The weather predictions for this month are that it is likely to become wetter with frequent showers just about everywhere. This is probably welcome for those without an irrigation system to keep the water reserves in the soil topped up, and particularly in ensuring that new seedlings have the right moisture levels to survive.
If you still have newly sown grassed areas at this stage, it is vital that you keep them watered. They can soon wilt and die off in the kind of hot weather we experienced in the middle to late part of July, undoing all your fine hard work, not to mention the extra expense needed to complete the task again.
|Early in the Month||1st - 15th August|
Continue with regular mowing of the sward to help promote tillering.
It's not too late to apply a selective weed killer if you are having trouble with weeds; although you will need to consider carefully the age of your grass and the weeds that you wish to control, and match this to a product suitable for the task.
|Later in the Month||16th August - onwards|
Some of you will be on your final pitch preparations now including setting out and initial marking your pitches. Always best at this stage to double check your measurements before committing to a white line, as this will show up badly if it is out and needs correcting.
Check that your goal sockets are set inline with the base line and are upright. Correct this now to ensure a professional look, particularly with the newly painted goals posts and nets ready to be put into place.
Keep casual play out of goalmouth areas. This can be easily achieved if you have a set of portable goals that can be moved around to different parts of your field or pitch. However, if you have socket goals then your task may be a little more difficult.
Drag matting and 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.
Cutting: Continue cutting regularly, 25 -37mm, to ensure a good sward density. It may 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.
Verticutting will help ensure that the sward is kept clean of lateral growth, and also help good circulation of air around the base of the plant.
Spiking: Continue spiking when the conditions are right (this should only be carried out if the soil is suitably moist) to augment your deep spiking carried out to alleviate built up compaction. Keep your spiking regime flexible, alternating between surface spiking, deep spiking and slitting.
Marking out; take your time over this. Rushed lines invariably wander and create a poor impression, lowering the overall standard and vision of an otherwise perfect surface. An accurate line makes such a difference.
Make sure you have enough line marking material to hand and enough to get you through your season. Inspect your marker and ensure that it is in good working order for when you need it.
A supplemental feed may be required to top up the nutrients as determined by your planned nutrient programme.
Fixtures may start to come in now, if you haven't already got them. It will be a good time to look through them, picking up on any major or important fixtures that will require something special. In which case you can start thinking about any special treatments or work that will be required in the lead up, and pen an advance reminder in your diary.
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.
Check goal posts conform to FA approved standards.
Continue to maintain mowers and equipment, ensure they are cleaned and serviced on a regular basis.
Keep a diary of the work you carry out.