This time of the year the green tends to be covered in a morning dew so the first priority of the day is to dew brush which helps to dry the grass out.
Laying up the green immediately after the Summer outdoor bowls has finished is the foundation work for ensuring we all have a good green to bowl on the following Summer. The processes are quite intensive and basically has five stages:
Cut the grass on a low setting.
Scarify the green at least 3/4 times to remove deep thatch.
Brush green after each scarification to take up loose spills from scarification.
Seed the green and apply a fertilizer.
Cover the seeds with a layer of top dressing.
Once all this work is completed the green then has to be left for 6 -7 weeks, depending on the weather conditions, to allow for the new seed to germinate and take root.
In addition to the main work on the green other Winter work also takes place. All the corks in the bowls gullies need to be removed, sieved and put away for the Winter and the seating around the green needs to be moved and stored in a reasonably dry protected area.
Not forgetting of course we have the grass on the banks to maintain.
It is worth mentioning at this point that the main green team consists of four or so people but during the intensive and heavy laying up period other members willingly give a hand otherwise the work would just not get done!
With the green prepared the next tasks of seeding, fertilizing and top dress can start.
Having put down an initial 2.5 Tonnes of the available 8 tonnes of top dressing, which gives the new seedlings a cover, the team carry out another important task of removing all the scarifying waste plus emptying the two large compost bins (very smelly) and we owe our thanks to Nick Hull for providing the trailer otherwise it would mean an awful lot of black plastic bags!
Friday 3rd October the last day of the first week and what a busy week it has been but we are not quite finished as 4.5 tonnes of top dressing has got to go on the green followed by a run up and down of the metal drag mat to even the soil out and entice the seeds and soil into any holes but first the dew brush is needed to remove the morning dew...
The green at the end of the first week after all the work has been done on it. All we need now is some light rain a little bit of warmth and some patience for about six weeks to allow for the seed to germinate and establish itself.