Three Reasons Renovations Fail – Cricket is just the top three things that come to mind, based on my own personally experiences as a grounds person over the years.
One- Seed Rates
Seed rates are key, as long as the seed can make contact with the soil and get anchored in before it gets washed off (if on a slope) or eaten by pigeons. Seed rates should match the aggression of renovations, if little or no grass after scarification you could be looking at 100 grams a square metre.
If there is some grass left after renovations then a seed rate of around 70 grams a square metre, if there is plenty of existing grass then a minimum of 50 grams a square metre. Ideally you/we need to be aggressive with renovations, so 50-70 would be a good range.
If seeding at 60 grams a square metre, you need around 4 kg per pitch.
Two- Seed/Soil Contact
Seed rates as above are vital, but you also need to make sure seed/soil contact is made, as just scattering seed onto a semi thick grass cover will probably be a waste of seed.
Rye seed ideally needs to sit in 10-15mm deep hollows/depressions/grooves/holes, this will ensure a good seed/soil contact and will also ensure its less likely to be washed off or eaten by birds.
Ensure sure also you create a tilth on the ends, they are highly compacted areas, so creating hole/grooves or even a gentle/shallow forking over would be beneficial. Just ensure you don’t fork any areas on the pitch itself.
These holes/grooves or whatever, also offer an area for loam and water to sit in and create the perfect microclimate for seed to germinate.
Three- After Care
The first two weeks after sowing new seed is the most vital period, in that time the seed needs consistent Sept/early oct soil temperatures and a consistent level of moisture. The temperature should be there, l would encourage regular gentle watering throughout the week when you can.
It’s a challenge for the volunteer/part time groundsperson, but to gain the best results this regular watering in the first two weeks and possibly longer is key. There is the option to wait for rain, but there’s a couple of issues with this, one the rain could be heavy and as a result you could get a lot of seed wash off.
Two while you’re waiting for rain, the local pigeons are getting heavier by the day, and day by day, week by week temperatures and daylight are becoming lower and as a result your seed has less chance of flourishing.
Should we also be putting a square to bed , take a look at this blog on some thoughts – https://turfcareblog.com/should-we-be-putting-a-cricket-square-to-bed/
What’s your biggest challenge to achieving the renovation results you want, or is it just down to bad luck in terms of seed wash off on sloping squares or something else??Tweet
Brian on behalf of the TurfCareBlog Community.
For more blogs/guide on renovations itself take a look here – https://turfcareblog.com/?s=renovation+guide
Another excellent read. As well as birds rabbits are major problem. We put electric fence round our main square as well as germ or scaffold sheets on ends. Also scaffold on 2nd square which may fence with chicken wire.
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