Pitch Tips June 2017

The Southern Hemisphere is now entering winter season, while in the Northern hemispere we're heading towards summer. Our agronomy team have written down tips the month of June, for both situations.

Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere we are now entering our winter season which often means greatest use of our pitches often combined with our worst growing conditions. In Southern parts of Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa you will experience our coldest and wettest period of the year. Usage of Grow Lights should be maximised in line with SGL recommendations, which you can find on the SGL Portal, to ensure the plant receives desired light levels. Soil temperatures will continue to decrease and soil moisture content will likely be higher. It will be important to manage soil moisture with the use of soil penetrants and cultural practices. Some Pitch managers will use growth sheets/covers during colder temperatures to assist with raising the soil temperature.

In parts of Northern Australia and South America winter is generally a mild and dry climate. Keeping more moisture in the soil will be a challenge in these regions. Soil testing at this time is important to ensure the right balance of nutrients leading into winter.

Northern Hemisphere

Good chance that you are or will be busy renovating in June. We have put together a quick list of tasks following your renovation:

• Hand pick any weeds, or poa that may get back into the pitch

• Take care when cutting to collect all grass and not to let any fall on the pitch, which will start to produce alagae and thatch

• Start to get conservative on the irrigation. When the grass is showing signs of heavy drought, apply heavy water, and then keep repeating the process. Each time you should be able to go a bit longer as the roots start to get deeper.

• What is your disease prevention strategy? UV-C light, bacteria products, fungicides? Make a program and be pro-active in implementing this program.

• Check if your goal line is level with the crossbar for goal height. If not make some small top dressing alterations.

• Get your match mowers grinded ahead of the new season

• Try to choose light weight machines for initial cutting

• Have you thought about a soil penetrant so water passes evenly through the surface?

• Get a nematode count

• Consider a soil analysis following the addition of new top dressings, if required adapt your nutrient input

• Leave the grass a little longer, 30mm for example