Props and Pests
Happy new year one and all.
As the weather and ground conditions are still against us, I have been looking at some of the consequences of not being able to do our normal maintenance procedures, one that is staring me straight in the eye is the amount of moss on our cricket outfields and rugby pitches. We have an issue every year with moss but this is the worse I’ve ever seen.
We aerate regularly with the Verti drainer, when conditions allow but with only four feet of soil until we hit bedrock and no natural drainage the ground stays wet and therefore is perfect for moss growth.
We have also seem to have developed an Iron resistant species of moss which has everyone scratching their heads including our spraying company and chemical companies unfortunately no one has come up with any answers.
As Iron has been so good at controlling moss no company have kept another chemical in reserve to control, it is a case use it or lose it.
I will keep people updated on how we sort this problem out.
On the subject of pests, animals can be very destructive on all type of natural grass pitches.
Rabbits around here love to dig holes, as do the foxes who prey on them. Over the years, we have tried many methods including shooting by a qualified pest controller, ferrets and by removing the banks, blocking holes under sheds etc. With these methods we have managed to strike a balance.
Although I’m very fortunate in not suffering from moles in the school grounds they are a destructive force as with rabbits have a very good PR team that only show the cuddly aspect of these pests but not the destructive side to sports turf.
Over the years there has been many attempts to control moles, including sonic devices, vibration equipment, poisons and traps both humane and killer traps these systems have different success rates and can also be frowned upon especially poisons and fatal traps.
Timing to avoid people seeing the control in action maybe more important than other considerations. There are specialist companies that control moles and these may well have local knowledge that can be invaluable.
As we move through January rugby is not normally on our radar as the boys are playing hockey this term, however we have got to the semi-final stage of the National vase for the first time in the school’s history, and we were told last week that we will be hosting the match.
Not great as we still cannot get on the fields with our Trimax Snake and tractor so what to do the pitch will need to mowed and stripped, So I looked for options first within my own fleet of machines and we have nothing that could handle the conditions and leave the pitch looking fit for play.
So I remembered listening to Keith Kent a while ago and he was raving about the Allett Rotary mowers they used.
I made contact with the company and decided to hire some for the week leading up to the match fingers crossed they will do what we want but its squeaky bum time.
Jobs For the Coming Month
- Aeration if possible is probably the best thing you can do now but as with everything only if conditions allow.
- Brushing can also help to avoid diseases as temperatures stay high for the season obviously taking machinery onto the pitch is not great in wet conditions but using a drag brush can be a good cardio workout and can give you great strips.
- Red thread seems to be really enjoying the conditions and although a bit unsightly is a disease I don’t normally stress about as a good fertiliser helps the grass recover quite quickly, so again if conditions allow maybe worth treating every six weeks or so.
- If your planning renovations in the spring now may be a good time to work out what’s needed and get your orders in even if you put delivery back.
Many thanks for reading and try not to stress as these difficult conditions continue.
Please note our new look website stage one,should be coming next week which will include,weather,jobs,a buyers guide and much much more.
Thanks for your continued support, Brian.
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