Category Archives: Groundsmanship

Leatherjackets in your turf – Don’t panic

With the daddy long-legs (Tipula paludosa) having laid their eggs over the summer time, the eggs will now have hatched, having then turned into larvae, and will be readily eating away at the base of grasses and grass roots. “They can be active at temperatures as low as 5°C (Blackshaw, 1992) and so can continue to feed during periods of mild weather in winter. They become more active and feed voraciously in the spring when the soil begins to warm. When fully

Work with nature, not against it

A successful turf surface is one where the groundsman or greenkeeper works with nature, not against it. What I mean by this is that we must nurture nature by understanding ecological processes and the impacts maintenance activities and weather conditions have on these processes. Don’t try and force grass to grow (making it weak, more susceptible to disease and easier to wear and be kicked out of a surface) by applying an incorrect fertiliser or with a late in the year fertiliser application just

Open data – use it for fun or serious business decisions

Data are (yes it’s plural) everywhere, but what is available as ‘open data’ is also vast. “Open data is data that anyone can access, use or share. Simple as that. When big companies or governments release non-personal data, it enables small businesses, citizens and medical researchers to develop resources which make crucial improvements to their communities.” (The Open Data Institute, https://theodi.org/what-is-open-data) Where can you find open data? Well, local authorities, Governing Bodies and Government funded research projects provide a wealth

Coding skills in courses and for the workplace

Having the ability to code (e.g. HYML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery) and programme (e.g. PHP, MY/SQL, Python,) to gain the most out of digital technology is a skill increasing being required within the workplace. Gaining specialist skills in cybersecurity are seen by one author as being a good investment if you want to “assure 50 years of steady, well-paying employment” (Alec Ross, 2016 ‘The industries of the future’, p.150), although here I am considering the more general aspects of coding and

Lawn update – 3rd November

Autumn is well underway with tree leaves coming off in abundance, but winter is also creeping up as we have had some cold winds, yet temperatures have been fairly mild (but not for long periods as daylight hours are now shortening significantly) in the main. This is essentially keeping the grass leaf growing when it should ideally be starting to slow its growth and store much needed food in its roots (or stolons / rhizomes if present) ready for overwintering. You will