Weather and water problems at Tividale

Chris Charlesin Football

Weather and water problems at Tividale

It was interesting to read the comments of some of our peers in this industry regarding poor germination rate and development of seedlings.

I work at a Non League ground on a part time basis whereby time is a major factor after renovation work has been completed. Pigeons and watering are my chief problems.

This year I had the pitch "Earthquake'd" to decompact the ground, as these non-league pitches tend to become very hard with the games and training through an average season.

I had the surface scarified in 2 directions, removing all the rubbish and then seeded with 8 bags of appropriate grass seed.

The pitch was then top dressed with 75 tonnes of washed sports sand and fertilised with 12 bags 0f 6:9:6 pre seed granular fertiliser. Unusually the weather was perfect for these operations!! The day after completion, the weather turned. Fortunately it rained for nearly a week on and off!! The seed germinated in 6 days and I thought all was well. Just as I thought that things had turned out great, the grass seemed to just stop growing. A week later and it started to thicken up again. This continued over the following weeks. Just as I thought that the rain was going to be my ally it seemed to go the other way. Some of the "thinner" areas of the pitch were over seeded again, only to be washed away in the torrential downpours that followed. At least the Assistant Referees runs are good on the one side of the pitch!! (the pitch has one hell of a slope! )

With only a few weeks to go to pre season friendlies, things were looking bleak. I decided that I had to do something in order for the pitch to
sustain in excess of 100 games. I decided to have the pitch vertidrained to as deep a depth as possible. The pitch is built on indigenous soil that has its fair share of stones in it. Approximately 6 inches was the depth obtained. I followed this with another fertiliser application, this time 10 bags of 12:0:9 + Fe micro granular fertiliser. Within an hour of completion it hammered down with rain. Even by the next day, the pitch had started to turn nice and green after the Iron (Fe) had been released. With the heavy rain I was a little concerned that the fertiliser may have been washed away, but subsequently, all was ok.

themselves on the seed. Artificial irrigation is the next real problem. The pitch can only be watered "by hand" in the evenings when I have time to do so. The pitch watering is via an unusually high pressured mains supply. By chance I stumbled across an electronic timer that could be fitted to a standard outside tap. This has been a God send at £40.00!! It has pretty much all the features of modern irrigation timers but at a low cost. I can now set the sprinklers up where I need them and water at night and early mornings without loss through evaporation.

With 2 weeks to go, the goalmouths were still very thin and bare in places as shown in the photo (left). I decided to treat these areas with appropriate quantities of 12:6:6 granular fertiliser. I have to say they are not as good as I would like them, but now theTividaleAug4th2002.jpg

The season has started for me now. It's all downhill from now on as they say. Last week saw the first pre season friendly for the club with another four during this week. The home team won 2-1 thankfully. The main season starts in this week.

The only other outstanding job I have to do is weed eradication with an appropriate herbicide. Because of the new seedlings taking so long to establish, it has been impossible to spray any earlier, so this will be done next weekend weather permitting.

Good luck to all of you out there and all the very best for the forthcoming season.

Chris Charles
Tividale Football Club
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