1. Plan Early
With the end of the football season encroaching into early summer, particularly after so many matches were cancelled this winter, it is vital to commence renovation work as soon as possible. This will help ensure that hired in machinery is available when it’s required and that materials such as grass seed are bought and stored ready for use.
2. Determine your budget
All Rugby and Football Clubs would love to have a budget approaching that of professional outfits!
However we all live in the real world and have to buy what we can afford. For this reason it is important to obtain quotes for various operations such as overseeding, verti-draining and fertilizer application.
Based on costs prioritise essential work and then if funds allow consider some desirable extra work. Each pitch will vary according to its location, usage and the previous winters weather. Therefore priorities and desirable operations will vary with each club.
3. Essential Work
In my opinion goalmouth and centre circles will always require some attention. Be sure to aerate these areas ideally with a vertidrainer but a hand fork will also do! Top up the area with sandy loam and seed. Irrigate if possible.
Application of a slow release fertilizer can be cost effective and perhaps should be a priority.
Importantly obtain an analysis of the soil. This will enable you to match a fertilizer to the nutrient deficiency and make any treatment more cost effective.
4. Desirable Work
For grass to grow well aeration above and below ground is essential.
To open up the ‘rootzone’ use of a vertidrain implement or similar is most desirable. However as this is a slow operation it can be quite expensive. If your budget does not stretch to this then slit tining is cheaper but will not have the same impact as vertidraining.
Topdressing with sand will improve the playing surface. Again this is a more expensive option. If it is selected be sure to chain harrow the pitch before spreading the sand to encourage top dress material to blend with the playing surface.
5. Carry on Grass Cutting
Finally cutting the grass surface to encourage regeneration of the sward.
Nigel Jeffries Landscapes provides specialist sports grounds maintenance services to schools, sports clubs, parish councils and local authorities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. If you would like to find out more, please do get in touch.