Pitch Tips July 2017
It is event time for most stadiums that are in summer break. At our ASSIST centre we see many pitches being covered for events. Six tips for covering the pitch for events:
PITCH COVERAGE EVENTS
1. Keep fertilizer levels low before you cover the pitch
2. Overseed the pitch before your cover the pitch, preferably in combination with topdressing which will protect the seeds during the germination process
3. Keep the soil temperature as low as possible
4. Use the UVC180 or spray fungicides to reduce the chance of disease outbreak
5. Reduce the cutting height just before you cover the pitch. A lower cutting height results in lower leaf volume which makes the plant less susceptible for damage and diseases.
6. Make sure that the pitch is covered when in the driest possible condition (dry leaf!)
Summer renovations are or will be in full swing. Get a strong start for the new season!
After renovation, time to try and drive the roots down. One way to do that is to try to dry out your pitch as far as possible. Then the moment it gets too dry, apply heavy irrigation. Keep repeating this process to achieve deep rooting. Consider a water penetrant to create uniformity with water passing through the profile. There are two options to do that.
1. Treat the entire pitch by using spraying equipment
2. Targeted on specific areas that need better water transport through the soil. The best way to do this is by using the hose, in which the penetrant is injected into the water.
Another way or additional way to enable deeper rooting is aeration.
Make sure grass is dry during the night, so no irrigation in hours of darkness, to limit the chances of diseases. Remove grass dew in the morning, if any present, with drag brushes.
In order to protect the still fragile plants (if you’ve renovated) consider leaving the grass slightly longer and keep heavy machines of the pitch. If you have some areas with low density, you could cover these areas with a white germination sheet. Moisture is very important for germination and because of the evaporation slows down, making the area under the cover more humid.
Winter may have finally arrived in most parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Parts of Australia have experienced record low rainfall, warm temperatures and extended hours of light due to the number of fine clear days; very favourable circumstances for a groundsmanager. But, if winter has not arrived it's only a matter of time.
Re-seeding (interseeding) should be done while soil temperatures are still above (14-20 degrees C) average for this time of the year. Using growth sheets/covers during colder times will help with retaining better soil temperatures. This may not be necessary yet but be prepared.
Correct and efficient use of your SGL units will ensure that the plant stays strong for when the cold finally arrives. You can check your lighting hour advice on the SGL portal if you have an SGL ASSIST package.
Make sure you spend time to check the weather forecast. If strong wind is coming, make sure all lights are secure on the pitch by using the wheel blocks. The past weeks there has been a dry spell in Australia, but heavy rain could occur any time. Keep a close eye on the soil moisture values, which are measured by the SGL Analyser and displayed on the SGL Portal.
Just as the plant, the nematodes also get inactive during the winter. You can consider doing a nematode analysis. Following that you can predict the new hatch The Growing Degree Days calculation can help to predict the next hatch. This is possible with the SGL Analyser. Based on this calculation you can estimate when the hatch begins and you can time the treatment more precisely.