The Derbyshire Groundsman’s Association held its February meeting via zoom last week to provide updates and guidance to its members.
Here is the video to watch:
In the video you can see:
00.0 minutes – Mick Glenn, update from the Derbyshire Cricket Foundation
03.10 minutes – Dave Fern, update from the County League
14.30 minutes – Mike Aplin from Larch Groundworks on the services his company offers groundsmen
25.30 minutes – Steve Hollis with a guide to early season work on your ground, plus Q&A’s
65.00 minutes – Steve Hart’s closing remarks
If you don’t have time to watch the video, below are notes on what Steve Hollis said:
The first thing Steve said is that if the weather is good and the pitch dry there is no reason why you shouldn’t be out working on your pitch. So if the weather is warm and dry in February, as it has been for the past few days, there are things you can do on the list below:
- On the first visit have a good look at the pitch – check for debris such as twigs and stones. Also look for heaving on the pitch and check for worm casts.
- Have you had your mowers serviced – do they start OK? Best to check early and well before you need to use the equipment on the square.
- Check the squareness of the square using the 3 4 5 method – I assume everyone is familiar with this and mark out your square with T marks so you know where you’re working.
- Wait for a dry day, especially if you have a lot of worm casts, then drag mat or brush the pitch to get rid of the casts. One of the first jobs is to apply a worm suppressant such as Vitax Enhance C
- If you have a lot of moss try using Iron Sulphate as this will also toughen up the grass, but the best answer for moss is lots of aeration in late autumn and maybe again during the winter. It is too late to spike your square now and core aeration should definitely not be attempted
- Do a first cut on the pitch, preferably with a rotary mower to about 20mm or 3/4 inch
- A very light scarify or verticut may be needed if there is a lot of debris in the pitch
- Start cross pitch rolling, roll as slowly as possible. Again, there is no recommended date for this, you have to use your judgement, not too wet and don’t wait too long in case there’s a very dry March. Steve recommends about 8 hours of rolling for a 10 pitch-square.
- Apply either Autumn/Spring fertiliser (4-6-8 NPK) or early Summer fertiliser (9-4-10)
- Continue to reduce the height of the square to whatever height you would use during the season
- About 10 days before the first game start work on your first pitch
- Typically apply a summer fertiliser around the end of May.