February was a slower month as always but managed to cut all areas and did some outfield linear aeration in the hope of slicing up some chafer grubs that are working there way up to the top of the surface ,need to try and manage these grubs or birds,even badgers dig like mad to get a easy meal at our outfields expenses.
During February we also re squared up our square using the 30ft,40,50 method creating a 90 degree angle,we removed the old carrots that had become warn down and inserted some new ones ,we also spend quite a bit of time power washing screens (plastic )in readiness for the season.
see the below video on square the square.
February was also a good month for more planning ,stock control,machinery ordering,pitch placement ,completing winter machinery serving and re painting our auto-roller(below)
Temperature and ground condition allowing but hope to start pre season rolling with our Dennis premier (36″) in a Union Jack pattern ,last direction in line of play and will be then building up weight once the soil has dried ,then onto the auto roller (unballasted) ,then finally onto the max weight ballasted more than likely early April.
Pleaee see below some resources on pre season rolling.
keeping the grass topped and lowering the height of cut will also go ahead this month and liquid feeds if very cold or granular if and when temperatures pick up ,the grass will get stressed with the psr rolling so a spring controlled released fertiliser will be needed .
worm control will take place this month if and when it goes wet and warmer and worms are casting enough to be a pain ,if brushing doesn’t clear casts then we are down to only one control and that is purity soil conditioner but if worms are not a major issue then try to manage them more naturally.
some brushing by hand and machine will also go ahead removing any debris on the square before psr or any dead grass on the surface left over from the winter we don’t want to be rolling that in,brushing will also stand the grass up again after rolling assist with future cutting.
Ends and middle of squares pretty good here but may overseed them this month weather conditions and temperatures allowing ,will look to dimple or Sarrel roll surface first prior to seeding to give the seed (rye)a hole to sit in to prevent wash off ,this will also create seed/soil contact which seed needs to germinate and survive.
Groundsman workshop at Hove on the 17th March
Even though there are a few resources above on pre season rolling ,fertilising and pre season work l really encourage you all to join us at the groundsman workshop on the 17th March ,Andy Mackay and Brian Fletcher will really bring my comments to life and whether permitting the staff at Hove will be active as only a week or so to there first game so plenty to see and learn and a opportunity to meet other club groundsman around the County.
-ordering supplies such as fertilisers and seed.
-fininding the corners of the square and possibly marking pitch positions .
-brush and cut of squares and outfields.
-last chance to ensure all machines are in a serviceable and working condition.
-pre season rolling .
-granaular /liquid feed squares if yellowing to keep healthy ,encourage thickening.
if your not already on the Facebook page for Sussex cricket groundsman check it out-
another site to check up on and consider membership is the IOG
Any question please ask but will be at Hove on the 17th ,hope to see you then.
Keep warm ❄️
ps next blog ,seed guide ,fertilisers,pitch preparation.