June Cricket Diary
By Jon Buddington
It's either too dry or too wet at present, so timing and planning are your priorities. If you are on site, after the game try and repair the pitch immediately.
Fill in scratch marks made by bowlers who score run ups with spikes. Use a mix of soil and perennial ryegrass seed, water in well and cover with clippings.
Following pitch repairs to foot holes and batting marks, water and the use a Sarrel roller to prick the surface once fit to walk on.
Fertilise lightly with a balanced feed. With these operations done, the next day you can start afresh. Get ahead before the weather gets you first.
Maintain the square height at around 15mm and the outfield at around 18-20mm. Verticut on a regular basis to remove straggly growth and this will provide a cleaner, more open and healthier surface for grass to thrive.
If you have room on your square, try and provide an additional pitch to fall back on if things go wrong--some squares have conflicting conditions in different areas so use your local knowledge in this regard i.e. the top of the square may be drier than the bottom end.
Continue to hand remove any weeds which are visible.
If your outfield is also used as a winter games pitch, when conditions are favourable, aerate with solid or slit tines, preferably after a downpour to gain maximum depth without surface disturbance.
Present the pitch, square and outfield in the best possible condition that time will allow.
Continue to make notes of weather conditions and individual pitch performance; it will benefit you in the long term to have this information on record. Plan and order seed and loam plus fertiliser as required.
Check condition of wicket mowers and other machinery, is everything operating well?Remember five minutes checking oil, fuel, and filters as well as a fine-tuning adjustment to the cut of the mower prior to use, will save thousands in repair bills. If you're running with only one of each machine, don't let yourself get caught out with an unnecessary break down with no back up replacement.