As the end of the season approaches, (and hopefully it was a fabulous and rewarding one), the hard work of pitch renovation needs to begin as soon as possible.
Winter pitches need attention in the spring in order to ensure that they are ready for play again by August. The renovated pitch needs to sustain the whole of the up and coming season’s use. Having a great surface to play both rugby and football on can make a massive different to the performance of a team and consequently the results.
The main processes that should ideally be undertaken upon completion of a season are:
- Scarification – This is the process used to remove debris, thatch (dead or partially decayed organic matter) and meadow grass from the pitch by raking it. This essential process ensures that the ground is ready for seeding.
- Deep tine aeration– This process aerates and de-compacts the ground, allowing drainage of excess water and the free movement of air, encouraging deeper root growth.
- Spiking/slitting – This process will allow surface aeration of the pitch and improve the profile of the soil. Spiking will allow the roots to develop better and therefore assist in the growth of the grass.
- Top-Dressing – In order to assist with drainage, creating a good seed bed and levels, top-dressing is applied. The correct mix of soil and sand is applied to the pitch according to the pitches requirements
- Fertilising – In order to optimize plant health/growth and protect against disease.
- Over- seeding – The correct mix of seed is critical for quick germination and rapid establishment. The whole pitch can be overseeded, or if funds are tight just the pitch centre.
Once your pitch has been reinstated in the spring, then the cutting and maintenance needs to continue. Looking after a pitch correctly and maintaining it throughout the year may seem costly however it is a lot cheaper than having to replace a whole pitch or pay the fines for not providing an adequate playing surface for matches. You do not need to do all of the above operations every year and we can advise you on the priorities for your pitch, to ensure your budget goes as far as possible.
Remember to plan ahead and if possible decommission a pitch early to allow seed germination in optimal conditions, especially if you do not have access to irrigation equipment and a good water supply. Very often the ground is too dry for good germination by early May so a sowing in late March/April is always better.
We have all the machinery and expertise to help you with your pitch renovation programme this spring. If you would like a quote or would like to discuss any of the above processes then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0300 303 8616.