This is the AUGUST 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
Check for disease activity and treat appropriately
Watch for pests and control when necessary
Be careful not to under or over irrigate
Mow regularly but raise cutting height in droughts

Winter games pitches
Open season
Lightly top dress any uneven areas following establishment
Keep moisture levels up with irrigation
Aerate to encourage penetration
Apply fertiliser, including liquid nitrogen feed to encourage density
Mow regularly to 25mm for football and 35mm for rugby

Prepare alternate winter greens
Irrigate regularly with additional hand watering to dry areas
Feed greens and tees if needed
Lightly dress greens
Watch for red thatch and treat
Divot tees regularly
Mow regularly
Rake bunkers daily
Reduce fairway mowing during dry summers
Mow greens to 5mm, tees to 8mm and fairways to 12mm
Clear ditches ready for thunder storms

Competitions will be at their height
Rotate rinks and sides to accommodate high levels of play
Apply fertiliser with high potash and iron to harden sward ready for colder weather
Irrigate regularly
Spike fortnightly
Control thatch, weeds and moss
Continue mowing to 5mm but raise cutting height if weather hot and dry

Continue preparing wickets to meet demand
Aerate and scarify wickets coming out of use
Mow square to 2mm
Irrigate thoroughly and roll regularly
Apply a balanced fertiliser if not already done
Mow outfield to 12mm

Water if necessary and if no drought orders in place
Mow 6-8mm for ornamental, 12mm for general and 25mm for amenity but increase during drought
Change position of benches and other furniture to avoid wear
Plan autumn renovation
Order renovation materials and seed

*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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