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nifty small
Posted 28 Jan 2010
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Lads,quite simply is it too late to spike the square,would be using punch type machine to a depth of about 3 inch!
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barry glynn
Posted 28 Jan 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Ive only managed one spiking this winter Nifty and think I am leaving it that. All the cold weather weve had should make up for lack of spiking hopefully, I dont know where you are but down here in Surrey the forecast for the next 2 weeks is still very cold with lots of heavy frosts.
Although the top today is a bit soft, just a couple of innches down its still very hard
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Chris Thornton
Posted 28 Jan 2010
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He not busy being born is busy dying!!

I spiked, for the third time, on Monday and won't be doing it again before P S R , probably in mid March. That gives the square 6 weeks and one last feed of A/W next week, to do some growing.
So I would think if you do it sharpish Nifty yes you could spike early next week or even tomorrow!!
Chris
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Vic
Posted 28 Jan 2010
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Waterloo Sunset.

Nifty,

I've been spiking today and did so last week albeit with pencil tines, will aim to do another couple of passes weather permitting in the next couple of weeks.
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MAVO
Posted 28 Jan 2010
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I had Bath spike my square Tuesday with his Groundsman and it did a great job.That was the first spike of the winter due to the weather we,ve had!...may get another one in at some stage in Feb.I remember 2 years ago spiking in late Feb with no problems in the season,so if conditions are right it may be worthwhile getting another pass in.
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pacman75cricket
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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Now I'm becoming depressed no spiking & all this talk of spiking being done was hoping to get some in this weekend then its rained again.
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barry glynn
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Pacman
Weather is a booger eh? After hiring a groundsman for my one and only spiking, I am prone not to use my old Patterson but its either too wet or too frosty. Today and yesterday itss been slashing down and now in the next couple of days, its going to freeze again, hopeless. I am trying to curb my lack of patience and enthusiasm just to be doing something!I know that sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something
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Zippy
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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It has been a very difficult winter for aerating cricket squares given that the normal 8-10 week period up to Christmas has been decimated by rain and then snow.

As a working/part time groundsman who only really has the weekend to carry out such duties, this is a bit of a problem as the window of opportunity is small.

Fortunately I am of the opinion that it is best try and spike from early October onwards providing the surface is moist enough. If you think about it, this is when the soil temperatures over the winter are at their warmest and the air temperature is still relatively mild so should give the best results. To do this properly all end of season work needs to be completed by mid September and plenty of irrigation must be done to the square in September so that it can take a tine by the second week of October. At least I managed to spike 3 times before the weather went tits up in November.

I also managed to spike last weekend and apply some much needed fertiliser as a bit of a pick me up, because the square had gone 10 weeks without a feed due to the weather.

I don't think aerating in January will cause a detrimental effect providing you have a well organised pre-season rolling campaign planned for March and April.
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mario
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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Posts: 1977

I know no boundaries.

Knickers in a twist again, lads??

This is now the third season in a row where I have been unable to solid tine my square.

Thought about one last attempt this weekend but the ground is under snow again!

I have seen no appreciable or measurable difference in bounce, pace or carry. (A P.Q.S. on the ground last July showed a rebound value of 23.77 from a possible maximum of 24).

Perhaps frosts up here allow the square to "open up", as it were, by natural means.
I cannot answer this. I only know that I don't appear to have a major issue with my inability to get a spiker onto my square.

So in essence - "Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring....don't panic!!"
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Chris Thornton
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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He not busy being born is busy dying!!

No panic Mario.
I have a Red Marl layer about 1 to 2 inch below the surface and I feel it is important to get the solids through it, both in September, when the loam and seed is applied and during the winter.

I think I have achieved this and look forward to checking the root depth this April.
Chris
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GRG
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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Are you sure that your auto turman actually spikes through Marl layer Chris ?
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GRG
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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turfman !!!
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Martin Wythe
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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I Look after two squares one has a nightmare profile root breaks etc.
definately needed spiking (vertidrained with pencil tines to 150mm)twice the other was properly constructed in the 80's and although it was left un tended for a season or so the structure is good roots are good and didn't need spiking.
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Chris Thornton
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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Posts: 693

He not busy being born is busy dying!!

Deffo goes through it Bath. Had a look!
The tines go in over 3 inch and the marl is a lot shallower.

I push a small piece of cable tie plastic down the holes then measure it!!

