End of Season Renovation Tips for Natural Cricket Pitches
27th November 2017
In the second in his series of columns for The Cricketer Magazine on natural turf processes for the cricket pitch, our MD David Bates examines End of Season Renovation…
These vital works are completed following the end of the playing season and provide the foundation for the next season’s playing surface. The main aim is to repair damage caused during the playing season – such as improving surface levels and grass coverage – with works carried out at the optimum time of year to control organic matter content in the surface.
The sequence of works starts with the grass sward being cut as short as possible prior to scarification to remove organic matter, relieve soil tension, remove high areas and create grooves; with all debris completely removed using blowers or powered brushes.
The grooves created by the scarifier are then used to combine the seed and top dressing into the surface, giving a seed-to-soil connection. Seed should be applied evenly using a cyclone spreader or dimple seeder followed by a loam selected for the site. Loam may be applied using belt or brush-driven top dressers, by hand casting or with a straight edge. The aim is to a cover the seed and bring up surface levels without smothering the existing grass plant and creating layers. The amount of loam used will be determined by surface levels and the depth of scarification grooves.
Once the loam has been laid, fertiliser can be applied; the type and composition of which will depend on results of a soil test and should be applied using a cyclone spreader. These works are vital in producing good pitches and should be planned and completed as soon as possible after the playing season; maximising potential growth prior to play commencing the following season. In the next column we will take a look at ‘Profile Regeneration’, a process designed to bridge the gap between surface works and pitch construction.
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