Cricket Ground Maintenance Tips
To support groundsmen, the following cricket grounds maintenance calendar has been supplied courtesy of Pitchcare.
This calendar should be used as a guide only.
Winter is an ideal time for getting many repairs to the ground completed. Scoreboards, practice net posts and fences around the ground can be repaired, painted or stained. Depending on ground conditions, some clubs may be able to complete drainage or reconstruction works during the winter months.
As summer time ends and winter begins, renovation programmes on cricket squares should by now have been completed. With the north of England and Scotland suffering from high winds and low pressure systems, the Midlands and Southern parts are basking in warm day time temperatures, which, continuing into October has certainly helped in getting germination on the square.
This is the time when your irrigation system proves its worth for the majority who are in the midst of end of season renovations, as moisture retention in the soil is vitally important for seed germination. Indeed, many Groundsmen are seeing their seed come up within seven days.
September can be the busiest time for some groundsmen. Those who have a few weeks left of their season will be busy planning end of season activities, whilst others will be turning their attentions to more important issues such as end of season renovations.
July was certainly a testing month for many groundsmen with the weather dictating the extent of works required. Many parts of the country were experiencing extreme weather fronts, with some areas experiencing drought conditions whilst others were having heavy thundery showers.
July is seen as the busiest time of the season as we approach the half way stage, with renovations and pitch preparations in full swing; July should, hopefully, provide some favourable soil and air temperatures to finally promote some decent grass growth and, more importantly, give you the drying weather to help prepare firmer wickets.
We should now be well into the cricket season, with ground staff working hard to produce quality playing surfaces for their clubs. The recent hot sunny weather and drying winds may certainly have had an affect on the square, rapidly drying out the playing surfaces and, in some cases, cause some severe cracking of the soil profiles.
April has provided us with one of the driest months on record for 50 years, in some parts of the UK, promoting ideal conditions for pre season rolling, pitch preparations and out field maintenance. Ironically though, this unusually dry spell of weather does have cause for concerns.
After a winter of snow, rain and freezing temperatures it is surprising how quickly the weather can change and influence ground conditions. With spring on its way and summer just around the corner, soil temperatures will soon begin to rise, stimulating some much needed growth.
As we move out of winter, and with spring just around the corner, we are hoping the worst of the winter weather is behind us. With the increased daylight hours, milder weather and warmer temperatures, this should stimulate some much needed grass growth.
February sees the beginning of a number of activities such as, brushing, verti-cutting, mowing, light rolling and fertilising to prepare the sward/grass surfaces for the forth-coming playing season. After a harsh winter of snow and frosts, the key to these activities is timing as each operation is weather dependent.
With a mild winter being experienced by many so far, and below average rain fall in some parts, January's weather can be fairly unpredictable, with snow, rain and freezing temperatures that are not always conducive to your planned winter maintenance regimes. Many grounds may well be saturated, preventing you from doing any work to the square or the outfield.