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Spring fertilisation of sports pitches

When to fertilise If scarification of annual meadow grass and over-seeding is planned it is better to delay fertilisation until the new ryegrass stand is about 30mm.  Applying nutrition earlier to the meadow grass makes it difficult to attain a strong ryegrass sward. Then there is the matter of selecting a controlled release or readably soluble […]

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Effective sports pitch drainage

A testing time for pitch drainage systems The continuous wet weather has really tested pitch drainage systems.  Heavy clay pitches can remove surface water adequately provided slit drains remain sandy at the surface and do not get capped over with the clay topsoil – and lateral drains below are able to discharge the drainage flow […]

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Ryegrass dominance is essential for playing durability on sports pitches

As we have seen, the durability of the playing surface has been severely tested at the Twickenham Rugby World Cup venue.  A strong dominant ryegrass sward with its deep root system provides a quality grass cover that is able to withstand the considerable abuse experienced in recent weeks. Without this dominance of ryegrass in the grass cover, shallow rooted invading annual meadow grass is […]

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Beware of aerating in wet soils

Opening wet soil during the winter months can prove damaging – especially in loam and clay soils.  With little infiltration, water collects and makes soil conditions wetter.  Whether verti-draining, earthquaking or solid tining, reservoirs for water collection are being created.  To have any benefit on heavy soils severe aeration should be undertaken in relatively dry soil […]

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Learn from the first rain

Recent heavy rain should highlight wet areas and especially places that collect surface water from surrounding ground. Now, before the rainy season sets in it is prudent to check where surface water can be checked and diverted if possible.  Making sure that pitches only have to cope with the rainfall they receive solves more than […]

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Check nitrogen levels on ryegrass sports pitches

At this time of year after a relatively dry summer, red thread fungus disease is very prevalent on ryegrass dominant sports pitches. Grass cover lacking nitrogen is readily infested with the disease and applications of nitrogen dominant fertilizer are now essential to grow out the disease.  There are still at least two months of actively […]

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