Last month I mentioned the lack of rain, particularly in the South East of the country. It is important that you continue, as much as possible, with any available resources to keep your pitch watered where needed. Watering can be a costly business giving rise to some heavier than normal bills, so you may need to think about how you can use your water wisely.

Concentrate on your high wear areas if it is an issue for you, then at least they will come through the summer into season stronger and lasting better into the season.

Diary Compiled by Malcolm Gardner
Grounds Manager
BA Clubs

Early in the Month 1st - 15th August

If you have had to over sow any thin areas, it is critical that you do not allow seedlings to dry out. Keep your seeded areas watered.

If possible, and if you have them to hand, make use of your germination sheets to encourage the rapid establishment of your seeded areas. If using germination sheets, check underneath them regularly for disease.

Make sure your goal posts are painted and ready for deployment. Also ensure your nets are checked for repairs or replacements are on hand if you haven't already done so.

Check you have enough line marking material to hand and enough to get you through the season.

This is probably a good time to inspect your marker and ensure that it is in good working order for when you need it.

Later in the Month 16th August - onwards

Continue to monitor the progress/success of your thin over sown areas to ensure that you have the best opportunity for the grass to be strong, with good coverage for the start of the next season.

An application of fertiliser can be applied late in the month to take the grass through the rest of August and into September.

Avoid the use of fertilisers with a high salt content, as this will exacerbate the stress factors in the grass as it draws moisture from the grass plant. Use of liquid fertilisers are less likely to scorch grass but may still need to be watered in.

Consider, as an alternative, applications of seaweed or amino bio stimulants which have proved beneficial in helping grass through stressful periods. Another consideration is the use of calcium, an important ingredient for giving the plant rigidity and regulating root and shoot growth.

There are a couple of products out there in the market that combine all these, specifically for incorporating into stress relieving programmes.

Key Tasks for August
Irrigation

If you are unable to provide irrigation to the whole pitch then at least you should try and ensure adequate watering of the goalmouth and centre circle areas. If you follow a programme of using wetting agents to ensure a uniform wetting, this will help. Such a programme will need to have been initiated from April onwards and will usually follow a monthly application. This is particularly useful on soils prone to dry patch.

Useful Information for Irrigation

Articles Products
Irrigation Auditing
Drag Matting /Brushing

Continue the work of brushing to keep the air circulating around the base of the plant, particularly important for removing early morning dew and controlling disease on watered areas.


Mowing

Continue cutting regularly 25 -37mm to ensure a good sward density. It may be sometimes be helpful with newly sown grasses to lightly roll the surface before cutting to ensure that the weakly held grasses in the surface do not get pulled out. Also ensure that any cutting equipment used is keenly set to cut without tearing.

Useful Information for Mowing

Articles Products
Facts about mowing
Aeration

Continue spiking when the conditions allow alleviating built up compaction. Keep your spiking regime flexible. Surface spiking at this time of year and heading into a dry spell will help what rain you receive to move quickly down into the surface where it will be of benefit to your grass plants.

Useful Information for Aeration

Articles Products
Why Aeration?
Other Tasks for the Month
  • Equipment cleaning/painting: Make sure that goal posts are cleaned and painted. There's nothing worse than rushing at the beginning of a season to get this job done, when you have a thousand and one other things to do before your first game. Check for replacement nets and spare parts; order them in so they are on hand when needed.