Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cricket Groundsmans Training Course

I can't believe the last time I posted was way back in May its been a busy Summer with some decent weather well except for Saturdays. We have lost four this year which is about twice as many as the average and thunder and rain are forecast for this Saturday what a pain! 
 The main reason for me breaking the silence is to tell you about the 
Groundsmans Course at Kirkstall Educational C C on 14th August
Run by the IOG supported by ECB and subsidised by YCBGA
The whole day practical hands on course will cost members of the YCBGA
 just £70-00 
You get the training a DVD and certificate to take home and feed and watered.

A few photos from last Autumn

Its just two week away but you still have the chance to get on this excellent course.
It is good for new starters or  people who have been before and want to refresh.
To book email
Or contact me.
I will get some photos together of the Summer so far and post them soon.
Tip:  Make sure you get your materials/contractors ordered soon for your Autumn renovations, to avoid disappointment we get very busy, Its only 6 weeks till the end of the season for most clubs around here.
Be proactive and do it then you can sleep nights.
Catch you soon 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Seed Trials

As you Cricket Groundsman will know things are a bit busy at this time of year. I am just in a period of 14 games in 16 days and its wet which compounds the problems.

Since the last post I have managed  a few day away in the Lake's with Anne, my daughter Louise, and my grand children Annabelle and Noah, the weather was beautiful and we had a good time but I wish I could take Noah's batteries out on occasions he is harder work than pulling sheets on and off  covered in water. 

Here they are trailing round the gardens of Mire House near Keswick -well worth a visit if you are in that part of the world.
 I have some ongoing seed trials on my square and here is a pitch that was sown with 100% Colosseum from Hurrells Seeds.

100% Colosseum

As I write this post this pitch has had 4 games and has had a fair amount of rolling. It has looked good and played well despite having had a period of 8 days under sheets with only a few hours of air over that time.
I have left it open to the recent rain but it looks like recovery is going to be very poor which is a surprise as this cultivar was bred from seed that had survived a test match. 
We shall see.

After talking to a few of my colleagues who look after  winter sport pitches I get the impression that a lot are using Limagrains MM60 seed so I have grown some in pots to compare it to a winter sports mix I have which is 35% Top Gun 35% Colosseum and 30% Carnac below are a couple of photos.

The say amount of seed was sown in each pot on the left is my Hurrell's mix  on the right is MM60 which has 4 DRPG Dwarf Perennial Rye Grass cultivars. The photo's were taken 15 days after sowing and they were sown on the 15 May 2014

I am also trialing some new cultivars from the US in this picture Hurrells is on the left MM60 in the centre with  Gray Fox on the right I have put this in to show a comparison as you can see the American Gray Fox is doing very well.

I have 5 pots of Ryegrass and 3 pots of others which are 2 Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass and a Hard Fescue.
Below is another picture.
Back row is Left to right is
Silver Dollar, Hurrells mix, MM60
Middle row 
Gray Fox, Vantage
 Front centre is 

Today I have taken some more photos they are below.

The 2 photos above show the Hurrells mix on the left and the MM60 0n the right after three weeks 21 days.
Make your own mind up about them.

Here are the other DPRG from the US I think you can see the names OK again after 21 days.

I thought that they were all ready for the first cut so I got the kitchen Scissors out and cut the back to about 1" after I took these photos.

Here are the 2 SSMG with the Hard Fescue in the middle this is as the others after 21 days from sowing.

I have put this photo up so you can see the difference in germination/establishment between the Rye Grass and the finer grass's. All seeded on the same day.

Two days after I sowed the grass seed I remembered I had a sample of wild flower mix so I got some of that is just to see what it would do in a small pot and below is the picture.

I havent got a clue what's in it but it grows very quickly it was a sample that Hurrells were handing out at BTME at Harrogate back in January.

Here are all the Ryegrass pots after cutting At this stage there's not a massive difference I do like the look of Gray Fox and Vantage not sure about Silver Dollar. 
We will see.

Plan View of the lot.

