Welcome to the one year old anniversary addition of the blog l hope it has been of help ,it certainly has helped me in writing it and has challenged my own understanding each month.
like all groundsmen l am on a journey of learning ,as promised will keep this month brief and to the point .
Just a quick catch up with where we are ,we are currently cutting the squares and outfields at 20 mm once every couple of weeks and have now started on liquid feeding as temperatures are slowly starting to lower.
We have spiked a couple of times but each time l have felt the square is a lot firmer then in previous years so we are still spiking a bit shallower in depth than in previous years which is fine .
After some rain l suspect our last spike or two will be full depth of the tines 4/5 inches .
Our focus now is on the odd cut ,feeding and waiting to see if the seed l put in late November comes up(warm enough) ,we shall also be keeping a close eye out for turf diseases and the most likely we are to experience will be called red thread (pic below)
The good thing about red thread it’s just telling you the plant is lacking in nitrogen and needs a feed ,something with a low amount of nitrogen in it and it ,if left you could well end up with some small bare areas .
Jobs for December
Dew off squares , but realise this is rarely posible at club grounds .
Cutting 1/3 a month at around 20 mm(deeper the shoots,deeper the roots like a balance myself)
Spiking with a vertical punch aerator .
Keep carrots or corner of square marked to save having to refind them in Spring .
Feeding -apply a low nitrogen granular fertiliser if the square is looking yellow and weak in colour to prevent disease and to keep the grass strong.
Be proactive and get the machines done now before the Spring madness, when you are likely to need it back quick and machanics are too busy to help.
Spark plug ,clean or replace .
cyclinder and blades re ground /sharpened .
Greasing and oiling of chains and checking tension and wear.
Cleaning our the fuel system (sitting fuel can go stale if sat in tank for too long)
Pull string recoil checked and or replaced as required .
Top tip-Give each machine a start up once a month,in doing this when you next need it you will know it is going to start do this on rollers,triple mowers ,hopefully this should keep some life in the batteries and stop things seizing up.
Just a few of the basic service needs my advice would be to get yourself a Machanic you trust ,rather than just going by the cheapest hourly rate which ends up a false economy.
If budgets are tight talk it through and set a limit to your spend and priorise what you do ,but not really any short corners sadly in servicing if you want a machine that’s going to not let you down when you need it.
AGM -Sussex Assocation of Cricket Groundsmen
Big thanks to Karl McDermott who gave us a encouraging talk on his journey from club groundsman in Ireland to Hampshire ccc to his new position of the new head groundsman at Lords,we wish Karl every success.
As a Assocation we plan to carry out some talks or practical clinics in Spring ,possibly on pre season rolling and feeding any suggestions please let us know even if it’s a change of format or location.
As l said this months a brief blog any questions let me know in comments below and l ll get straight back to you.
Merry Christmas 🎄