0 August rugby league diary 2004

August Rugby League Diary

warrington-w-stadium-main.jpg

August is again a very busy month for Ground staff at rugby league clubs, with the playing season now moving into the final quarter of the season. The cycle of preparing for matches and post match maintenance continues throughout the summer months.

The advantage rugby league Groundsman have over their rugby union counterparts is that, generally, the weather and light levels are more favourable for preparation and repairs.

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.

August tasks for Rugby League

Task

Frequency

Reason

Aeration

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.

Disease

Daily/weekly

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

Divotting

Immediately after game

To repair scars and surface damage. Use a fork to tease up heel marks and a mix of soil/seed for any small foot holes that may have been kicked out.

Drainage

Weekly

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

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 summer N P K fertiliser, perhaps something like a 12/0/9 to maintain grass colour and vigour. A slow release fertiliser if not put down last month, should be applied to see you through August and September. The choice of materials and how well they work will dependant on factors such as soil type and 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. wakefieldgoals.jpg

Grooming/ verticutting

As required

Grooming and verticutting are operations that remove unwanted side growth and reduce the amount of debris in the sward. These operations are carried out on a regular basis often weekly or fortnightly. These operations are completed in conjunction with your mowing regimes.

Harrowing/ rakingapril-diary-harrowing.jpg

When conditions allow

Helps to restore levels and keep surfaces open.

Irrigation equipment

As required

Irrigation will be a priority during the summer months to ensure turf grass quality is maintained.

Inspect installations for leaks. There may be a need to irrigate during any renovation programmes, as air temperatures and day light hours are getting longer, increasing the likelihood of the ground drying out. It's important to ensure that the water gets down deep into the root-zone to encourage deep rooting. Allowing areas to dry out can lead to problems of dry patch, a condition that prevents water infiltration into the soil and thus forming areas of non-uniform turf quality. Further information about Irrigation of sports surfaces can be see on link. Irrigation

Litter/debris

Daily/Weekly

Inspect and remove debris from playing surface litter or any wind blown tree debris, 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

There are a number of marking machines available for marking out lines, wheel to wheel, spray jet, dry liners and aerosol markers. The choice will be dependent on cost, efficiency and the type of line you want. Ensure the machine is clean and ready for use. Dirty line markers often effect the quality of your line marking.wakefieldpitch2.jpg

It is preferable to use water based products for line marking and logos. Other materials may kill or scorch the grass, the use of lime or creosote is illegal.

Mowing

As required

To maintain sward height 50-75mm. Frequency of mowing will increase to maintain sward height as soil and air temperatures begin to rise initiating grass growth. Dual use pitches will have to be maintained at a lower height of cut, try to keep above 30mm if possible.

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.

Soil sampling is an important part of Groundsmanship. 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.

Editorial Enquiries Editorial Enquiries

Contact Kerry Haywood

01952 897416
editorial@pitchcare.com

Customers Advertising

Contact Peter Britton

01952 898516
peter@pitchcare.com

Subscribe Subscribe to the Pitchcare Magazine

You can have each and every copy of the Pitchcare magazine delivered direct to your door for just £30 a year.