Back in the garden in front of my chrysants which need potting on urgently.

It is another poor day in Leeds today, yesterday the 1st team should have played but the rain started at lunch time and didn't stop till late afternoon so that was the second successive league game the 1st have been rained off at home.
Lets hope for an improvement.
Keep dry

Monday, 5 May 2014

So Long

I can't believe how long its been since I last posted. Allsorts has happened in that time, so for now I will post a number of photos and I am afraid you will have to imagine what each one is about apart from the odd comment.
 I hosted the IOG Foundation course back in April below are a few photos of the day.

 The two Yorkshire IOG stalwarts Rod Hayhoe and David Robinson, who assisted me on the day thanks guys
Jason Booth and Ian Powell came along to support along with Ian Mather-Brewster who was the course lecturer for the day. All three now employed by the IOG Jason being the head man.
I have cut and pasted the next bit because its so loooooooong.


After the course had ended I opened up my ground for anyone who wanted to see how I was doing with so seed trials I am running. 
We had a good turnout for both events some 24 on the Foundation part A and 20 to see the trials so I had a very busy time of it.
The seed trials are in conjunction with Hurrells Seeds of Driffield Nick Gladstone company MD came along to offer advise and assistance.

 My first Pitch after 4 games one more with Leeds Met Ladies then out of play and repair I think.
This is interesting as it is the first pitch I have cut out which had been sprayed last autumn and sown with one of the new cultivars in this case Colosseum I am pleased with it. It has a good even cover apart from some Fox damage which is a nuisance no meadow grass and the surface was very clean I didn't have much raking out to do.

Three more photos of the Colosseum pitch it will be used for this coming weekend for the first team against Ilkley who have just gained promotion and are riding high at the top of the league after three games, Still a long time to go I think we are fourth.
I will do some more brushing and rolling to which will get rid of the lines and firm it up a little more there is still moisture underneath.
Till next post.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Well I had my week in the sun now things are hectic on my return Rolling needs completing orders stacking up, and my old pal Henry at Farsley needs a helping hand. 

Local Fishermen sorting the nets I hope they do better then our cricketers.

Catch of the day Tuna fish.

Cape Verde is off the cost of Africa further south than the Canary islands this is the it is an archipelago of 10 islands this is the Island of Sal -meaning salt- it is not green as the name suggest but desert like as the soil is too salty to grow most things in. Some of the other islands are green they are all volcanic of course.
Above is the only lion I saw the hills in the back ground are the sleeping lion of Sal. We went on a jeep trip and pretty much saw all the island in 5 hours. 

Some of the seed under the trees by the drainage work I have been doing just emerging when I got back.

In between the hail and rain showers I have been getting as much rolling in as I can.
On Sunday I got rained off so went in my green house repotted some Chrysanths and took some more cuttings.

Cuttings just taken in the propagator don't forget to put the lid on.

Rooted cuttings potted on I will end up with more than I can grow but then I will keep the best and give away the rest if I can find a happy home for them.
Also on a wet Sunday afternoon I completed the work refurbishing the Sisis Lawnman as you will have seen from my previous post. 
I was very impressed with the response I got because it sold within 12 hours. 
The power of this blog never ceases to amaze me. 
Do you think I should allow Google to advertise on it?

The chaos that is my garage.

The completed machine with the brush it also has the rake attachment its old but because of the quality is still a better machine than Sisis make today in my opinion.

Yesterday morning after taking delivery of grass seed I had to go collect some parts I was having machined from the engineer. In doing so I passed the iconic building of the Yorkshire Post.... Yorkshires National Newspaper and though its is not pleasing on the eye I was saddened to see it is being demolished.
Well thats progress and we all have to except change so I am constantly being told.

 I know by the stats that a lot of you view this blog so the odd comment, good if possible or at least sensible would be encouraging for me to continue spending my time doing it. 
If you are not already why not follow me?

Thats all I have time for at the moment folks its raining so into my garage get building Magic Sponges 
Don't forget to put your clocks forward an hour on Sunday
Let British Summertime Begin