Question and Answer : Pitches

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Q: How many bags of Loam should I use per strip when top dressing as part of Autumn Pitch renovation

A: For a full 10 x 75ft pitch (includes to the back of the return creases and assuming it is devoid of a thick carpet of grass) approx. 2.75kg per sq mt - works out at around 8 x 25kg bags per pitch.

This could vary if there are aeration tine holes to fill or deep scarification grooves but generally between 6 – 8 bags per strip - well luted into the surface - is the recommended rate to avoid unnecessary costly waste and smothering of grasses.

Q: Wil the SWALEC Stadium be used when the West Indies come over here?

A: See England summer schedule revealed for full 2012 major match details

Q: Will the St Lawrence ground be used for any England internationals?

A: Not in the immediate future

Q: I am a volunteer Club Groundsman responsible for preparing turf pitches. I have completed Level 1 IOG course. I have recently been in conflict with our local Assocoiation where they have attempted to force play, when in my opinion the square was quite unfit for play to occur and substantial damage would have occured were it allowed to proceed. Can you please advise what the appropriate protocol should be in such situations as most matches take place on artificial surfaces and I am convinced our Association are not familiar with, nor sympathetic to, the rigours of maintaining a turf facility. Thanks.

A: Hello - could you please email feedback@ecb.co.uk with some more details of the issues and they can pass it on internally for someone to help you further

Q: How do i become a groundsman?

A: See our Groundsmanship for information and courses

Q: Will England be preparing more pace & bounce wickets this summer like Rose Bowl?? or will it be a summer of draws with flat pitches???

A: Can't speak for international venue groundsmen... we'll see what the pitches are like when the matches come around!

Q: Hi. Which is the best pitch for bowling on at the moment?

A: Hi - not sure totally understand the question? In this weather now, nothing is going to be that great!

Q: I'm helping my club out with cutting the wickets and i've noticed that there are dark green rings on are wickets but they go as soon as i cut it to a short lenth can you explain to me what they are and how to get rid of those. cheers ashley

A: What you have on your square Ashley is Type 2 Fairy Ring (Lycoperdon spp) caused by a fungal mycelium in the rootzone that lives on organic matter and releases nitrates and ammonia in the surrounding soil that stimulates the green flush of growth you see in the ring and at certain times of the year produce toadstools and puffballs.

The mycelium is waxy by nature and can prevent water from penetrating the soil profile lending to a die back of grass in the inner ring and made worse by a toxin that the layer of mycelium release. This is a feature of type 1 (marasmius oreades) that fortunately you do not have on your pitches.

These rings (or ribbons) can grow quite extensively but will cancel each other out went they meet.

There are proprietary products on the market that claim to check the rings but outside of digging out and replacing the soil, they are notoriously very difficult to treat. Some Groundsmen have forked (in front of the ring) and poured a solution of wetting agent / fungicide down the holes in an attempt to check the progress of the mycelium

From what you describe in your case however, although they are unsightly, they do not appear to affect the pitch playing performance and will come and go if you live with them.

It might come as a comfort to you to know that they are prevalent on a few First Class squares in the UK at certain times in the playing season!

Q: Hi I have a meeting with our local council about there pitches on monday. frankly they are a disgrace and unfit to play cricket on. Like most clubs it is our 3/4 XI's that play on council pitches, so these sides are full of colts and young crickets and are therefore the most likely to be injured on sub standard surfaces. I have obtained a copy of the councils instructions to there sub contractor. Which states that the pitches should be scarified autum and spring (which has never been done) and rolled once a year pre season (surely they should be rolled more offten). I have approached our league about making representation to the council on behalf of the clubs but they didnt bother. What further action would you suggest i could take.

A: Hi - thinbk it best if you speak to one of our facilities experts - see Facilities & Investment - Contacts

Q: I work in a school who are currently looking to install a 3rd Generation artificial pitch. Please can you let me know if there are any regulations regarding playing, coaching or teaching on such surfaces?

A: Have a look at Facilities - Technical Specifications and if you have any further queries you can use Facilities & Investment - Contacts