Ian Darler answers your questions Part 5--- DO YOU CUT THE PITCH ALL YEAR AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
We do generally cut the pitch all year apart from a 3-4 week window when we carry out the annual renovation although the time of year determines how often we cut and when we cut.
During the months of June, July & August we do tend to cut almost every day to keep the playing surface in top order and keep on top of the daily growth once we get to September the growth can start to slow a little and we drop the cutting to 3 days a week depending on what fixtures we have during that period.
Above cutting in progress with both mowers being used.
Our aim is to keep the grass as active as possible for as long as possible as this helps recovery after a fixture.
We are often asked why we walk with a mower and do not have a seat on the back well it is simple we always try to keep as much weight off the pitch as possible to avoid compaction as this causes serious problems within the turf and soil structure causing shallow root growth, water logging and anaerobic layering which leads to root break and an unstable playing surface. And let’s be honest it has other benefits in that it keeps you fit.
The winter months does see a reduction in the use of a mower and we generally mow before a fixture and after a fixture to clean the surface up after the game. We do also sweep the playing surface on a more regular basis from October to March to keep the mower shades in place and more importantly to dry the surface to help prevent disease within the surface.
As mentioned in one of the earlier questions we try to cut between 25-30mm in height.