Lawn Report 2014

Lawn News

George Noble writes:

We have now received the assessment of our lawns which is based on the recent visit by the Institute of Groundsmanship inspector. Click here to see it. We hope that the autumn renovation work will start on Monday, 6 October and it will take account of these findings”


Lawns six and seven have recently undergone a “transformation”. This attempts to explain what has happened and why.

The problem

Although I thought that the lawns were reasonably flat, there was always a problem that they were often wet, especially in the top layer. There was also an occasional sulphurous miasma when the lawns were spiked and we thought that this was due to a condition known as “black layer”. Black layer prevents water from flowing through the soil profile and hence the water logging. However, our profile never looked like this picture and two years of intense scarifying and aeration did not improve the problem.

You may recall from my report to the 2014 AGM that we proposed to relay lawns six and seven in the hope that it would deal with the problem by spreading the layer through the profile. In the same report, I said that we hoped that the Institute of Groundsmanship’s turf advisor would assess the lawns for us and make recommendations. That assessment has been done and we should have a report by the end of September. We know from a sneak preview that the problem we have is not one of black layer but a sandy layer which acts as a barrier to the passage of water and root growth. You can just about see the sandy layer in the photo to the right. Fortunately, relaying is also the best solution to the sandy layer (it was caused by the wrong sort of top dressing many years ago).

The levelling operation

The turf had been sprayed with glyphosate five days before this operation began. This machine takes off the top inch or so, consisting mainly of dead grass, thatch and soil. The removed stuff is now elegantly arranged between lawn seven and the stream. Then the ground was spiked, earthquaked and rotovated as below:

The laser leveller consists of a transmitter which sends out a beam, almost parallel to the surface of the earth. The beam is picked up by a receiver on the blade which moves the blade up and down to get the level. Although I thought that lawn seven was level, it is now clear that it was 4” out.

Then a final rake to produce the seedbed and 60kg per lawn of dwarf ryegrass seed................

.................. and tucked up until the end of September:

Now to plan the work on the other five lawns ready to start in early October.

Surbiton Croquet Club
© Copyright 2003-15

NF 8/01/15

Updated 7.vii.22