This is the SEPTEMBER 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

Winter games pitches
Repair divots
Inspect goal posts before each game
Apply light topdressing and fertiliser if not applied last month
Seed thinning areas
Control weeds with selective fertiliser
Seed thin areas
Mow regularly to 25mm for football and 35mm for rugby

Renovate greens with irrigation, aeration, scarification, mowing, overseeding and topdressing
Irrigation may be required for seed germination
Apply fertiliser to greens and tees if not fed last month
Watch for red thatch and treat
Remove dews as they occur
Divot tees regularly
Scarify fairways
Mow greens to 5mm, tees to 8mm and fairways to 12mm

Although the season will not finish until the end of the month, some renovation work can start
Consider hollow tining
Top dress
Watch for fusarium and pests and control as necessary
Continue mowing to 5mm

Renovate the square once the season is closed, first mowing at 5mm to produce a clean surface, then scarify thoroughly, followed by more mowing
Aerate to 100mm
Spike and overseed before applying and working in top dressing
Apply low nitrogen
Reduce mowing on outfield to 25mm
Repair, overseed and feed if used for football in winter

Continue mowing 6-8mm for ornamental use, 12mm for general and 25mm for amenity
Change position of benches and other furniture to avoid wear
Start scarification
Control moss
Overseed where needed
Attack weeds for last time this year
Apply a balanced autumn feed
Aerate if not too dry

*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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