March Bowls Diary
By Laurence Gale Msc
March already and, despite the still wintry conditions, the new playing season is just around the corner. Keeping the surface clean and diseae free will be the priority in readiness for the mowing and any spring renovation works required.
Check those often forgotten parts of the playing arena - surround fencing, floodlights and irrigation systems. Don't wait until the players are there for their first match or session.
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.
Continue with your aeration and fertilising programmes. With regards to applying your fertiliser it might be advisable to take a soil sample and have it analysed and then apply the necessary feed.
With temperatures rising, grass will start to grow, so begin cutting when weather conditions allow. Keep at 10-12mm at the start of the month and gradually reducing to 8mm by the end of the month.
Be vigilant for signs of pests or diseases in and on your turf. Worms and worm casts can affect the playing surface. A healthy sward will minimise their impact but, if the problem persists, chemical control might be the only alternative, use carbendazim.
Any bare or sparse areas can be lightly tilthed; over seeded and top-dressed with a sand/loam mix. Cover with germination sheets to promote growth.
Check and ensure your equipment and machinery has been serviced and in good working order. Also, if it is your responsibility, then check the bowls equipment and repair or replace as needed.
If you have one, check and re-commission the irrigation system, making sure that it is in good working order and the pop ups are irrigating the areas you want them to.
Make sure you have all the necessary materials, seeds, loam etc. ready for any spring renovation work.
If you have floodlights, get them checked by a qualified electrician. Replace bulbs as necessary.
Prune any bushes/hedges that might be encroaching on to the green or likely to cast shade.