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April Maintenance

April Maintenance

1st April 2019

Grass is really growing at its fastest now as temperatures and light levels become higher.  The turf will thicken as tillering increases.  Mowing height should decrease to 25mm to 35mm.  Use Early Start to disperse dew and remove surface debris and achieve good striped appearance.  Grooming and verticutting will reduce excess lateral growth and allow more air into the organic layer encouraging thatch degradation.  Aeration is still a key operation at this time of year to maintain drainage and aeration.  Needle tines are ideal at this time of active growth.  Avoid any work on the turf in wet conditions that could cause compaction, capping and anaerobic conditions lethal to turf roots.  Spiking sand based pitches helps reduce compaction and maintains a soft playing surface.

Repair and reseed divots and worn areas.  Germination and growth are rapid in April.  Use a good quality, compatible loam.  Lightly roll after working into the repair area.  Avoid compaction with heavy rollers. April is an ideal time to test the soil for nutrient status.  Your fertiliser application for the next few months will be guided by this.  Vitax offer a soil sampling service free of charge, testing for pH, phosphate, potash, magnesium, salt and organic matter content.

Loam and clay-loam soils hold more nutrients than sandy soils.  The lighter (less clay, more sand) the soil the more carefully the nutrient programme has to be managed.  There is less buffering from the soil.  Fertilisers with an organic content offer a spread of release so are ideal for use on sandy soils where they also benefit soil microbe activity. Enhance 15+2+8+MgO+TE @ 20g/m2 will provide immediate and slow release organic nutrients, including all trace elements.

Maintain turf health with an application of SwardPhite on a twice monthly basis.  Continue to apply VitaSil monthly to harden blades and encourage upright growth for a clean cut, and regulate water within the turf as temperature increases.  Continued application of Seaturf +Fe or VitaKelp will aid enzyme activity in the turf and boost micro-organism activity in the organic layer helping to reduce debris build up. If your soil is alkaline, Vitax Sulphur 95 can lower the pH and discourage germination of meadow grass as well as reducing worm cast production.  Worms prefer alkaline conditions so surface less when sulphur is present.

April summary:

•             Carry out soil nutrient testing

•             Brushing

•             Spiking, solid tines or slits

•             Light rolling if conditions allow

•             Application of Endure WG Spring and Summer 16+4+8

•             Application of Seaturf+Fe/VitaKelp and Sulphur 95 on alkaline soils.

•             Seeding of sparse areas

•             Application of SwardPhite to encourage rooting and healthy growth

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