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January Maintenance 2020

January Maintenance 2020

3rd January 2020

The majority of football pitches are subject to surface damage at this time of year. Wet soils are more prone to damage than dryer, free-draining soils.  Once wet the soil can become de-stabilised reducing strength and wear resistance with increased torn and kick-out turf compounding the stress problem. 

Keep off the pitch when it is frozen.  Foot and vehicle traffic will crush frozen blades causing bruising and necrosis.

Mowing height during January should be between 25mm and 45mm.  Mowing frequency depends on ground conditions and presentation requirements.  Cutting in very wet conditions can be detrimental to the playing surface.  Mower vibration causes finer soil particles to rise and impede surface drainage and aeration. This reduces the oxygen entry to the turf with a danger of anaerobic black layer formation.

Aeration with solid tines or slits should be carried out twice during January, conditions permitting, to aid surface drainage and air entry letting in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.  Vary the depth from 50m to 300mm to help to prevent soil pans forming.    

Brush frequently to disperse dew and remove surface debris and achieve good striped appearance.  Harrowing and raking under dryer conditions will help with levelling and opening of the organic surface layer. Avoid working wet soil.

Application of Vitax Swardphite, Vitasil or Vitax 50-50 soluble iron during January will harden the turf against disease attack and enhance colour giving a deeper green effect without soft growth.

January summary:

•             Mow height 25mm to 45mm

•             Aeration with solid tines or slitting

•             Brushing frequently to remove dew and debris

•             Application of 50-50 liquid or soluble iron

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