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Maintenance Calendar

OCTOBER OPERATIONS


Bowling greens

  • The end of season renovation will be completed this month. Little outdoor bowls will take place after early October, so complete the work as soon as possible thereafter. Greens that are renovated late may benefit from the turfing of thin areas, although choose a sample which blends in with the existing sward.
  • Watch out for Fusarium, especially if topdressing has been applied. Consider a preventative fungicide application if the green contains a high amount of annual meadow grass. Ditches should be cleared of their fill material then cleaned and washed down. Decommission the irrigation before the winter frosts set in.
  • Repairs to banks can be carried out after any work on the green has been completed.

Tennis courts
  • Remove fallen leaves from any adjacent trees to avoid them smothering the sward. Lightly top the grass to keep it well trimmed. Switch
  • or lightly drag brush the court surface to remove dew and reduce the potential for disease attack. Keep an eye open for disease attack, especially if mild and humid conditions occur.
  • Keep off the court wherever possible to allow good, initial grass establishment. Decommission the irrigation system.
  • With the easing up of maintenance work, now is a good time to consider attending training courses over autumn/winter or to enrol on courses that lead to recognised qualifications.

Cricket – Square
  • If renovation hasn’t been completed by now, ensure it is finished as soon as possible. Germination sheets on the ends can aid any late germination and initial establishment of seed - but watch out for disease attack. Drag brush on a regular basis, especially if dew is present. Earthworm activity can be very high this month, so drag brushing when dry, as well as some form of chemical control may be required.
  • Keep the square topped at a suitable height of cut - say no more than 25 mm - as this will maintain a suitable sward density and prevent the sward from thinning out if it is let to grow too long. If the sward is mostly composed of fescues and bents, then the height of cut will be lower than this.
  • Fence off the square to maintain its integrity. This will reduce the chance of animals straying onto the square, as well as hopefully keeping walkers away from the square.

Cricket – Outfield
  • Repair areas of wear as required. Be vigilant for pest/disease attacks; the use of a drag brush or similar will help reduce the chance of attacks. Fungicide/pesticide application may be required.
  • Mow as required, but this should be much less frequent.
  • If the outfield is to be used for winter sports then be vigilant for damage and wear areas; repair as soon as possible - remember this will be a cricket outfield the following spring.
  • Aerate throughout this month to maintain surface drainage and root development.

Football
  • The pitch shouldn’t be showing many signs of wear if it has been managed with the long-term season in mind. If not, then some soil-based pitches may be exhibiting significant signs of wear in goalmouths and centre circles. An application of sand, combined with hand forking, can help maintain a dry surface during the month.
  • Earthworm castings may be a problem, so brush or chain harrow when conditions are dry.
  • Raising the height of cut slightly, say up to an extra 10 mm, on high wear areas can help to maintain an improved level of ground cover for a longer period of time.
  • Divot the pitch as required. Try not to neglect this operation, which will be essential on those pitches that are maintained to a high standard. Higher standard pitches will also be brushed to maintain an upright grass and to produce a pitch which is well presented.
  • Service irrigation systems on high sand specification pitches, as these will be needed for use during the winter.

Golf course
  • The renovation of the greens, and ideally the tees, should be completed by now. Fairway renovation, particularly divoting, will most likely still be ongoing. This is usually a good month for the deep spiking of fairways, as the ground is typically neither too dry nor wet for adequate tine penetration and soil shattering.
  • Slit tining of greens should not be neglected just because the greens will have been renovated fairly recently.
  • Trees will be shedding their leaves by now, so clear greens, tees and fairways as required to prevent the leaves smothering the turf. Unfortunately this can be quite a monotonous and apparently pointless exercise until all the leaves are off the branches, but it is essential that leaves are removed on a regular basis if good playing surfaces are to be maintained.
  • Decommission the irrigation system as required.

