Bowls - Cricket - Golf - Football & Rugby
Bowling Green Maintenance
Casual play and competition play will be at their height this month, with the Bowling Green taking a fair amount of 'hammering'.
Irrigation will be a key component in ensuring good playing surfaces are maintained, but be careful not to apply too much so that the playing surfaces are still wet for the morning start of play.
Continue to mow at 5mm and include a double cut for those important matches.
With the weather and soil being on the dry side there shouldn't be any need to mow to 4mm as good green speeds can be achieved by increased mowing, maintaining the sward in a dry surface condition (aerate beforehand to assist this) and light rolling.
Care would need to be taken if mowing below 5mm is considered as the grass will stress rapidly under hot and dry conditions. Don't forget that a 1mm reduction in the height of cut to 4mm is a massive 20% reduction in the leaf height.
Switch rinks and sides regularly to accommodate the high level of usage, thus ensuring wear is spread as evenly as possible over the whole of the green.
The final fertiliser will invariably be applied this month. Typically this will be an 8:0:0 (inorganic nitrogen) fertiliser applied at a rate of 34g/m2. P and K will depend upon soil analysis and sward assessment results.
Try and plan it so that the work does not interfere with play. Consider an evening application with a good watering in; then it has all night to wash into the surface, but don't forget to aerate beforehand.
Cricket Ground Maintenance
Square - Ensure that you have all your materials in stock, or ordered, for the end of the season renovation in early September, or whenever the last match is played.
Wickets will be coming out of use for the season during August, so aeration and scarification can be carried out on these wickets to get a head start on the major renovation work later on.
The ends can be lightly forked over to a depth of 50mm or so to produce a fine seed bed and a suitable grass seed applied. Typically this will be dominated by perennial ryegrass.
The body of the renovated wicket can be scarified, aerated and spiked with a sarel spiked roller and then over sown with a suitable grass seed mixture. The mixture content will depend upon the level and standard of cricket being played. At this time of year, perennial ryegrass should easily germinate within 7 days from being sown, assuming adequate irrigation is given.
Apply a suitable fertiliser to those wickets which have been taken out of use, to aid seed germination and sward establishment.
Outfield – Throughout this month continue to mow as required, removing the clippings. If the outfield surface is dry or there is a prolonged dry spell, lift the height of the cut slightly to reduce sward stress. The standard height of cut will be 12-18mm.
Golf Course Maintenance
The last fertiliser application on the greens will most likely be given during this month. A typical one would be an 8:0:0 at 34 g/m² and would be an inorganic source of nitrogen.
Whilst renovation will mostly be undertaken in September, a gradual creeping process of renovation can start to take place now. The extent of the work will depend upon important matches, but operations such as micro-hollow-tining, with 6mm or so diameter tines, could seriously be considered. This results in a minimally affected playing surface for only a short period of time.
If some form of renovation work is not to be done on the greens, then tees or fairways should be targeted.
Make use of this month to do some form of renovation because after September the soil and air temperatures drop rapidly.
All the materials that are required for the renovation programme should be in stock or at least planned for delivery from a supplier.
Regular mowing of tees, greens and fairways as well as irrigation will be the major tasks for this month.
Bunker raking on a regular basis, if not daily frequency, will also help to put the finishing touches to a well presented course.
Football and Rugby Pitch Maintenance
Matches have already started in Scotland, whilst the English leagues will start in the middle of the month.
Pitches should be looking in tip-top condition. If they are not, then some urgent work is required.
Keep moisture levels up to encourage good growth.
Trickle feed the pitch with a liquid nitrogenfertiliser to help improve sward density.
If broad-leaved weeds are still a problem then consider applying another selective herbicide.
Thin areas may also benefit from a light seeding and top-dressing, although care will need to be taken if an herbicide application is being considered.
If bare areas still exist in the pitch, the only real solution at such short notice before the starting game will be to deep turf. This is expensive but it is a last resort option.
Keep up aeration to encourage moisture penetration into the soil profile: This will also reduce the chance of surface rooting occurring.
August is also a good time to apply a fertiliser. An 11:6:9 or a similar type at 34-50 g/m2 could be considered. For local authority pitches a 20:10:10 or similar fertiliser is just as effective and is cheaper as well.
Make sure the pitch is properly squared up and marked out correctly for the first game of the season. Also spend a little extra time ensuring the pitch is cut that little bit extra carefully. This will make a good initial impression on players and spectators.