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Any groundsmen out there?

Our new field needs work!

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Romeo Whisky19/05/2018 11:23:08
696 forum posts
188 photos

Our Club has a lovely new flying field which is flat and well drained, but it is very rough grass, having been grazed by sheep for a long time. It is rough enough to rip undercarriages off on landing, and break the props and bend motor shafts on belly landers.

At this stage in the season we don't want to lose it altogether, for ploughing, rolling and reseeding, and we are mowing it regularly. We have also had it rolled, but although that has helped to flatten the lumps it has done nothing for the hollows and missing divots which can still stop a model dead on a landing run.

So what do we do? We've thought of sharp sand but the thought of sand getting into motors and engines is not appealing. If we did do that, how long before it would bed into the soil?

I'm wondering what a golf-course groundsman would do to make a smooth fairway or putting green of it in relatively short order (if that's possible)?

All practical ideas welcome.

Mike T19/05/2018 13:06:42
392 forum posts
28 photos

Our 'pasture' is similarly rough. Ongoing mowing will bring it round (eventually) but we also roll ours by driving our cars up and down the strip in convoy. Even when the ground is quite dry, this will cause the edges of divots to break off and fill the holes. Ideally, you should roll when it's a bit more pliable, but it's difficult to time - one week can be the difference between too soft and too hard!.

We find 3 cars are optimum - any more and you risk interference from metal-to-metal noise...

Denis Watkins19/05/2018 16:00:34
3559 forum posts
166 photos

Work steadily over the the season

Pour a mixture of sand, seed and soil in the holes, overfilling and pressing down with your foot

Overnight dew is very wet and will feed the dryness

Get the lads to bring an old bottle filled with water, and steadily over the weeks, treat and fill the holes

Mow regularly, to cut down the course grass, then the fine grass can dominate

This is along term project and will improve the surface

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator19/05/2018 16:57:04
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15748 forum posts
1460 photos

We had similar problems, especially some very ugly dips and hollows. We tried the mowing and rolling thing but it never really worked. In the end we had the whole strip ripped up, leveled and reseeded. I'm afraid its the only way in the long run. My thoughts would be to live with it this season and bite the bullet in October. It's worth it in the long run.

BEB

Ron Gray19/05/2018 17:12:47
1388 forum posts
350 photos

Tarmac!

Cuban819/05/2018 18:53:00
2402 forum posts
9 photos

The lads that look after the strips at both of my clubs have access to very heavy rollers that get towed over the strips when they're suitably soft and in addition to regular i.e twice weekly mowing and divot filling, reseeding etc we have two bowling green (almost) quality strips. Mind you, it's taken many years to get them that way from the original rough pasture. Thankfully, we've have no livestock grazing for very many years as it was impossible to keep a decent patch when sharing with horses and sheep - the sheep were the worst, their muck really stinks and at least you can collect the horse dung for your roseslaugh

Tom Sharp 219/05/2018 23:29:03
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3325 forum posts
17 photos

our club spent seven or eight years getting the strip perfect, then we were shifted off to make way for solar panels

Engine Doctor20/05/2018 08:14:42
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2198 forum posts
20 photos

Our club ,or rather a few of us have recently had to move our patch, due to a solar farm installation , to a previously rough part of the field. First we rough mowed it then hired a large ride on vibrating roller . Timing is key to this as to soft and it will obviously sink and too late and the ground is too hard. It left us a window of about a fortnight to get it done. The patch was good the first year and now ,after a late start due very long wet winter is getting very smooth.

The heavy rollers are not cheap to hire but do get the ground smooth. Long undulations cannot be smoothed out but sheep and rabbit holes ,if plugged first with a large piece of turf, are smoothed out nicely. We used to roll our previous patch with a heavy roller every couple of years but have now bought a cylinder mower with a roller that keeps the arch very smooth . Hope you get it sorted as nothing worse than disgruntled moaning member .

Edited By Engine Doctor on 20/05/2018 08:16:29

john stones 120/05/2018 12:32:05
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10273 forum posts
1475 photos

You don't need sharp sand in your mix, it's to improve drainage and you said its well drained soil.

Plummet20/05/2018 18:22:15
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1384 forum posts
41 photos
Posted by Ron Gray on 19/05/2018 17:12:47:

Tarmac!

Naaaaa! Knackers the mower blades.smiley

Plummet

Martin McIntosh20/05/2018 19:33:28
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2774 forum posts
1037 photos

We needed a much larger closely mown area and tried to do it ourselves with a rotavator etc and it was a disaster. The original grass was killed off with something which was supposed to deactivate on contact with the soil, but it didn`t and killed the new seeds. Our farmer offered to do it properly for a fee and it is now superb, 100m x 30m. It gets regularly rolled, fed, mown, watered and treated to kill off leatherjackets. No sheep for the last few years since he does not want his handiwork destroyed by them.

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