August Football Diary


The football season starts this weekend, with the Football League on Saturday and the Community Shield on Sunday. Groundsmen will be hard at work preparing their pitches, nursing establishing swards in readiness.The recent warm weather will have provided a welcome boost to growth but make sure that there is adequate watering, feeding and mowing to establish these areas. Grass cutting is in full swing, with professional pitches being mown daily.

Particular attention should be made to your irrigation regimes ensuring that localised areas are watered sufficiently in periods of dry weather.

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.

July tasks for Football





When conditions allow

Hand or machine aeration to aid surface drainage, at varying depths of penetration to prevent the development of a soil pan and provide adequate air space for roots to colonise. Weekly spiking at this time of year is notAugustFD2004needletining.jpg




To remove dew and remove surface debris. Using a brush or a SISIS quadraplay will restore levels and produce striping or banding aesthetics.



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



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 late summer N P K fertiliser, perhaps something like a 12/0/9 to maintain grass colour and vigour. The choice of materials and how well they work will depend 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. Check nets to make sure they aren't full of holes (no pun intended).


As required Grooming and verticutting are operations that remove unwanted side grass 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, and as the sward is thickening at the moment, light scarification will help to get more air and light into the base.

Harrowing/ raking

When conditions allow

Helps to restore levels and keep surfaces open.

Irrigation AugustFD2004centresprinkler.jpg

As required

Irrigation will be a priority, especially when maintaining newly sown seed or turf. It is important that these areas do not dry out and die.

Inspect irrigation 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 is important to irrigate uniformly and ensuring the right amount of water is applied. Ensure that the water gets deep into the root-zone to encourage deep rooting. Allowing areas to dry out can lead to dry patch, a condition that prevents water infiltration into the soil, thus forming areas of non-uniform turf quality. Further information about Irrigation of sports surfaces can be see on link. Irrigation

Litter / debris


Inspect and remove debris from playing surface, litter, twigs and leaves.

Marking out As required Use approved marking compounds / materials and ensure all line markings comply with FA rules and regulations. AugustFD2004davemarking.jpg

Machinery (Repairs and maintenance)


Inspect and clean machinery after use; service and repair damaged machinery.


As required


Quality of cut will be dependent on what type of mower is used, cylinder mowers can offer different cutting qualities which is governed by the amount of blades on the cylinder. A five bladed cylinder will give you a fine quality cut.

Post match renovation

After matches

  • Replace divots
  • Repair worn areas (goalmouths / linesman runs)
  • Top dress to restore levels (localised)

Pre match inspections

As required

  • Inspecting pitch surface and line markings
  • Checking post safety
  • Keep goalmouths roped off to stop unwanted early use-in an ideal world the pitch should be completely out of bounds.
  • Tidy up the edges of the pitch, strim around advertising signs and crowd barriers. Presentation on the pitch will be let down badly by unkempt edges.
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.

Weeds As required It's not to late to weed kill. Plantains will be throwing up seed heads so, before they mature, spray the surface with a selective weed killer to remove broad leaved weeds. If you haven't a recognisedAugustFD2004spraying.jpg for Pitchcare classified spraying contractors.
Soil tests Ideally once or twice a year, or as required. Soil sampling is an important part of groundmanship. 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.