Chris
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pacman75cricket
Posted 29 Jan 2010
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No Panic if can't get it done but if opportunity arises would love to get some done.

just the talk from others making me envious of getting onto the square also have rootbreaks that have been improving since been spiking so would like to spike if possible to assist roots to depth.
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Vic
Posted 30 Jan 2010
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Waterloo Sunset.

Like Chris, I am spiking for a specific reason. Not bothered doing the secong square but the main one needs as much as I can do.
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Chris Boniface
Posted 30 Jan 2010
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hi all,

We had the rolling research, now must be a time for a look into spiking.

I believe in no spiking.

Mr Pattison must have done well out of it.

Must have been related to Mr T H Whites.

Chris
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GRG
Posted 30 Jan 2010
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I believe that the STRI, or is it Cranfield, are carrying out research now Chris. I believe they are about 18/24 months in to a four year research programme.
Someone please correct me if i am wrong.
Can you enlighten us as to the reason for your beliefs ? I think the other way and happen to believe in it. Bring on the results of the research.
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barry glynn
Posted 30 Jan 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Do you know whats fascinating about all this? No one really agrees!
A question, how can you simulate all the differing soil profiles etc to come to any worthwhile conclusions in research?
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GRG
Posted 30 Jan 2010
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Having had a look around, Cranfield are carrying out the research, results expected 2012/13.
Much research is carried out on many things Barry. Whether you believe the end results is up to you. What about MMR !!!
Who is right and who is wrong ? you will believe or you will not.
Many i suspect do not believe the results of the rolling trials. In my case i stuck pretty much to the research. Definately did less rolling to achieve the same.
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martin deans
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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at this years saltex cranfield held a seminar to discuss the findings so far on the spiking research and although it is still in its infancy there are some interesting results already which when the trials are completed it may convince some of us not to bother.
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GRG
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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Why some martin and not all? I could not make the seminar.
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barry glynn
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

I read the Cranfield report because as an inexperienced groundsman any info is useful. I have to admit it helped a bit in that I worked out a sort of regime which meant rolling less at a time than I might have, if I hadnt read it. But also I listened to an experienced groundsman friend of mine who was more of less doing that anyway.
But the spiking is interesting, seems such a diverse amount of views. At least with the rolling there was a concensus of agreed opinion on when to and when not to roll. The spiking thing seems to be whether to spike of not, not when.
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martin deans
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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I say some of us bath because there are always those that don't always trust the scientific results as we saw with the rolling, which i personally have followed since first hearing of the trials at the i.o.g conference at Durham and have produced excellent results on less time. The spiking results so far show that there was little if no difference between spiking to a depth of between 4 to 6 inch and leaving mother nature to do the work. They were (cranfield) the first to admit that the autumn/winter of 08/09 when the trials began, was harder than of recent years which has been followed by another hard winter which may effect the results as against winters of a mild and wet nature were there is very little heave. They also stated the soil oxygen exchange does not happen as good with mother naure doing the work as to spiking although it does take place. All in all a very informative and interesting 30 mins and it will be interesting to see how it develops over the next 3 years or so, and if bill gordon is wright in his practice at the oval.
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barry glynn
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Perhaps the answer will depend on the weather. I.e, if the winnter is cold as it has been the last 2 years, perhaps onnly get one spiking in and let nature work its way down and around. Then if we have a mild and wet winnter, spike more.
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pacman75cricket
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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Martin presume the trial criteria is based on aeration or decompaction.

I believe there are a number of groundsman that are spiking for other reasons root breaks pans etc.

So spiker will not be made redundant for all.
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martin deans
Posted 31 Jan 2010
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There trials are based on a typical cricket square, i think they are using the same trial area as was used for the rolling so there will be some compaction there which is what the 1st year was looking at , if breaks, pans etc are to be anaylised they didn't say but i am sure they will and i am sure the results will be met with a 50/50 split in the industry as most new inovations are.
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Anthony Asquith
Posted 31 Jan 2010 Last edited: 31 Jan 2010
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As with any research, it is very subjective, and should be used as a 'guide' rather than actual 'benchmarking' information as all cricket pitches are different ie depth, construction, soil, mineralogy, microclimate, resources etc etc. Also, with this kind of research (and the rolling one), it is not subjected to actual 'field' work and trial, which is then subjected to actual play, although it is handy as a 'guide' or to confirm your own thoughts but cannot be adapted throughout square to square in the same area (and site), let alone to different parts of the UK and even more so overseas.

Preparing wickets or pitches will always be about, touch and feel, instinct, local knowlege (ie knowing your own square), microclimate or weather and EXPERIENCE so.

