This is the FEBRUARY installment of Horticulture Week's month-by-month guide to essential maintenance and management tasks for turf and sports facilities such as bowling greens, cricket pitches, football pitches, rugby pitches, golf, lawns and other recreational and fine turf.

All turf areas

If ground is frosty or very wet keep off
Check for disease activity and treat appropriately
Remove dew and worm casts when possible
Winter feed

Winter games pitches
Continue divoting and maintaining an even surface
Overmark as necessary
Apply seed and sand to goal mouth and centre circle
Continue aerating with solid tines, brushing and harrowing
Mow to 35mm for football and 50mm for rugby

Use pin replacements to spread wear around green
Mow greens to 8mm, tees to 12mm and fairways to 18mm
Deep aerate fairways, slit or chisel tine greens and tees
Brush or switch greens
Finish winter work to bunkers, pathways and trees
Refurbish course furniture

Finish repairs
Apply turf hardener
Mow to 10mm
Aerate with slit tines, gradually moving to solid tines when possible
Hollow tine high spots with hand tools
Brush or switch daily
Light rolling could be beneficial
Clean ditches

Trim back to 20-25mm
Spike to 125mm if conditions permit

Give lawns a light trim to 12mm for ornamental use or 18mm for general use
Continue spiking
Finish repairs

*Jobs should only be undertaken when ground and weather conditions are suitable and will vary according to location and may vary significantly from year to year. And remember that while the year nicely divides into 12 months, activities often overlap.

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