Vital treatments to the winter grass pitch in the off season

There is insufficient time available to undertake major drainage works between the end of one season and the start of the next. Nevertheless, it is essential that between the end of the season in May and the start of the next in July/August attention should have been given to all or most of the following – even if it means use of the pitch must be deferred for a few weeks:

1. After heavy winter use the pitch should be de-compacted with the vertidrain and/or the earthquake to promote good growth.

2. It is essential to level out significant depressions using compatible topsoil – this should have been done before any seeding is undertaken.

3. Over-seeding is essential if weeds are to be prevented from encroaching and dense grass cover is to be restored for the season ahead.

4. Special attention must be given to badly worn areas. These could need thorough loosening, harrowing and possibly levelling before being seeded.

5. Weed control is necessary when grass cover is restricted. However, special care is needed in the choice of chemical and interval applied after seeding.

6. A good balanced fertiliser should be applied – preferably a coated control release formulation to promote active growth into the playing season.

7. If slit drains are installed the annual sand dressing is needed at the rate of at least 120t/ha in one or two visits – ensuring good penetration into the sward.

8. Ensure the mowing regime is in place – with frequency depending on rate of growth to avoid clippings collecting and lifting the height of cut in hot dry weather.

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