As with any product, bits of research etc, I want to see proper research that has been scientificaly proven and data supported by a source I can place faith in that has been subjected to a wide range of surfaces, grass species, and, if not I tend to discredit it. I am not saying it works or does not work, but show me proper results, data etc.

Example, I was at Harrogate at the BIGGA show a couple of weeks ago and how many of these so called 'products' on the market has actualy been proven and scientificaly supported by a source that I can place utter faith in? Not many! If they can provide me with this then great but, if not, then you have to question it. I am not talking about a few quotes on a stand board, but proper stuff from an INDEPENDANT source.

Cheers

AA



Cheers

AA
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Speckledhen
Posted 1 Feb 2010
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ste

The Cranfield report on rolling speaks about the bulk density of soils quite often, surely the simplest method of deciding whether a soil profile requires spiking or not would be to measure the bulk density at the end of the season and again at the start of the season to determine whether the soil has decompacted through nature over the winter.
Personally I think that because you compact(consolidate) the soil profile through the season you should relieve some of that compaction by mechanicle means as close to the end of the season as possible, the soil will be dryish and will shatter rather than smear and allow the weather in much more quickly. Once the profile is wet I think that the benifits of aerating will largely be negated by the smearing caused within the clay profile.

Steve
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Chris Boniface
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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hi,

From what i have read and experienced.

Soil composition on a UK cricket pitch northern hemisphere

Clay Type = Kaolinite 2 lattice structure.

This clay does not decompact.

A spiker will only produce the right result when the soil is dry, it will create a crack, this is how the vert-drain works.

The spiker will create a hole for a root to grow into,but this is not decompacting. is it ?

Clay type= Smectite 3 latttice structure.

This clay does decompact naturally by expansion and contraction. produces cracks when dry.

I have never understood why spikers are used in the winter months, a hole will collect water. Gravity will take water to it's lowest point.

Why spike areas void of grass, a hole will not make the grass grow or spread as lolium Perene is a bunch grass.

It grows from a crown ( apical Meristem ) the plant dies when this is damaged, as we all experience with cricket pitches.

As well as spiking i would also question the benefit of surface scarifying, again my experience shows no benefit.

Thatch as we call it is well below the surface.

There are lots of traditional methods used on cricket pitch maintenance that are mis-guided and not proven...a?

cheers



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GRG
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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Its obviously wet with you as well then Chris !!
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mario
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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I know no boundaries.

Beautiful day here, Gordon, but still under snow!
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Martin Wythe
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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some random thoughts on spiking.
To spike when the square is dry takes some doing! I managed it with a 50hp tractor and vertidrain and that was dodgy, lifting rootbreaks. i don't believe that there is a pedestrian spiker that would work on a dry square.
Spiking a damp square to my way of thinking is really only making big holes displacing soil and air sideways. Maybe even acting as a form of compaction!
if you spike with 1/2 inch spikes with holes at 2 inch spacing
you displace around 4% of soil volume ( if my maths are right.)
where does that go?
Spiking very early in the autumn may allow weathering of the hole and this winter hopefully frost will have penetrated the holes.
Repeated wetting and thorough drying is probably more effective than anything apart from frost heave.
deep spiking does allow for channels for roots through breaks and layers.
how effective is rolling at closing spike holes? The Cranfield report suggests that rolling is only effective to 75mm and that is compcting vertically so does rolling close holes more than say 40mm completely?

I have taken cores months into the season and some of the hole still remains they did have alot of root in them though.


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GRG
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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Still virginal then Ken?

Spiking definately allows for deeper rooting to take place. If you have any layering, this helps. Surely a deeper rooting plant is likely to mean a healthier, stronger more robust plant. Essential for cricket i would have thought.
Whatever the hole, sealed, semi sealed or not, surely allowing water to penetrate deeper into the rootzone is helpful. It may take a little while to percolate into and down into the rootzone, but surely it all helps. If water cannot get to any depth during the winter when is going to ? We all know how difficult it is to achieve any depth of watering during the summer.
We are told that the effect of the roller is only to approx 75mm. If we are spiking deeper than that, surely the end of the spike hole is into a less compacted soil that allows the freer passage of water. A deeper rooting system, i believe, also helps to take the water deeper into the soil during the summer.
With regards to relieving the compaction, do we really need to? If it is unlikely, does it matter at all ? Surely we are trying to achieve a situation where the grass plant and its roots have a chance or to improve its chance of growing and living healthely
Does it matter if rolling does not close holes completely ? Seeing we have been doing it for years, who has had a problem with ball bounce and pace that when investigated, it found that it was due to minute holes in the surface. If that has ever been the case i have never heard of it.
Martin, i doubt whether you would get any pedestrian spiker to penetrate 1/2 inch tines at 2 inch centres to any depth in a good quality cricket square unless the square was extremely soft. 3/8 tines at 3 inch centers and you will get good depth using a vertical action machine.
As for ground movement when spiking, try standing in front of a vertical action aerator as it is travelling towards you. Get on your hands and knees and watch the soil surface. For a tine to penetrate the soil it has to find space, that space is only above the surface. You just watch that soil surface moving as that aerator is coming towards you. You might be surprised.
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mario
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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I know no boundaries.

