Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tuesday 31st March

The heavy rain last night meant that it was not possible to do any work on the square today so my attention turned to the damaged areas of the outfield where the tent for the firework display was.

The SISIS Triorake set at a good depth soon cut into the turf leaving groves for the grass seed. The hardest part of the job was then to get the grass seed to go where I wanted it to as the wind was so strong.

A quick roll over the repaired areas with the roller sealed the groves with the grass seed hopefully trapped inside. All I need now is a couple of weeks of warm sun and the new seed will be up. Another job done!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sunday 29th March

The clocks have gone forward! This means that with the nights getting lighter work can be done at the Rec on an evening as well as during the day.

With the club's Twitter page announcing that the first game is 3 weeks on Saturday, here are some dates for club members to come down and lend a hand.

Sunday 19th April 10am: The fencing surrounding the square needs to come down and parts of the wire netting along the safety fencing for the railway line put back up having been pulled down by people trying to retrieve footballs. 

Monday 20th April 6.30pm: The outfield is not in a good state so we have 2 tons of topsoil that needs spreading to fill in the holes. Please bring a spade and garden rake.

Tuesday 21st April 6.30pm: If all of the topsoil has not been spread on Monday then we will have another go tonight.

It would be a great help if every club member could make at least one session.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Friday 27th March

It is all action at the Recreation Ground as work continues at a pace on the square. 

John has started rolling and with Roy's help, temporarily removed the fence and cut down the long grass that had grown up against the fence.

With rain predicted for the next two days I decided it was time to get the first application of fertilizer on. 

Having now scarified, cut and rolled, the square is starting to look like cricket might be played on it in 4 weeks time.

Good news from the Rec Centre Committee Meeting last night: the committee approved the purchase of 100m of water hose, a wheeled carrier and sprinkler. No more will I have to join together 4 lengths of water hose of varying quality and use a spiked sprinkler on a home made base.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Saturday 21st March

There is always a solution to every problem and despite the main mower not being available I was able to cut the square this morning with an alternative machine.

It is always good to get the first cut of the season done. With the scarifying and mowing the square is starting to look like a cricket square.

Now for the rolling, but over to John for that.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday 20th March

First call on my time today was Fastlane Displays as I went over to the Yorkshire Events Centre in Harrogate to help set up for Springtime Live which is taking place this Sunday. It will be a big event, with lots to see and do.

I used the opportunity to call in at County Mowers in Wetherby on the way home to talk to them about replacing our Highway 213 triple mower. County Mowers are keen to sell us a used Toro 31100.

I know that this will give an excellent cut but to do so you need to travel at a low speed. I think that we must go for a fairway mower that will go faster and give an adequate cut.

With the weather being good this afternoon I had a couple of hours scarify the square with our ALKO scarifier, which is now starting properly after Kevin sorted it out on Wednesday. 

It is amazing how much thatch you can take out. All of this came from going over the square twice.

The grass has started growing so the next thing is to give the square its first cut. Just one small problem to overcome: the mower is not back from its service yet at Kevin is finding it difficult to get the parts. It is a Ransome Marquis which we have had since I have been at the club. It is the only machine that I have ever used that starts first pull every time - a Honda engine. We need to buy another mower once I can find a suitable replacement. If the Club treasurer is reading this I am coming your way; please have your cheque book to hand!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Monday 16th March

It has not rained for a few days so I decided that this afternoon I would start scarifying the square. 

I had forgotten how hard it was to push the SISIS scarifier as it is not self propelled so I was only able to do about one third of the square, but at least I have have made a start. We had got an ALKO scarifier which is much easier to push, but I couldn't get it started, so the engineer is coming on Wednesday to return our other equipment after servicing them and he will sort the ALKO scarifier out at the same time.  

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday 13th March

Iron sulfate works quickly!

The lads from Acaster Forge worked hard yesterday getting the posts up. They will be back next week to put the netting up. 

The overnight rain means that it is too wet to do any work today so my attention has turned to the pegs that I use to mark the width of each pitch.

For a number of years I have used the red plastic tent pegs shown in the picture below, but no matter how hard I try to keep them visible they always seem to get lost as the top is not very big and I have to spend too much time looking for them, trying to measure out 10 feet with my feet and then probing the turf with a screwdriver!

So this year I have gone for something bigger and more obvious. Hopefully these white discs will be more obvious and with the pegs to hold them in place they will work better. They are just some white plastic discs cut from a sheet of 'foamex' screwed to the top of plastic tent pegs from Halfords.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thursday 12th March

The conditions at the Rec today were suitable to spray the square with iron sulfate to kill off the moss.

I have learnt from past experience that it is essential to dissolve the iron sulfate in advance and then to filter it through some muslin. If you don't do this some small undissolved particles get through to the spray heads and they become blocked. There is nothing more frustrating than having to try and unblock the spray heads and internal filter with a tank full of solution.

I bought some 10 litre plastic water bottles off Ebay (2 for less than £10) to make up the solution the day before. One kg of iron sulfate per bottle and it all just about dissolved. The square needed four of these made up to 20 litres in the tank.

It all worked as planned. A couple of hours and the job was done. Now I will wait a few days for the moss to go black and then it will hours of scarifying to get the dead moss out.

As I walked over the square with the sprayer I noticed that there were a lot of worm casts appearing, so another job will be to spray with a worm deterrent soon.

There are signs that the grass is starting to grow so it won't be long before I make the first cut of the season and then we can probably start the rolling.

The season is rapidly approaching!

Lots of action going on today at the Rec. Acaster Forge are installing the netting on top of the existing fence to stop the footballs being kicked onto the bowling green. Last year at least one person was hit by a ball whilst playing. Hopefully the new netting will stop it happening.