Do l water after cricket renovations or not is a just a mini blog on the pro and cons of either tap watering or waiting for rain.
Common sense, says save water and wait for rain to do the job, surely rain water is more effective, but l thought we would just look at a few pros and cons of each option.
My own experience is l would ideally like to wait for rain, but not knowing what rain l ll receive is the challenge. Light rain can’t beat it, heavy rain can wash off, seeds being displaced. Due to this l personally prefer to hand water after renovations, this will get the seed germinating in the first 5-10 days with roots going down and in turn a plant anchored into the soil.
Last year’s rain was perfect. The year before was torrential and our watering ahead of that would have helped and 3 years ago, we had no rain for weeks and our irrigation wasn’t capable then.
Chris Johnson – Volunteer Groundsperson Knebworth Park CC
I let nature take its course
Don’t want to disturb surface levels or wash out end repairs
Always works for me
Paul Jackson- Tynmouth Cricket Club
I use a travelling sprinkler just off the edge of square and water all 4 sides. Never gets to middle though. It helps to bed in the loam before rain.
Jon Buddington- Oxford University Cricket
· If the seed sits about too long waiting for rain, pigeons are just getting fatter.
· From September, temperatures are dropping fast and our renovation success rate slowly decreases as we get into October, tap watering if needed can put us ahead.
· Challenges to hand watering, low water pressure and time to water for the volunteer grounds person. Cost of water considering how water is becoming a vital resource.
· Slopes, if we wait for possibly heavier rain, will more likely get washed down the slope.
· Watering and the moving of hoses across a newly top-dressed square can interfere with levels. Ideally, you’d water from the side of the square and not step on it, but rarely a viable option.
· Leaving the weather to get seed up and established can in some cases lead to patchy squares, when weather has been really dry and by the time rain comes temperatures are much lower.
· There are more overnight dew in sept and October, this is helpful in keeping seed moist.
· Locations, some parts of the country are much drier than the rest even in September/October.
· Winter sports effect, on the side of squares or even on them can be a challenge, so establishing the new seed as quickly as possible is desirable and where tap water can help.
· If resources are low, possibly just water the last pitch or two or any areas really struggling, if rain doesn’t seem to come.
Watering subject to non hose pipe restrictions from your regional water company, which can differ from area to area.
Poll Results, based on 77 votes
I think this poll above shows there is a big advantage to watering, if we get no rain after around a week people tend to be watering. This time scale l would guess would be much smaller at a county club who would need to get that seed going and anchored in asap, but at the same time they are there to do it and their job literally relies on a good result and renovation tends to be later than in club cricket.
Whatever has worked for you in the past is probably the right thing, if it works it works if not l hope this blog summarises some considerations.
Brian on behalf of the TurfCareBlog community.
Should you be putting a square to bed, this blog answers this l hope – https://turfcareblog.com/should-we-be-putting-a-cricket-square-to-bed/