Preparing the Turf

groundcare advice

Are you wondering how to salvage some life into your thirsty looking lawn? Does your sports turf remind you of the thatch-coloured carpet in your hall at home?

With Britain baking in temperatures regularly hitting 30C or more in the South East a lot of customers are quizzing us as to how to manage school playing fields. With the school holidays usually a time for restoring turf to tip top condition, this year’s heatwave is proving particularly challenging for site managers.

We’ve had many customers asking us to recommend our top ideas for turf management given the current conditions. Being in the South East, and facing the possibility of an imminent hose-pipe ban, water management is top of our list.

Efficient water sourcing

Lush grass is charming and inviting, and its survival depends very much on the type of grass used. For long grass, woody materials and uneven ground, a flail mower is your go-to. For the ground crew at Wimbledon Tennis Club who use a perennial ryegrass variety, cut to a precise 8mm length – a flail mower isn’t the best choice and a finishing mower is a much better fit. They’ve got rules, after all! Wiser heads can prevail if your goal is long term lawn survival, and lessening the time between dispatching those finishing mowers will see a slightly longer lawn able to draw on deeper water resources. The turf prioritises using water to keep roots alive, rather than being stimulated to send water and nutrients upwards to mend the cut.

Groundwater or collected water sourcing

Perfect for laying pipes or cables around fields, paddocks and small-holdings, the RPI Ripper and Pipe layer is one of our best sellers. Weighing just 45kgs, it makes quick work of 4.5cm pipe widths, which means you can get most (if not all) water pipes dug and laid in a few days. Connecting to groundwater or rainfall and collected/recycled water sources is the way to improve your water management plans in a property where regular watering is preferable.

Seeding for September

Usually a summer undertaking, seeding bare patches is a task we’d advise you to leave off until we experience a first medium to deep rainfall this summer. Once you commit to seeding your lawn turf, regular watering is a must. Similarly, reduce or completely avoid weed killing products until a few rains have settled the soil to a depth of 100mm to 200mm. If you can manage a full watering programme, ensure you are watering early to late evenings to maximise water retention depth.

During the winter months prepare your turf by reducing leaf litter from the surface, and mowing if the air temperature stays above 6 degrees. You could apply autumn or winter weed/lawn fertiliser combinations to promote the health of the turf over winter.

Keep in mind during September when the kids are back in school, new lawn growth on bare patches will need some roping off, to allow the turf to establish. Continue spiking, mowing and watering depending on growth and conditions.

For expert advice on choosing the right turf and groundcare equipment supplies for your needs contact our team. Call 01420 520510 or email sales@farmtechsupplies.co.uk.

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