April Football Diary 2004

Laurence Gale MScin Football

April Football Diary


By Laurence Gale

Most of the tasks detailed can be undertaken within a limited budget. Local conditions and circumstances will need to be taken into account.If any members are undertaking any specific work not detailed, please let us know by adding a comment in the section below the diary.

April tasks for Football





When conditions allow

Hand or machine aeration to aid surface drainage, (varying depths of penetration to prevent the development of a soil pan).

Brushing / sweeping

Daily / weekly

To remove dew and remove surface debris. Using a brush or a SISIS quadraplay will restore levels and produce striping or banding aesthetics.


Daily / weekly

Keep and eye on fungal disease attack, and use approved fungicides to treat infected areas.


Immediately after game

To repair scars and surface damage.



Inspect drainage outfalls, channels and ditches. Ensure that they are working.

Frost and snow

As required

April weather is generally still very unpredictable, usually resulting in April showers of rain, sleet and snow. Keep people and equipment off playing surfaces when covered in frost and snow.
Fertiliser programme If grass shows signs of stress (weak growth, discoloured) Fertiliser treatment and turf tonic can be continued in accordance with your annual programme. If you haven't got a fertiliser programme, have your soil tested; try an independent soil analysis company for an impartial set of results.

Most grounds staff will be applying a spring / summer N P K fertiliser, perhaps something like a 9/ 7 / 7 will effectively get the grass moving during April, then towards the end of April early May applying a slow release fertiliser to see you through June / July. However the choice of materials and how well it works can be dependant on many factors, soil type, weather, With moisture and air temperature being the catalyst for growth.

Goal posts Weekly Inspect goal posts and sockets to check they are safe and secure.

Harrowing / raking

When conditions allow

Helps to restore levels and keep surfaces open.

Irrigation equipment



Litter / debris

Daily / Weekly

Inspect and remove debris from playing surface, Litter, twigs and leaves.

Machinery (Repairs and maintenance)

Daily / Weekly

Inspect and clean machinery after use, service and repair damaged machinery.
Marking out As required april-diary-fooballmarkingo.jpg


As required


Post match renovation

After matches

  • Replace divots
  • Repair worn areas (goalmouths / linesman runs)
  • Top dress to restore levels (localised)

Pre match inspections

As required

  • Inspecting pitch surface and line markings
  • Checking post safety
Seed bare & worn areas When conditions allow Seeding of sparse or bare areas can be carried out, the rise in temperatures will help germination. Use germination sheets to aid this process but remove the sheets regularly to check for diseases. Remember that without good seed to soil contact the operation is useless.

Ensure you use new seed as old material may not give you the required germination rates.

Soil tests Ideally once or twice a year, or as required. If not already done, April is still an ideal time to obtain a soil analysis of the pitch measuring for soil Ph, nutrients levels and organic matter content, which are seen as good indicators of the condition of the soil. Once you have this information you will be in a better position to plan your seasons feeding and maintenance programmes.
Spring Renovation As required Depending on fixtures list, some facilities may be able to start their end of season early. In fact some universities and schools may have a change in sport switching from winter to summer sports. This is usually done in the Easter or half term breaks.

Renovation will involve a number of tasks, scarification, aeration , overseeding and fertilising and topdressing: Click here to see Spring Renovation article.

aprildiary-football-Ryanspi.jpg, this should be done in 3-5 passes in different directions). Pre seeding fertiliser may be applied to help the germination of seed on completion of these tasks. Top dressing materials are applied using selected rootzone or sand materials. It is best to evaluate your soil type, getting an analysis of the soil, enabling a good match of materials for your site. Application rates for top dressing materials usually range between 60-120 tonnes per pitch.

Top dressing Sand / rootzone materials

As required

Localised spreading of top dressings to repair divots and scars of turf surface.
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