Tine Holes.jpg
I posted this earlier in this thread -

"This is now the third season in a row where I have been unable to solid tine my square.

I have seen no appreciable or measurable difference in bounce, pace or carry. (A P.Q.S. on the ground last July showed a rebound value of 23.77 from a possible maximum of 24).

Perhaps frosts up here allow the square to "open up", as it were, by natural means.
I cannot answer this. I only know that I don't appear to have a major issue with my inability to get a spiker onto my square".

I appreciate your comments, Gordon, re spiking enhancing root depth. All I can say is that going into the fourth season here without spiking there is live, white roots to a depth of 240 mm. (That's an independant P.Q.S. reading!).

Perhaps the jury is still out on this "to spike or not to spike" issue?
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GRG
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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I better stop spiking then Ken, i cant even take a core that long. As you say the jury is out.
I believe spiking became important because we stopped having winters like this. We now use clay loams with a higher clay content. We keep the square that much drier all summer. We now use dwarf perr rye grass. The spiking trials will give us an insight. It will make interesting reading.
Could be even less to do during the winter. The paymaster will insist on me finding a winter job !!!!
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Philmort
Posted 3 Feb 2010
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Mr Boniface - interesting comment re thatch. Where does the accumulated vegetation matter that we call thatch come from, if not the surface? If it is well below the surface, might this be from top dressing without correct mowing and scarification of the surface, thus burying surface matter?
Also, I thought the idea of spiking and scarifying areas without grass was to help provide somewhere for the new plants to grow when re-seeding, particularly as the bare areas have been 'hammered' through wear, making the establishment of seedlings more difficult as neither water nor oxygen can penetrate without help.
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Speckledhen
Posted 4 Feb 2010
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ste

I used a groundsman aerator on my square during autumn renovations and it did okay, you could feel the ground taking a battering and full penetration was achieved (ooer missus). You could see the shattering effect on the ground where grass cover wasnt great.
This has definately aided seed germination and allowed the dressing to integrate into the profile.
I will not be doing anything with the square till after half term when the oikes will have woken up and played football all week on the square:( That will be 5 months with nothing but nature working on the square)
As with all of our tasks timing is so important and knowing when to do nothing is the better option.

Regards

Steve
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jlawrence
Posted 8 Feb 2010
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Of course there's no bounce, bend your back and put some bloody effort in.

I'm a firm believer (without anything to back it up) that if you regularly (ie every winter for more than a few days at a time) get really deep frosts (ie >2 inch) then there will be no need to carry out spiking during the winter months.
If you're getting the 'natural' heave and fracturing that frost creates then why bother doing the same with a spiker.
However, if you're not getting frosts (due to local weather conditions) then I think you probably will need to spike.
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Mal
Posted 8 Feb 2010
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Nothing succeeds better than a toothless canary

Hi Jon, Like you, especially where cricket is concerned I am also, definately, a "firm" believer (Particularly effective where ball bounce is required) joking aside I guess that the weather dictates the pattern of maintenance in any case. I'd say if you are getting prolonged, deep frosts then you are unlikely to be spiking any where near the amount you would normally in any case? Unlike here in the south where the weather we are getting at the moment is unusual ( oh and guess what! it's snowing in London again. just when I was enjoying the slightly better prospects of some warmer sunnier days).
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Chris Boniface
Posted 8 Feb 2010
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hi phil,

"thatch" is just dead root from the plant in this case being rye grass and AMG

The process of removing that thatch can only be achieved by soil exchange.

It gets to the stage where the profile contains so much dead root the pitch quality is poor.( poor root growth ), slow track.

