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.
Following a wet winter and storms badly affecting many grounds, it is now time to regularly brush the square to lift the sward, keeping it upright to help dry the plant and reduce disease.
It is now time to start pre-season rolling, although you may already have gotten your regime underway.
Hopefully you have already conducted a soil analysis of your soil profile enabling you to find out the nutrient status you are working with. This can assist your decisions about what fertiliser to to buy and use. You now want to be applynig a spring/summer fertiliser to bost top growth - remember to use manufacturer's recommended rates.
You should now be into the full swing of pitch preparations, mowing and marking. Follow the 10-12 day guidelines to try to produce a consistent wicket that generates fast medium pace. Get your lines accurate and straight. Begin the month by irrigating the square well - if you haven't done so already.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your key tasks after a well deserved Christmas break is to remove any surface debris from the square such as leaves and litter. Get rid of it all as the sward won't survive if it is denied access to the light.