Flamin June ,the English weather deals up another unexpected issue for groundsman in 2018,from a monsoon early Spring to now desert like climate certainly a testing time especially for those with limited irrigation and those of us who will more than likely be suffering soon with the likelihood of a hosepipe ban which will effect all recreational cricket if it comes into force.
For now we are personally working hard day and night to keep moisture levels up using very tool in the box around fixtures ,luckily quite a few conseeded colts games meaning more time to water.
Think the above photo of the germination sheets says it all .being used to keep moisture in on wickets under preparation and pitches under repair ,we have also been working our travelling sprinkler hard trying to get some water to depth which even with our germination sheets seems quite the challenge.
a cheaper alternative to germination sheets can be black debris netting and use of domes for shading ,anything that prevents to much evaporation during preparation and repairs .
Talking of preparation we are now down to 12 days shorter in some instances but still very keen to have 2 days of watering and then a few day of rolling then we reduce as it dries ,if this means it’s ready on the Wednesday prior to the game we have the option to coconut mat it if we have any evening game and up to the match.
We do have the ideal machine here with our own second hand tractor and dimple seeder but good results can also be obtained with more basic principles such and sarrol roller which is part of any groundsman basic armery.
We start of at the end of game in these simple steps but have added in simpler processes and equipment that you are likely to use around Sussex .
-Brush up wicket (machine and by hand)
-water ,water ,water put domes over or coconut anything to keep some moisture in overnight or for a bit.
-sarrol role back and forth over the bare ends(once damp but not sticky) often less need down the middle in club cricket ,add some seed and brush in (many ways )sarrol roll again add a bit more seed and brush in.
-we often top dress them like footholes(add seed)to prevent to much topdressing sitting about on the surface we only lightly tamp down.sometimes just give it a very light dressing to fill sarrol holes and then use some form of straight edge or lute ensuring it level and your done.
-a addition of a application of a pre seed fertiliser is great if budget allows as long as plenty of watering is carried out then this will only help get the wicket back in good shape .less bare ends will cause less issues during umpire inspections.
-water ,water as often as you can use of germination sheets the ideal or any material that lets water and light threw but still it drying out to much.
we like to keep on top of the ends or it’s makes for a lot of topping up of ends at the end of season and this can mean barer ends in my experience as in season repairs will mean you finish with better ends with at least some grass in it(the scarifier won’t remove it all)
Keys task this month
-start to plan and think about the end of season renovations what do you want to achieve ,what type of scarifier do you need and do we need to get that booked in.
-Order your Loam and seed ,we will do this and get it delivered in late August.
-Raise heights of cut this will create a little more drought resistance and help the plant retain at bit more moisture.
-work/water smart if you can get hold of any germination sheets or and use the domes to help shade wickets that will bake to much in these conditions.
-remember your best is always good enough do what you can but with the volumn of fixtures and lack of watering opportunities do what you can and if they moan just remember you are doing a great job in very trying conditions.
Groundsman day at Hove
we apprecaite it’s a Monday but we are really hoping as many of you as possible can pop down on the 23 rd of July,you do have to pre book but for the price of attendance you also get a meal and a talk from Andy Mackay between innings on how he prepared the pitch and sure some tips from one of the games top groundsman .
Closing date the 16th July.
message below for more details or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are planning a couple of evenings for association of cricket groundsman members to come down and learn how to use the scarifier more safely and effectively,we have two new machines which we need to ensure is kept in the best possible condition to prevent breakdown and get a good few years out the the machines which were £6000 each to purchase .
Check this site out for video demonstrations for cricket pitch repairs supported by the ECB and NatWest .
Also check out this site it will give you a starting point for buying and budgeting for Loam and seed those l do recommend you shop around.
Keep up the sterling work and please feel free to ask any questions below.