July Bowls Diary 2004

Laurence Gale MScin Bowls

July Bowls Diary


By Laurence Gale

July continues to be a busy month for bowls, with the long daylight hours resulting in many evening matches being played.

The maintenance regime continues with regular mowing, grooming, feeding, brushing and watering ongoing. With the likelihood of drier warmer weather irrigation systems may be called in to use to maintain the water requirements for the green. Allowing the green to dry out can lead to a condition called dry patch which, in time, will lead to inconsistent surface playability.

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.

July tasks for Bowls





When conditions allow

Aeration should only be carried out using micro tine aerators (if and when required) as we do not want to disturb the playing surface.


Daily or as required

Brushing/switching of the playing surface keeps the green clean and removes any dew or surface water. Keeping the surface dry will aid resistance to disease.



Keep an eye on fungal disease attack and use approved fungicides to treat infected areas. Red thread can be very prominent at this time of the season. Ensure the greens are kept well fertilised, preventing the onset of disease.

Drainage channels/gullies

Weekly or as required

Inspect and clean out drain outfalls and gullies. Replace and level up drainage ditch materials.


As required

Fertiliser treatment and turf tonics 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 summer N P K fertiliser, perhaps something like a 8/0/6 reducing the N and P inputs trying to maintain a stable balanced growth during July. You could also look to use a slow on of a slow release fertiliser will see you through July and August. The choice of material and how well it works will be dependant on factors such as soil type and weather, with moisture and air temperature being the catalyst for growth.


Fortnightly or as required.


Irrigation equipment


Inspect installations for leaks. There may be a need to irrigate during June as air temperatures rise and day light hours are getting longer, increasing the likelihood of the ground and surfaces drying out. Further information about Irrigation of sports surfaces can be see on the link. Irrigation

Litter pick

Weekly or as required

Inspect and clear away litter or debris.



Keep machines overhauled and clean.



Ensure you have organised and ordered the appropriate materials from suppliers.

Moving markers and Rinksnorthfield-bowls-players.jpg

Daily / weekly

It is important that the rinks on flat bowling greens are moved on a regular basis to prevent wear.


Two and three times weekly



As required

Carry out any repairs to ditches, paths, gates, floodlights and other building features.

Seed bare & worn areas

When conditions allow

It is important that you use a compatible rootzone may-bowls-bare.jpg

Seeding sparse or bare areas can be continued. Any rise in soil or air 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.

Soil sampling is an important part of groundmanship. The results will enable the manager to have a better understanding of the current status of his soil and turf. There are many tests that can be undertaken, but usually the main tests to consider are:

  • Particle Size Distribution (PSD) this will give you accurate information on the soil type and it's particle make up, enabling you to match up with appropriate top dressing materials and ensuring you are able to maintain a consistent hydraulic conductivity (drainage rate) of your soil profile.

  • Soil pH, it is important to keep the soil at a pH of 5.5-6.5, a suitable level for most grass plants.

  • Organic matter content, it is important to keep a balanced level of organic matter content in the soil profile.

  • Nutrient Levels. Keeping a balance of N P K nutrients within the soil profile is essential for healthy plant growth.

Once you have this information you will be in a better position to plan your season's feeding and maintenance programmes.

Top Dressing


As required

Top dressing is usually carried out in spring and autumn in conjunction with the renovation programmes. However, some bowling clubs have a policy of applying top dressing materials during the season. It is important an appropriate top dressing material is sourced to ensure compatibility with the existing rootzone materials of your green.

The last thing you want to encourage are rootbreaks in the green.

Spreading of the materials can be achieved by several methods, utilising pedestrian or ride on disc or drop action top spreaders, or by hand using a shovel and a barrow.

It is important to get an even spread of material, the aim is to put on a very light dressing, followed by brushing in with a lute or drag brush/mat to restore levels.

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