Posted in Maintenance on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 3:32 pm No Comments

Bowling Green

Aerate whenever possible – usually with slit tines, although some greenkeepers will be moving over to solid tines for the end of the month.

The green might benefit from a light rolling to aid a smooth surface following the ravages of winter frosts etc. It is important to take a soil sample and check that the correct amount of moisture is available before commencing the operation.

Some greens in the south of England may be ready for a light top-dressing at the end of the month, although be careful not to smother the grass. Ideally wait until April though if the bowls season starts early on some greens this could pose a problem.

Commission the irrigation system before a typical dry spell often appears in the month of May – it’s surprising how soon this arrives.

Sweep and clean out ditches.

Cricket Square

Rolling and consolidation of the square should be the priority for this month.

Start with a relatively light roller, say 5 cwt, and gradually move up to a medium-heavy, say 30 cwt or so.

The square should be regularly drag brushed and the height of cut should be reduced to about 18 mm or so.

A light scarification may be possible if growth is reasonable, but be careful not to overdo this operation too early in the month.

Make sure the square is correctly set out with the corners being at exact right angles.
Cricket Outfield

Check for any small undulations in the outfield and top-dress them out.

Make any final repairs to worn areas especially in the bowler’s run up areas.


Keep the surface as presentable as possible by drag brushing and divoting as required.

Light sand dressings on thin and bare areas may help to maintain a dry surface.

Aerate the pitch whenever possible, but not when soil conditions would cause smearing.

Additional overmarking will probably be required where grass coverage is absent or sparse.

A light topping when the ground is dry will also help to improve appearances.


This is the month for a ‘false spring’ appearing in the second week or so. If you wish to aid the grass, but not to force it – especially with the inevitable cold spell that occurs a little later on – then consider applying a light application of a proprietary turf hardener at 25-35g per m2.

Aerate whenever possible – usually with slit tines, although some greenkeepers will be moving over to solid tines for the end of the month.

The desire to top-dress towards the end of March should in most cases be avoided. It is best to wait until good grass growth is occurring to help the material be incorporated as quickly as possible and with minimum interference to golfers.

Consider spending as much time as possible on the fairways, such as aeration, topping and divoting before the main spring renovation of the greens and winter tees.

Horse Racecourse

Recommission the irrigation system.

Prepare for the start of the flat racing season by increasing the mowing frequency.

Be careful not to set the height of cut too low otherwise a cold spring will slow any grass regrowth.

Aerate the racecourse if soil conditions permit.

Machinery should now be fully serviced and ready for the new growing season.

Rugby Union

Early spring growth could require the pitch to be topped.

Aerate if soil conditions permit. Do not aerate just because a pitch might not have had this operation carried out for some time, otherwise more harm than good will take place if soil conditions are unsuitable.

The end of season is now in sight so keeping the pitch playable is essential. Don’t worry too much about excessive wear at this time of year as spring growth will start to ‘kick-in’ and the end of season renovation assists in slowing a thinning sward and may even increase overall coverage.

Machinery should now be back from its annual service and overhaul, ready for a new season of grass growth to attend to.


All machinery should now be fully serviced and ready for the season ahead.

Solid tine aerate, if suitable conditions permit.

Start light rolling of the court.

An early ‘false-spring’ may require frequent topping of the grass, but be careful not to lower the height of cut too early.

A light turf tonic might be applied to the sward if there is a sustained flush of early growth. Do not apply the main spring fertiliser too early though, as a late cold spell will reduce the effectiveness of the fertiliser.

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