If pitch excavation is not an option, ( cost )

I've found the cheapest way and reasonably effective way of controlling the thatch is weedkill pitch and rotovate to a depth of 100mm to break layers and to bury root fibre , seed, topdresss and level, leave a season and bring back into play.

chris
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Neil Dixon
Posted 9 Feb 2010
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the use of a turf cutter to remove unwanted vegetation is much easier, and " safer" option rather than a rotovator.

Thatch can be controllled culturally by aeration / scarification, sensible fertiliser use, although on some surfaces drastic action may be needed.

the use of a rotovator to improve a layering problem is in my mind, a tad drastic, (deep) aeration and the addition of a suitable loam material is a perfectly good way of relieving a layering problem.
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GRG
Posted 9 Feb 2010
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Rotovator is very drastic, leaves a pan at the bottom point of blade contact with the soil and definately cannot play on it the next season. How do you compact four inches of soil/loam consistently through the profile ?
Not saying it cannot be done, would be interesting to hear the thoughts of others.
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barry glynn
Posted 9 Feb 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Having been through the process of having a square koreod twice, I think Bath is exactly right. Using a turf cutter seems a non starter to me.
Neil, when are you suggestinng this rotovating is done? I presume you do not men inn season but at end of season. This seems almost like koroinng and in my limmited experience, even if done properly, koroiing will mean you cant expect the tracks to play that well in the followwing season because of a break where the new loam has not yet binded with the existing subsoil.
Surely the best way to control thach is to do a thorough job of scarifying and end of season and to lightly scarify tracks during season?
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Neil Dixon
Posted 9 Feb 2010
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Barry, i am not suggesting any rotovating, and think you have your messages mixed up.

we have Koroed off several times and had no problems with any breaks, i personally would not use a rotovator for the reasons Bath suggests

the use of a turf cutter will give a clean surface, scarify / spike the clean surface, overseed and finish with a light top dressing.
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GRG
Posted 9 Feb 2010
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Barry, Neils interpretation is as mine.
After Koroing has taken place, the soil surface is then thoroughly spiked/sorrel roller type, or i prefer to graden to a good tilth. The surface is then oversown and lightly top dressed with the same loam or very very similar to the loam you have always used.
No question of not binding or breaks occuring.
The use of a turf cutter is brilliant if you need to take the top of one or two wickets at a time. Turf cut the whole square if you wish, but youmight break a back or two picking all the turf up.
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Philmort
Posted 10 Feb 2010
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Chris.
With respect, your description of thatch was referred to by the Wales and S. West IOG Regional Advisor, Len Smith, just 3 days ago as 'fibre,' surface material as 'thatch.' The buildup at the surface is considerably reduced by thorough scarification, which also removes much of the dead root material you refer to, rather than burying most of it with a rotovator. Your suggestion last week that surface scarification "shows no benefit" implies that the ECB's County Pitch Advisors collectively know nothing , as they have stocked the Channel 4 trailers with an expensive piece of equipment which would be redundant!
If done to sufficient depth with for instance a Graden, annually, the problem you refer to which requires more drastic measures such as use of a turfcutter, Koro, etc. will be less likely to be required for several years at least. If the accumulation has not been addressed sufficiently this can only exacerbate the problem. If soil exchange is required, in many cases it is because of layering due to top dressing on top of buried vegetable matter, regardless of what we call it.
On too many grounds the lack of correct, thorough scarification is the reason for decreasing quality of performance, according to those driving the Premier Leagues' Pitch Marking scheme nationally.
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jlawrence
Posted 10 Feb 2010
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Of course there's no bounce, bend your back and put some bloody effort in.

IMO, if you don't scarify aggressively at the end of the season then you will promote the build up of thatch and once you've got a thatch problem you're looking at considerable resources to remove it.
Rotovating ISN'T a way of controlling thatch - it's a way of addressing what has been allowed to develop into a major problem.

The idea that surface scarification show no benefit would only be applicable on a surface with next to no thatch build up. My contention would be even then that it is still of benefit in creating a suitable seed bed for the growth of new grasses.
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Minormorris64
Posted 10 Feb 2010
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What goes around, comes around

End of season -Scarify Aggressively
Pre Season - Scarify Moderately
In Season - I very lightly scarify just skimming the surface to lift grass as well as brushing when putting a new track into use

Seems to do the trick

Pitch report by Alan Lewis in 2008
'very little wrong with this square'
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Chris Boniface
Posted 11 Feb 2010
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hi Phil,

Some ECB pitch inspectors !!!!

