinder would struggle to do.

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55 minutes ago, Mrgreen said:

Chris at Plymouth Argyle uses two of the Dennis mowers.

If you pay close attention at a live premiership game and look at pitch during end of game punditry, first job is to mow surface with these high suction mowers. It’s less about cutting grass, but about getting ALL loose material off the top. Something even an high end cylinder would struggle to do.

Yup I've noticed that as well,  bit daft in my opinion...I'd do it in the morning. 

The R34 does look a tasty bit of kit though.

I'm hearing there's a problem with the Plymouth pitch (?)

Last time I went up there it did seem a bit bobbly and cut awfully short!

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With the rain last week there's no need for fertiliser yet, grass picking up well, so well I dropped the cut down to 1¼" to thicken the sward a bit, a couple of cuts at this height and the back up to 2" to grow a bit of root for the summer.

Rain forecast over the next few days so perfect growing conditions with the heat.

Grass already thickening up nicely. 

Couple of players came up today and they went divoting while I cut the training ground...pitch looking OK at this time but still plenty to do, and only one dandelion today...yay!

 

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11 hours ago, TheolderIgetthebetterIwas said:

With the rain last week there's no need for fertiliser yet, grass picking up well, so well I dropped the cut down to 1¼" to thicken the sward a bit, a couple of cuts at this height and the back up to 2" to grow a bit of root for the summer.

Rain forecast over the next few days so perfect growing conditions with the heat.

Grass already thickening up nicely. 

Couple of players came up today and they went divoting while I cut the training ground...pitch looking OK at this time but still plenty to do, and only one dandelion today...yay!

 

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Looking super older - well done sir !

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It flatters to deceive Keith. 

My first boss taught me that presentation is everything. 

There's a long way to go in getting the pitch back to it's best, vertidraining it in September will help it along nicely,  adding a touch of fertiliser then will push it close to what it used to be...but a good bit of work to do between now and then. 

I haven't vertidrained it yet due to the summer forecast, very hot and dry which would mean extensive watering and at circa £1,000++ per month not feasible in the current climate. 

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Surface looks good in photos. 

It’s nice to see some players lending a hand. Good to see them taking ownership of their playing surface. Hopefully next season they will benefit, and defend against any negative comments from their team mates. 

I agree that any deep, disruptive aeration would render pitch dependent on water. Slitting may crack the surface also. If anyone has a sorrel roller(heavyish roller covered with small tines) These can be useful in summer to keep top open and liberate a little surface Nitrogen.

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Negative comments from my own team...they wouldn't dare!!!

Yes it's extremely useful extra pairs of hands and I'm loving it, and it only looks good in photos...true, but would probably play ok.

Never had a sorrel roller, I've always looked at them more for finer turf unless you can get them a bit more on the heavier side? But any aeration is good as you know.

Thanks for your comments. 

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