Bowls - Cricket - Golf - Football & Rugby
Bowling Green Maintenance
Dry weather and the application of water is one of the major concerns for July. Care needs to be taken to neither over or under water.
To assist in irrigation management, consider doing a soil moisture deficit chart, combined with your visual observations of the sward and dryness of the soil profile. This will act as a useful guide and can help towards reducing the costs of water used. Currently a cubic metre of water (220 gallons) costs about 90p.
This might not seem a lot, but when you consider that a typical recommendation is to apply 25mm of water per m2 per week during the summer months (depending upon rainfall), this can add up to quite a lot especially where additional hand watering occurs on areas susceptible to drying out.
The calculation for the weekly cost of this is:
• Area of Green, 38.4m x 38.4m = 1475m2
• 25mm of water per m2 = 5.5 gallons/m2
• 1475 x 5.5 = 8113 gallons (or 8113 ÷ 220 = ~ 37 m3) per week
• 37 m3 x 90p = £ 33.30 per week.
• This calculation doesn't allow for wastage or overlap, which invariably occurs.
Ensure that rink usage is spread sideways on a regular basis and the rinks are also turned 90° daily. Failure to do so will result in 'runs' developing, with bowls following the line of the run.
Some less accomplished bowlers will prefer this situation, however, it is really cheating, especially when playing visitors not used to the green. This situation also doesn't allow for the improvement of one’s skill in bowls and for a challenging game.
Continue to mow regularly and be prepared to raise the height of cut to 6mm, especially in dry weather with strong winds on coastal areas. A good, dry sward of fescue/bent grasses will produce a faster surface when mown at this height, than an annual meadow grass, thatchy sward when mown at 4.5mm.
Be careful when scarifying and verticutting at this time of year, as you do not want to stress the plant, reducing its ability to withstand wear.
Cricket Ground Maintenance
Square - Besides the continuing preparation of wickets to meet user demands, the square is typically mown on two occasions per week and the outfield once a week.
Wickets that had been used and renovated earlier in the season might be able to be re-used again if they have recovered adequately.
Correct watering to a suitable depth, combined with planned rolling will produce a really consolidated playing wicket with excellent bounce. Be careful not to wet just the surface of the wicket and then roll, otherwise the shallow layer that was watered can crack and crumble when rolled.
If not carried out at the end of June, then July is a good time for a light Nitrogen only fertiliser application to the whole square, as this will help maintain sward strength without encouraging unwanted excessive growth.
Towards the end of the month, some wickets will be coming out of use for the few remaining weeks of the season. A head start on some end of season renovation tasks may be considered.
Outfield – As with June, continue to mow at a consistent height of cut (12mm). This should take place on average once a week but will depend on the amount of games played and climatic and ground conditions.
If an application of selective herbicide took place, the outfield should now be clear of weeds. Continue to monitor small areas of damage and repair as soon as possible.
Golf Course Maintenance
This can be a busy month, especially when there are usually plenty of golfers enjoying the summer season.
A very light, fine top-dressing to the greens may be considered to maintain quality, even putting surfaces. This operation does not cause any inconvenience to golfers as it can be carried out quickly and with a minimum of material being applied, is hardly noticeable.
Disease might be a problem, especially red thread. Consider a light Nitrogen application or a fungicide application. Alternatively a fine, sandy compost applied as a very light top-dressing can provide a small amount of Nitrogen, although whether a suitable amount of Nitrogen is provided will depend upon the exact composition of the top-dressing.
Irrigation is usually ongoing throughout July. Hand watering of dry areas, especially on green slopes and embankments will supplement that from automatic pop-up sprinklers.
Bunker raking will most likely be on a daily basis, especially if the golf course is open to public access and dog walkers whose dogs invariably enjoy the sand.
The mowing of fairways may be reduced in frequency during the dry summer months as growth slows.
Golf tees will still need to be divoted on a regular basis to ensure the tees are maintained in as even a playing surface as possible.
If time permits, clear out perimeter ditches which may be used for drainage ditches for removing winter rainfall.
Football and Rugby Pitch
The football pitch is mostly establishing itself following the end of season renovation. However, there are a number of tasks that will need attending to.
Any thin areas or those that have developed a slight unevenness will probably require a light top-dressing, of about 1-2 kg/m2.
Irrigation will be a problem on some sites. Wherever possible try and ensure some form of irrigation is given to goalmouth and centre circle areas.
Continue mowing on a regular basis. This will promote tillering and reduce the potential for perennial ryegrass flower stalks developing.
A light Nitrogen, usually liquid, fertiliser application may be considered to encourage growth. Something in the order of 1-2 g/N/m2 (10-20 kg/N/ha) would be suitable, especially as a regular application is normally given in August to September time.
This fertiliser application would only be given if soil moisture was adequate and there was a suitable means of artificial irrigation being applied to maintain growth.
If you haven't already done so, make sure the goal posts etc. are painted and goal nets are repaired or replaced.