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Why Water/Verticutting a Sports Turf Surface

by TurfCareBlog

Reasons for Watering and Verticutting a Cricket Square

mowers images of verticutting
Note the seed head of the weed grass(annual meadow grass) ,on my glove

Hopefully this blog will help show you the benefits of verticutting a sports turf surface, in this case l use a Dennis Cassette mowers verticutting unit.


Back to it after a full easter off, with no cricket must be a first in two decades.

Got into work, animal damage was there again hoping the leatherjacket larvae hatch soon, meaning nothing to dig for, but at the moment the digging crow/badger is winning.

Squares where good in colour and felt it could take a verticut, thinning of horizontal grasses, we want a vertical standing plant free of weed grass.

The weed grass is shallow rooted, coarse and crown like in growth, so not good for cricket wickets where an evenly grassed surface is required.

 look at the pictures below, along with the weed grass also a lot of dead grass(brown) left over from the winter.

Grass is a living thing and sheds leaves all the time and if uncollected it can have a long-term detrimental effect on pitch performance.

Followed up verticutting up with a cut, chance to sit down after a lot of walking.

PM-repairing animal damaged areas and some outfield cutting and some square watering and it was a productive day.

work images
Fighting the early signs of drought


The squares are showing signs of plant drought, only early stages so gave the square a light liquid feed, and then let it dry on the leaf. I then spent the rest of the day watering, around my other jobs.

The ends are showing the first signs of drought stress, with the plant browning.The ends are usually the first to dry out, as they often tend to be higher than the rest of the square. The ends are also at the top of the slope.

Another sign of drought is the weed grass on the outfields, going to seed, the weed grass is shallow rooted so the first to cry out for water. If you don’t water it, it threatens you by putting out its seed heads and spreading yet further.

Also if you choose to not water the outfield it will die off, and come back fully as weed grass, unless you have the budget to re seed fully. Water it and you got to keep this fickle foe in business, is where we are.

Hedge cutting and flymo behind fence lines, everything is growing so fast and l am certain with the warmth in the ground, just a bit of rain and it will kick on again a couple of notches.


Rain incoming on radar ,4 hours earlier than forecast ,no change there so a coffee to go and straight to work early doors.

Gave the outfield a feed(half rate), with a slow  release fertiliser which should gradually feed  the grass for the next 2-3 months.

Also gave both squares a half rate fertiliser application, so the rain can wash it in which is vital as the grass is a little stressed and the fertiliser can scorch the plant, if not well washed in.

Well another bad forecast,so this afternoon l shall be watering in all those fertilised areas ,along with a cutting of the south outfield and some strimming.

Hopefully this blog has given you some confidence and knowledge on verticutting a sports turf surface.


Ps-If you missed last weeks blog and want to catch up,take a look


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chrisjohnson12017 April 18, 2020 - 11:17 am

Great blog again – very helpful. Wish I had your resources & energy! Ends pose a problem – what can be done to overcome growth issues and on verticutting – what should be cutting direction, slight angle to pitch width, vary each time (?) and up and down?

groundsman620467822 April 18, 2020 - 11:39 am

Easier when it’s your profession,you guys are the real hero’s of the industry

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