July Football Diary 2005

Laurence Gale MScin Football

July Football Diary

By Laurence Gale MSc


Renovation programmes may still be in progress; newly sown and turfed grass areas require attention, with watering, feeding and mowing required to establish these areas. Grass cutting is in full swing, with the staff having to mow and prepare areas for training, as most professional club teams are back after the closed season.

Particular attention should be made to irrigation regimes ensuring that all newly sown turf and seeded areas are watered evenly to guarantee uniform germination and growth. Do not allow newly sown turf to dry out and die; the grass plant will be vulnerable to drying out until it has established a good root system. The amount of water required will be dependant on soil type and what weather you are having.


Once the grass has established itself and growing well, it would benefit from a summer application of fertiliser. 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 groundstaff will be applying a summer N P K fertiliser, perhaps something like a 12/0/9 to maintain grass colour and vigour. A slow release fertiliser could be applied to see you through July and August. The choice of materials and how well they work will depend on factors such as soil type and weather, with moisture and air temperature being the catalyst for growth.

Watch out for disease, weather conditions in July can very quickly influence a break out in disease, especially in stadia environments.

Diseases to look out for are leaf spot, brown patch and red thread.


Symptoms & Conditions


Brown Patch Rhizoctonia solani


A soil borne fungus usually present in most soils. The disease is seen as water soaked patches. The disease is usually confined to leaf tissue, but on severe attacks will affect the whole plant.

Brown patch can be prevented by regular scarification which removes infected thatch layers. Regular brushing to remove leaf wetness also helps keep the disease at bay. Implement a good IPM strategy.

Fungicide -iprodione

Leaf spot/melting out Drechlera spp, Bipolaris spp and Curvularia spp.


Very common disease in the UK. The disease is seen as streaks and patches of affected grasses, the disease is most prevalent under warm, moist, humid conditions. The disease spores are spread by water splash, from rain fall and irrigation.

Some grasses are more susceptible than others, use more resistant varieties. Keep the sward healthy, implement a IPM strategy.


Red Thread Laetisaria fuciformis


Usually seen in summer and autumn months, the disease appears as patches of damaged grass having a pink to red tinges (red needles of the fungus).

This disease is associated with infertile soils. Effective soil management and correct feeding programmes coupled with a IPM strategy will help combat this disease.


Keeping the leaf tissue dry helps prevent disease. Daily brushing of the sward, particularly in the mornings, helps disperse any leaf wetness from early morning dews.

Mowing and grooming will be essential to produce a dense sward. Mowing frequencies should be daily or at least three times a week, using well maintained mowing machinery. Ensurr that the cutting cylinders and rotary blades are sharp and set at the correct cutting heights. Maintain at between 22-45mm.april-diary-fooballmarkingo.jpg

Ensure you have ordered line marking materials for the forthcoming season. Be prepared, check that your marking machines are in working order and that you have enough materials to mark out your pitches. You always tend to use more materials when carrying out initial marking.

You may still have some bare and worn areas to seed. 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.

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