Don’t fight the weather on sports pitches

The weather and sports pitches

After a mild autumn we have still to feel the temperature falling.  The steady dampness with negligible evaporation following rainfall – however little – provides an unstable surface in areas where grass cover is lost.  Make sure there is adequate nitrogen and vigorous grass growth before soil temperatures drop – especially for ryegrass dominant cover.

There is nothing much that can be done in waterlogged areas other than ensuring there is no water run-off on to the pitch and water collecting in puddles can be removed – this is not easy in depressions.  Deep spiking to lower more permeable layers is one outside possibility but brushing water out of puddles may be the only short term solution.  Spreading suitable sand when ground is firmer helps to reduce the slippery condition on the surface.

Also, when possible, slitting the surface helps to remove surplus surface water that is withheld in the thatch or compacted surface.  Apart from these efforts at this time it is just a matter of coping until spring arrives. Working in wet soil only leads to disaster.

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