March Tennis Diary
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.
March Maintenance Tasks for Tennis
Natural Grass Tennis Courts
|Aeration||When conditions allow||Hand or machine aeration to aid surface drainage, (varying depths of penetration to prevent the development of a soil pan) Use small/needle tines or slits. (penetration down to 100mm) regular use of a sarrell roller will aid surface drainage.|
|Brushing / Sweeping||Daily / Weekly||Prior to mowing, the surface should be thoroughly brushed, every time. Continue to brush courts daily to remove moisture from the grass surface stopping the spread of disease and facilitating an improved quality of cut on the dry grass.|
|Drainage||Weekly||Inspect drainage outfalls, channels and ditches. Ensure that they are working.|
|Diseases including Moss & Algae||Daily / Weekly||Keep and eye on fungal disease attack, and use approved fungicides to treat infected areas.|
|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. Apply a spring fertiliser when conditions allow.|
|Frost and snow||As required||Keep people and equipment off playing surfaces when covered in frost and snow.|
|Inspect Tennis structures||As required||Check and repair fences, tennis posts, and nets.|
|Litter / debris||Daily / Weekly||Inspect and remove debris from playing surface litter or any wind blown tree debris. Litter, twigs and leaves.|
(Repairs & Maintenance)
|Daily / Weekly||Inspect and clean machinery after use, service and repair damaged machinery, prepare machinery ready for new mowing season.|
|Materials||Inspection||Estimate and order seed, loams and fertilisers for forthcoming season.|
|Mowing||As required||The mowing height on the courts should be lowered to around 12mm by the end of March, subject to local weather conditions, but remember not to remove more than 1/3 of total grass height in each cut. The less stress that is placed on the grass at this vital time, the better the results further on into the season.|
|Pest control||As required||Worm treatments can be carried out if needed, but please remember to ask yourself why do you have worms? Ph level, organic matter and your cultural practices on the square need to be assessed.|
|Rolling||Daily / Weekly||
If rolling hasn't started, then this should be initiated no later than the middle of the month-again subject to local conditions. Firstly roll across the line of play to settle frost heave, followed by rolling down the length of play. Timing of this operation is vitally important. Trying to roll when soil conditions are wet or too dry will not achieve the desired affect. Ideal rolling conditions would suggest the soil be in a state of plasticity-or "plasticine".
Gradually build up roller weight by moving onto the next size of cylinder mower and so on. Consolidation is your aim and the quality of pre season rolling will show when you produce your early season courts.
|Scarification||Fortnightly||Light scarification or verticutting can be carried out at fortnightly intervals pre season. Removing horizontally growing grasses and surface organic matter are always beneficial for the onset of court preparation; along side brushing, this will also improve the quality of cut.|
|Seed bare & worn areas on Cricket square||When conditions allow||
Seeding sparse or bare areas can be continued any rise in soil /air 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.
Artificial Tennis Courts
|Artificial Grass Systems||Weekly||
Keep surface clean, regular sweeping and brushing. Remove any algae's and moss from surface.
Sand filled systems require regular brushing to maintain manufacturers recommendations on sand levels and pile heights.
|Clay Courts||Weekly||Keep surface clean, regular sweeping and brushing to restore playing levels using Sisis Trulute or similar equipment. Top dress any hollows or damaged areas. Repaint lines.|
|Tarmacadam||Weekly||Keep surfaces clean, regular sweeping and brushing. Repair any hollows or damaged areas. Repaint lines.|