This is the MARCH 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
Remove dew and worm casts when possible
Avoid causing compaction
Check irrigation equipment towards end of the month
Increase mowing

Winter games pitches
Continue divoting and maintaining an even surface
Overmark as necessary
Apply light seed and sand dressing to worn areas
Continue aerating with solid tines, brushing and harrowing
Mow to 35mm for football and 50mm for rugby

Mow greens to 8mm, tees to 12mm and fairways to 18mm
Continue to aerate, gradually moving to solid tines towards the end of the month
Brush or switch as necessary
Apply turf hardener
Deep aerate fairways and carry out any repairs

Mow to 10mm
Brush or switch as necessary
Aerate with slit or solid tines
In the south, apply light topdressing at end of the month
Start light rolling, twice a week
Begin thatch control at end of month
Clean ditches

Reduce mowing to 18mm
Begin pre-season rolling the square, starting with a light roller
Carry out a light scarification to the square
Make any final repairs to outfield

Continue with light mowing to 12mm for ornamental, 18mm for general and 50mm for amenity
Continue spiking and hollow tine if possible
Scarify and apply suitable feed
Begin moss treatments

*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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