Some village pitches are as good , if not better than some 1st class pitches, composition of soil on your local council track might be excellent, producing good bounce, given time, resources and skill would produce a excellent pitch.

Having Dug up numerous old pitches, you will always get the visible signs of layering showing different topdressing,it's a bit like a tree stump you can count the number of years, for age.

At my end of season renovation last autumn i weedkilled all my pitches and graden 2 directions.

The weedkilling will remove all AMG and mature rye crowns

I never clean the debris off. dry it's just like dust, wet like a ploughed field....., germination is quick.

Debris will over the winter break down

My aim is to intergrate the new topdressing and the previous years topdressing, to key them in.

To break up that top and remove that " crust " is critical.

My analogy is like keying in plaster or render on a wall, preparation is critical, overwise it will fall of, or in our case bust up " explode on inpact "

You could at times if dry need not topdress...rejuvenate the previous years topdressing

I am trying to prevent this layering effect.

The old chocolate gateux effect, which was and is still very often seen in cricket pitches.

Having rotovated a number of tracks root establishment is deep,

Unlike a spike hole where the root will go as deep and as wide as that hole created, a pitch 25 x 3 yards will need a lot of holes.

As for the sarrel, never got the idea of that, over than creating a tilth and hole for seed to germinate in.

No evidence of improving root development.

koro....cosmetic surgery...like age.. deep down remains unaltered......phew !!!

Chris

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GRG
Posted 11 Feb 2010
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In many ways i agree with your idea Chris, but can you play on that square the following season ? If not, then it is not an option for most clubs.
Very often the Koro is only used to remove the surface thatch because that is the only problem. It never was suggested, as far as i know, that the Koro repairs any layering. Your idea is better, or dig out completely and relay with quality loam.
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Philmort
Posted 11 Feb 2010
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Posts: 412

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I'm sorry, Chris, but now I'm completely confused. Lat week you stated clearly
" i would also question the benefit of surface scarifying, again my experience shows no benefit. "

Today you come up with
" At my end of season renovation last autumn i weedkilled all my pitches and graden 2 directions. "

Everything you follow up with I understand fully and largely agree. Is the Graden not a scarifier, or by "surface scarifying " did you mean just tickling the top, not really scarifying at all?
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barry glynn
Posted 12 Feb 2010
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What do I do? I just cut the grass.

Chris I too am confused as Philmort says. You seem to be contradicting yourself.
Also your statement that "some village pitches are good, if not better thansome 1st class pitches" is bizarre to say the least. Local councils pitches, in Surrey anyway, are complete cr*p, due to lack of resource spent on them and general care. Ive been on course in the past where local councils groundspeople have been on and whilt they were keen, they explaiinned that they ad no chance of producing a decent surface due to the reasons I stated, some are not even rolled.
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jlawrence
Posted 12 Feb 2010
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Of course there's no bounce, bend your back and put some bloody effort in.

Phil, I'm told that the Graden is indeed 'not' a scarifier but a 'Linear Aerator' - I'll be d4mned if I know what the difference is.

Chris: if you've keyed in the loam correctly, why have you got a 'crust' that needs breaking up ?
I get what you're saying and it could well be that you're correct. I have issues with killing off all the grass coverage. I'm not convinced that it will all break down in the winter, and given that you're saying that thatch is all fiberous root it would make sense that it doesn't all break down. Cleaning the surface buy killing off the grass isn't going to ensure that you 'clean' the underneath bit - in order to do that you're going to have to remove the, now dead, roots by agressively scarifying otherwise I think you'll be leaving yourself a whole heap of trouble for future years.

Some village pitches may well be very good - composition wise - but they can't be compared with first class tracks. That's just laughable.
Council and village - two differing types of pitches to my mind.
I play on a council pitch on Saturdays and there's no way on earth you could ever describe it as anything other than sh1te. The only time it saw a roller last year was when I took the hand roller there - any complaints about health and safety, risk assessments etc and they would have been promptly told where the roller was about to be shoved.
I know it's not the contractors fault - as Barry says they simply don't have the resources (including time) to do better.
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Speckledhen
Posted 12 Feb 2010
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ste

I look after a council square which was laid with surrey loam 15 years ago, to my knowlege it hasn't seen a roller in the last five years, it may get some pre season this year.
The square is considered by the people who play on it to be one of the better ones and at tea time of the last game of te season I heard compliments from the opposing team who didn't know that I looked after the square.
If the square is constucted correctly good tracks can still be produced even without a roller if mowing practices and cutting heights are used properly.

Regards

Steve
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