Fellow groundsman ,hope your season is going well and welcome to June edition of the nomadsgroundsman.com blog.
This Month l am explaining how to repair wickets after use and offering some alternative methods for doing so and we will also be hearing from William Jones and his team at Glynde and Beddingham Cricket Club on how they have put in place a team of volunteers ,which has created a excellent facility for all to be proud of.
In season pitch repairs
Why do in season repairs is a question, l often hear?
Whats the benefits of repairing in season?
My personal view is that keeping on top of the end will make end of season renovations much easier and keeping them roughly level now will see better results during renovations.
Gives the options of using again ,later in the season if well repaired.
low ends fill with water and can lead to a loss of games if we have bare low ,sticky ends.
Only things l would say, we are very careful with how many we repair at once we tend to do one at a time to prevent the newly repaired ends ending up on players feet ,during wet spells.
We do have the luxury of time though and do often coconut mat them during games,when l feel the ends are likely to get sticky.
Firstly start by brushing up of the weekend wicket by hand and if available by a machine with a brush reel fitted.
Soak the wicket ,if you have them place domes or a sheet over to allow water to get into profile .
I strongly below it’s key to put seed into already moist soil so get the wicket soaked as soon after the end of use as possible .
Once wicket starts to green up ,after a soaking rewater and a short wait of around 30/45 mins ,for surface to dry a bit then create some holes in any bare areas and seed.
various techniques below .
Every holes a goal and the key to seed germination is seed/soil contact and moisture .
Once seeded brush in by hand ,broom ,lawnman or brush.
Level off footholes etc ,seed and firm lightly .
Add more Loam and use a loot as in pictures or maybe a woodern straight edge ,this can be used to level the lows to tie in with the existing surface .
The last job once topdressing is complete is the possible application of a pre seed fertiliser .
If you have one, cover with a germination sheet or black debris netting ,to keep birds off and moisture in.
Water 1/3 times a day if you can and keep down for a long as possible 2/5 days .
If resources are tight ,as a minimum you can just fill in any low footholes etc with Loam and seed as you would a foot hole ,this will maintain levels and if kept watered could even fill in with grass.
A couple of links below to tools and equipment.
Grounds maintenance at Glynde & Beddingham CC
Our way of doing things but no one size fits all.
Diary of amateur groundsmen:
A bit of background: what we do….. we have two adjacent grounds with scoreboxes , changing rooms, a Clubhouse and Garage. So, maintenance is a significant workload in both summer and winter. We play 50-60 home matches each year by both senior and junior teams
No-one gets paid and the volunteers are essential for continuing success.
We are fortunate in having been able to assemble a group of volunteers over the last few years to carry out the many groundwork jobs. The nucleus of the group is made up of former players several of whom are now retired from full-tine employment and are happy to give the club a day’s work during the week on a regular basis. Those members approaching retirement are ‘tapped -up’ well ahead of time to ensure continuity of volunteers. When recently asked the question,” why do you do this? ” answers varied but included, “wanted to give something back, needed to do something on a regular basis when I retired, good physical outdoor exercise in beautiful surroundings, gets me out of the house etc. As they will tell you, it’s actually great fun, lots of banter and a bit of reminiscing …but I digress.
Tuesdays became the default weekday when most were available, hence the ‘Tuesday Gang’ title or #lastofthesummerwine as one of the wives suggested. The day typically starts with coffee at 10am to plan activities for the day, the ‘who does what’, depending on the priorities for the ground and facilities. Pitches on the 2 squares are planned well ahead starting when the fixtures are published but inevitably things can and do change.
New pitches start being prepared a couple of weeks ahead and those for re-use are confirmed. The plan and timetable for outfield mowing is confirmed for that week. Facility maintenance work is always ongoing and we are fortunate to have carpentry, decorating, plumbing and electrical skills in the club. In addition to the midweek gang, we have several other volunteers who do the regular jobs e.g one will mow both squares each week as required and one will mark out or re-mark pitches on match days. Weather ‘Apps’ are constantly monitored; planning to cover pitches if necessary or even to re-plan work days for that particular week if the forecast dictates.
Among the group of eight or so current volunteers who share the routine jobs, four have attended at least one SACG workshop and we do call on Brian Fletcher for advice and guidance from time to time to fill gaps in our lack of knowledge or expertise. Also, we have worked hard on the financial side with our Treasurer raising money and obtaining grant funding to upgrade machinery and equipment where needed to help get the job done.
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