March football Diary

By Chris Parry

Keep up with the drag brushing/matting or harrowing when conditions permit, for dew and worm cast dispersation, this operation will also help stand the grass up prior to any maintenance work.

Repair divots after games or training as soon as possible to encourage grass to re-root..

Levels may need to be restored in the goal areas, by light top dressing and raking over.

Infill any holes that have occurred in the pitch surface with a sand/soil and seed mix.

Lightly roll after repair work, preferably with a pedestrian mower.

"Topping" the grass maybe required as warmer temperatures are upon us.

Keep up your aeration programme, using needle tines or slits. This will be beneficial at this time of year to keep the water moving through the profile and allow air to get to the roots. On sand-based pitches spiking will help to keep the playing surface "soft" and this will also enable you to tine more frequently, with minimum disturbance to the grass and playing surface.

Check equipment and machinery ensuring heights of cuts etc; are correct. If you have not had them in for a winter service yet, then hurry up and do so!

If your budget can stretch to over-seeding your pitch use 4 to 6 bags of specified Rye mix in a window between games, this will be very beneficial in promoting grass coverage for the last quarter of the season with the high usage that occurs on your pitch at the end of the season with all those local cup finals. Establishing a good sward again now will help to cut costs at the end of the season and give the new grasses longer to develop.

Renovations should be in the forefront of your mind. Bear in mind any problems that you may have encountered during the season ("wet-spots" or poor drainage). Try to solve these problems during or before renovations start.

You should by now have quotations for your renovation work and a provisional starting date with the contractor. Or booked the machinery with your local ground care hire shop .

Be on the look out for pest and diseases.

Apply a fertiliser dressing if required on the basis of the results of a soil analysis.