Rugby Union
  • The frequency of cut for the pitch will be reducing considerably as grass growth slows due to the colder weather and shorter daylight. Consider drag brushing the pitch to produce a striping effect in between cuts.
  • Decommission any irrigation system to prevent damage from hard frosts.
  • Continue to aerate where ground and soil conditions permit.
  • With the easing of maintenance work, now is a good time to consider attending training courses during autumn/winter period or to enrol on courses that lead to recognised qualifications.

Horse racecourse
  • The course should be prepared in anticipation for the start of the national hunt season. Courses used just for flat racing will be rested over the autumn and winter period. The whole course should be mown and tidied, with extra effort being put into the presentation for the first meeting, especially if it is televised.
  • Decommission the irrigation system.
  • Certain parts of the course might be prone to leaf coverage from adjacent wooded areas. Regular raking of fallen leaves will avoid the turf from being smothered. Consider using the leaves within a soil compost heap, which will eventually be used for topdressing.
  • Set up and prepare fences and jumps prior to the start of the season.
  • With the growing season essentially coming to a close, or at least a serious slow down, now is a good time to consider attending training courses over autumn/winter or to enrol on courses that lead to recognised qualifications.

NOVEMBER OPERATIONS


Bowling greens
  • Regular out-of-season work will be undertaken from now on for the autumn/winter period. Drag brush daily, or thereabouts, to maintain a dry surface with upright grasses. The height of cut will typically be 10 – 12 mm, so just keep the grass topped if required.
  • Earthworm activity, as well as any sign of leatherjacket presence, will need to be treated.
  • Mild, humid autumnal weather, particularly with the warmest October for many years, will be ideal conditions for a fusarium attack - so keep a close eye on the situation.
  • Aeration, probably with slit/chisel tines from now, should not be neglected.
  • Keep leaves off the green by removing them on a regular basis.

Tennis courts
  • Leaves will continue to be a problem so do not ignore them and brush or rake them up on a regular basis. Moss may also be a problem on some courts. If this is severe then consider controlling moss using chemical application.
  • Earthworm activity might be high, with surface casts smothering some of the sward. Regular switching and drag brushing will be needed.
  • Disease potential can be high during November, so watch out for initial signs of attack. Do not neglect mowing - keep the grass topped.
  • Aerate if ground conditions permit.

Cricket – Square
  • Regular drag brushing will help disperse worm casts and keep the grass upright. Top the square at 18–25 mm height of cut.
  • If any material in topdressed tine holes has sunk, carry out additional topdressing, although be careful not to apply too much.
  • Maintain any perimeter fencing.

Cricket – Outfield
  • Aerate if ground conditions are suitable. Continue to be vigilant for pest/disease outbreaks. Repair areas as required if outfield is used for winter sports. Make sure the markings are clear and accurate.

Football
  • Check goal post integrity/safety before each fixture.
  • Aerate the pitch when the ground conditions are suitable. Topping may still be required, although try and keep it as high as possible to allow for maximum amount of coverage going into the winter.
  • Divot as often as possible to help maintain an even surface.
  • Sanding of high wear areas may be required: ensure forking takes place beforehand.

Golf course
  • Consider mowing the greens with hand mowers from now on. This will reduce wear on the green from heavy ride-ons as well as travelling between greens. In addition, ride-on mowers can be prepared for their end-of-season service.
  • Continue divoting fairways. Aerate greens with slit tines. Remove leaves from greens, tees and parts of the fairway. Consider starting any tee extensions or bunker renovations. Tees that are taken out of service for the winter period should have been completely renovated by now: finish off with any turfing as necessary.

Rugby Union
  • Continue with aeration wherever possible. Occasional topping of the grass may still be required, especially in the south of the country. Replace divots on higher quality pitches, whilst chain harrowing on basic quality pitches will remove divots from the pitch for collection at the pitch edge.

Horse racecourse
  • This is typically the start of the national hunt season. Prepare and repair fences/jumps prior to and after each meeting. Fallen leaves could be a major problem on some parts of a course. A light topping of the grass may still be required.