With the extremely wet weather we are currently experiencing many clubs are finding it very difficult to carry out any of the usual end of season work.
One of the biggest assets any groundsman can have is patience, work undertaken in the wrong conditions could at best be a waste of effort or could even prove detrimental to the characteristics of the square. Set out below are a few guidelines if your club has still to carry out the end of season work.
Scarifying – should not be undertaken in wet conditions, that is if there is any surface water about or water comes to the surface under your footsteps. Carrying out this operation in these conditions will only create pools of mud and may even affect the levels on the square.
Overseeding – should ideally be carried out after scarification, and also by using a machine which drops the seed into holes or slits to help prevent the seed being washed into heaps or washed away completely. Brushing the square after seeding will also spread the seed into the grooves caused by scarifying.
The above operations may be carried out until the ground temperature becomes too cold for germination, most dwarf ryegrasses need a soil temperature of at least 7 degrees centigrade (45 degrees Fahrenheit) for germination.
Top Dressing – should follow overseeding but requires the surface of the square to be reasonably dry to prevent the loam dressing sticking together forming clumps and sticking to tyres and wheels of machinery or feet if dressing is done manually, possibly leading to irregularities on the surface of the square.
If none of the above operations can be performed post season, the worn wicket ends should be repaired at least, then in the spring when the temperature warms, and conditions allow, the square should be lightly scarified, top dressed, using only 3-4 bags loam per wicket, and making sure it is thoroughly brushed and worked into the surface