Groundscare experts urge teams running local authority and community facilities to aerate pitches, relieve compaction and overseed "as a minimum".

Groundscare experts are urging groundscare teams responsible for local authority run and community facilities to aerate pitches and relieve compaction. 

The call follows widespread damage caused by last year's deluge and the extended freezing temperatures experienced this winter.

Said Campey Turfcare Systems managing director Richard Campey: "It's all about aeration and relieving compaction, then bringing it back to level and overseeding - that's the bare minimum."

He added: "To improve pitches, you need to do further operations. But all that happens to a lot of pitches is the grass is cut."

Campey discusses his concerns in an interview with Horticulture Week's technical editor Sally Drury for a feature looking at pitch protection measures which have proved difficult this year even for those running top end facilities.

Arsenal FC training ground head groundsman Steve Braddock tells Drury that this year conditions have been challenging.

"The cold winter has been difficult and with the rainfall washing out fertiliser, the grass hasn't had a chance for proper nutrition," he says.

It has also meant rescheduling work: "Normally we would start renovation work in the last week of February, when traditionally we get a couple of weeks of drier weather in order to strip off the grass," he explains.

"The plan this year is to strip off three pitches and go back and seed them slightly later than normal to allow the ground to warm up and help the seed to germinate. With an early renovation, the seed tends to take a long time to establish and then you can have another cold snap in April, putting you back even further."

For more on pitch protection click here.








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