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Rugby grounds demand all-year-round attention, and in that respect the Mennaye Fields are no different to any others – both reference the main pitch and the adjoining Nurseries field.
Groundsman Peter Joyce, with help from Jan Rendall, have been very busy of recent, and on Sunday I had the opportunity to catch up with Peter at the Mennaye Field to ask what was being done. He commented:
During the weekend, the main field surface has been cored, which basically means that little plugs of soil and sand have been pulled out which also helps aerate the pitch. Then, when I now take the seeder over the field, there is a viable soil mix for holes to be punched into the surface and seeds to be dropped into them evenly.
The cores that were brought up on Saturday do make it look it a little soily, but for good reason, and before the seeds are dropped a mower will rake up and collect all the roots and any excess that was also brought up.
As for other immediate jobs, because the area is very worn and in need of attention, the plan is to properly level and cover the centre spot, also making sure that birds are unable to get into it. A perforated plastic sheet, similar to what farmers use, will firstly be laid for a week or two, and then some germination sheeting after that.
(Photographs credit to Phil Westren)
Rugby grounds demand all-year-round attention, and in that respect the Mennaye Fields are no different
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