Play your part with Pitchcare
By Laurence Gale
My recent appointment as Editor with Pitchcare has enabled me to see the wealth of knowledge and information we have amongst our membership and the diversity of the facilities managed. I think it is important that we share this industry knowledge and, where possible, promote individuals and teams of staff who work hard to produce and supply these facilities.
The main concept of Pitchcare is to provide information, advice and services for all. Its primary objectives are to provide up to the minute information and news on all aspects of the sports surface industry and allow members the opportunity to share skills, knowledge and experiences through an interactive website.
In the coming months Pitchcare wants to increase the variety of articles and information for its members. New features will include; conservation, wildlife, education and training, facility news, possibly an image bank where members can send in photographs of their facilities and playing surfaces, weeds and pests. I also want to post regular articles on weeds and pests in the form of an indent / fact sheet. However, I will need the support of members who can provide me with interesting examples of information and pictures.
Also, I would like to feature articles on facilities and the staff who maintain them. I want to ensure that every type of facility gets a mention. Everybody out there has a story to tell, it doesn?t matter what level or how small the site or facility is. They all play a part in providing playing surfaces for sport.
Having read recent replies to the Message Board there seems to be a lot of members interested in a Hints and Tips page. This would provide a good opportunity for all Groundsmen and Greenkeepers to share their trade secrets and knowledge. Here are a few we have seen recently posted by members:
Peter Craig: Always use a fine sieve when pouring granular fertiliser in to your spreader. A lot of the mesh sizes on the sieves that come with the spreaders are far too big and allow those little lumps to get in. These lumps can affect the spread pattern,
Ever spent half of April on your hands and knees stabbing the ground with a screwdriver looking for the wooden pegs you put in the corners of your cricket square. Put in ferrous metal pegs this autumn and hire/borrow/buy a metal detector to find them again. It'll save you hours of grief. Same goes for soccer/rugby/hockey pitch corners.
DS: Whenever putting up goal posts or rugby posts for the start of the season, grease the sockets and the post at the base to stop dirt etc getting down the hole and trapping the post. If you're having problems getting a post out of the ground-drill a hole near the base to release the vacuum created by water in the socket.
Graham: When marking out the initial rectangle for sports such as rugby and football, put in small marks along the perimeter where the string lines will be placed for the internal marks. This saves going over the area twice with a tape measure!
Keith: To get the grass seed chitting quickly, why not pre-germinate it first. I empty the contents of the seedbag into buckets and fill them to the top with warm water. Get your hands in the buckets and make sure all the seed is immersed in water. Stick buckets by radiator in dark room for 24-36 hours. Empty contents of buckets back into a hessian bag and hang up to drain. Once drained, leave bag in the dark, warm room for another 24 hours. Grass seed should be chitting and will be ready to put down.
So I call on you all to send me any hints and tips that you think will be useful to other colleagues and ground staff. All relevant hints and tips will be catalogued and published on the site.
I will be pleased and delighted to receive any information about any of the above-mentioned subjects and will be willing to talk to any Groundsman or Greenkeeper about their work and facilities. Please contact me at Laurence@pitchcare.com or ring me on 01902 824392 for further information and details.