Lawns - November 2012

This section collects together the information concerned with Surbiton's seven lawns.

Photos by George Noble
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Lawn News

George Noble writes:

"We are now at the time of year when we plan the autumn renovation work on the lawns. The work will be particularly intensive this year because we have to deal with the problems which have arisen over the summer and get the lawns into good condition for the major events next year, including the World Championship in August.

The particular problems we have identified are a build up of thatch on most of the lawns, moss and “dry patch”. “Dry Patch” is associated with thatch and fairy rings (we have both) and occurs when a resin attaches itself to the soil particles and prevents them hanging onto water. Grass growth is consequently poor. It has been a particular problem on lawns 2 and 3.

Dry patch is readily dealt with by applying a posh detergent to remove the resin – called a “wetting agent”. Moss can be treated with an iron sulphate based spray followed by scarifying and improved aeration. The thatch is also dealt with by scarification and aeration. Here is a list of the operations which will be carried out when the lawns are closed. The bowls lawn is having the same treatment.

Scarifying (twice) with a 1.5m tractor mounted Graden machine. This operates more deeply that normal scarifiers and should be spectacular. We are likely to have a large heap of dead grass.

Earthquake – a subterranean blade breaks up the harder soil well below the surface – less spectacular because you can’t really see what is going on below.

Verti-draining – solid tines aerate the top 150mm of the lawns.


Top dressing

Apply fertiliser and worm treatment

The moss and dry patch treatments will be applied before the end of the season and the rest of the work will be done after 8 October.

The contractor’s work on the lawns was finally completed on Saturday 27 October with the top dressing. The photos show scarifying, removal of “arisings, vertidraining. seeding and the application of top-dressing. Our new lute is also shown. It was put to further, good, use later when it was used with a spirit level to level the west boundaries of lawns 1,2,3 and 4. It is now time to start cutting again. The Graden scarifier was an innovation for us this year. It is a very aggressive machine and takes out lots of thatch and coarse grass. The grass quality is already much better. The other innovation was that our contractor has a new top dressing spreader which uses spinning discs rather than simply a moving belt. The dressing was therefore spread evenly over a much wider area than in previous years. A much better job.” ”

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