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Rugby Groundsman Maintenance Guide

by TurfCareBlog

Rugby task guidance straight from the thoughts of a working groundsman

image of ground

As we enter the second month of 2020 there is no sign of the weather issues relenting and can feel the heartbreak of groundsmen everywhere seeing their precious pitches flooded or destroyed by being played on in totally the wrong conditions.

As we say at our place of work it is our job to repair the damage the players do, if they did not cause any, they would not need us.

As l said in my first blog, when it is too wet to work on then leave. I know that is tough but in the wrong conditions you will only make the problem worse.

Believe me that if you cause damage there will be no forgiveness.

So, if you cannot get on the pitch what can be done. There are always plenty of machines in need of a clean and general maintenance, clear the sheds out and walk around your fields and while the leaves are off check the trees for hanging branches etc.

Especially after the storm at the weekend there will be tree damage and while you are at it you should check on your posts, this should be something you do regularly check that the cross bar is bolted securely and there is no damage.

If you haven’t been able to cut your hedges now can be a good time before the race for birds nesting sites starts.

If work needs doing on trees get professional help especially if its above ground. Then if allowed have a bonfire clearing the debris, nothing seems to cheer groundsmen up more than a roaring fire when nothing else can be done.

If like me you work in a school there is usually a race between the grounds and gardens department to light the bonfire, as our bonfire site is within the grounds department we usually win.

Now you may ask me why talk about bonfires, I’ve always found that building and lighting a bonfire a therapeutic pastime, not sure what it is but the flames have an almost mesmeric properties ,this allows you to forget the hassles of everyday life and help you put things into prospective and lightens the mood.

rugby pitch
Hang in there,better days like this are coming soon!

While I’m on the subject the most important thing you can do at any time is look after yourself, nobody can do anything about the weather, so try not to stress about it, keep yourself busy even if it’s not directly work related.

Maybe look into future developments you want to undertake on the grounds, have a look at machinery brochures.I would also recommend you taking a look to see if there are any educational events near you having a day with fellow grounds staff, this can do wonders for morale especially if you work on your own.

If the weather does allow you to get on, then you maybe seeing some early grass growth so if you can give the grass a light topping.

With this amount of rainfall the grass could get hungry so again feed if funds allow.

Check with event organisers ,that they have everything they need and you know when equipment etc.

We host two rugby tournaments in March so I’m already checking if the toilets have been ordered and when they will be delivered and many exciting things!

So here is to some better weather soon and stay safe peoples.

Ian’s Top Tips

  • Brushing/Sweeping – daily to remove any dew and surface debris (where possible)
  • Aeration – Regularly, when conditions allow -only in the correct ground conditions.
  • Harrow, to assist in maintaining levels.
  • Top-dress with medium sports sand (if required), consider hand folking prior to incorporate the free draining sand into the soil profile.
  • Disease – Check daily, keep an eye on fungal disease attack.
  • Have a bonfire and prepare for busier times to come.
  • Don’t be tempted to roll the pitch, this will only go against keeping the soil structure free draining.

Ian

Just want to say a massive thank you to Ian for writing this blog, when he has been very poorly this week, but still insisted on writing this. We wish you better health very soon ,Brian and TurfCareBlog community.

What has been happening at your ground or school this month ,feel free to let us know on our live chat or in the comments box below.

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