July's rugby diary
By Jon BuddingtonThe general rule this month is promotion of a thick hard wearing sward, prior to marking out for training and early friendlies at the beginning of August. If you know your soil analysis then a balanced feeding programme will assist in this goal; if you don't know the soil make up, then I suggest at least a basic nutrient and Ph test will help you determine the feeding program.
With the sward growing well now after renovation try brushing or raking prior to the cut, this action stands the plant up and cleans out the debris in the base, providing a healthier soil surface. If gang mowing, avoid leaving piles of cuttings on the surface. Do not remove more than 25%/30% of grass height in one cut.
Now that the new seedlings are established a selective weed treatment may be necessary to rid yourself of those dandelions, daisies and plantains. Are you licensed for its application?
The cutting height can be reduced to about 25mm/30mm and allowed to thicken up before the first steps are taken on it in August.
Check seeded areas thoroughly for weak areas and over-seed accordingly. Hand water where necessary.
Regular aeration will stand you in good stead for the coming winter months. If possible slit spiking weekly will enable water to drain easily and encourage much stronger and deeper roots. If you don't do much aeration the ground may be hard to start with and the depth achieved may not be great, but the more regular the aeration, the softer the ground will become, and the deeper the spikes will penetrate.