In September, the new season is in full swing and all your pitches should be looking at their best. With the warm temperatures encouraging grass growth, you should be continuing with regular mowing of the sward to help promote tillering and mowing the grass at least twice a week; more if you have the resources. Mowing with a cylinder mower will give you the best results and cutting in a different direction each time will provide a perfect presentation. The air temperatures will continue to be high at this time of year, so it is important to keep on top of the grass growth to ensure a quality playing surface.
Key Tasks for September Maintenance
Brushing the surface is important because it keeps the air circulating around the base of the grass plant and by removing early morning dew you will assist in controlling any disease.
By regularly mowing at your preferred height of cutting you will ensure a good sward density for your surface.
Verticutting - will assist in removing lateral growth and it will also aid air circulation
Continue spiking and slitting when the conditions are right - alternating between surface and deep with occasional slitting as aerating and spiking high wear areas ‘now’ will help them later in the season.
Linemarking - “measure twice: mark once” is a great tip when marking out new pitches.
Autumn fertiliser when the conditions are right. The application of a good balanced feed, with perhaps a seaweed tonic, may help to fill your grass out.
Watering - If you can’t water the whole pitch, at least try and water areas of high wear.
September is the best time of the year for overseeding; it is the time of the year that the grass plant is naturally dropping its seed, with plenty of available warmth and moisture, leading to good germination. As good soil contact and appropriate planting depth are key to success; with seeding one should be careful to avoid rolling seed into the surface too aggressively and allow natural rainfall to gently firm the soil around the seed.
Agronomically all turf managers should be on the lookout for disease pressure, the key times for infection being when warmth and moisture coincide, so periods of warm humid nights and damp days are periods everyone should pay attention to. Reducing the period of continual leaf blade wetness to below ten hours through gentle brushing and switching are a key method of cultural control.
September also provides a really good opportunity for weed control, due to plenty of available moisture and warmth leading to good growth.
In terms of fertilisers, selecting a fertiliser with a lower nitrogen and higher potassium content is best.