April Bowls 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 Bowls





When conditions allow


Do not carry out aeration when there is the likelihood of smearing or damaging the surface.

Brushing / switching

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.

Drainage channels/gullies

Weekly or as required

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

Fertilising As required 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 or early May, applying a slow release fertiliser to see you through to June/July. However, the choice of material and how well it works can be dependant on many factors, soil type, weather, with moisture and air temperature being the catalyst for growth.

Irrigation equipment

Daily / Weekly

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 and surfaces drying out.

Litter pick

Weekly or as required

Inspect and clear away and litter or debris, (high winds may blow debris onto greens).


Daily / Weekly

Keep machines overhauled and clean.



Ensure you have organised and ordered the appropriate materials from suppliers, don't leave it too late!


Weekly or as required

Soil and air temperatures will continue to rise in April and this will stimulate grass growth. Regular mowing will now be implemented to develop an even sward. It is important to lower the height of cut gradually until reaching the optimum height for match play at the start of the bowling season. Mowing height should be maintained at around 4-8mm.


As required

Carry out any repairs to ditches, paths, gates, floodlights and other building features.
Scarifying Pre season Scarifying should be carried out to remove moss, thatch and decaying matter that may have formed during the winter.
Soil tests Ideally once or twice a year, or as required. April is still is an ideal time to obtain a soil analysis of the green, 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 season's feeding and maintenance programmes.
Spring Renovation As required

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

Generally, the level of renovation will be dependant on budgets, whatever the club/facility can afford. Ideally, the green will be multi cored/aerated to relieve compaction followed by overseeding (applying seed at rate of 17-35gm per sq m) dependant on current sward density. 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.