Hello all, happy new season!
Here’s just an update of where we are with regards to the square and outfield at Tilford.
The square is in terrific condition. At the end of last season, Rob Dale did his usual end of season work to repair and prepare the square for the next year. This involves removing the top inch of dead & damaged grass, relaying it with high quality loam and then reseeding it. After a favourable winter and early spring, I’m pleased to say the square is in the best condition that I’ve ever seen it. We are already cutting and rolling it in earnest & the wickets have already been marked out so we’re all set to go.
With regards to the outfield, as you know, during the brutal summer last year, all of the grass died and was replaced with weeds. At the end of last season, with the help of a grant from Aviva and a few favours from Denis’ brother in law and Nigel Morland, we completely reseeded & harrowed the entire outfield. We are awaiting permission from Tilford Parish Council for a contractor to apply weedkiller to the whole outfield, but hopefully we will be given the green light in the coming weeks. I’m pleased to announce however that already the results are starting to show, and the new grass is sprouting in most areas and it already looks healthier. It does however all rest on us eradicating the weeds once and for all, otherwise they will just return in the warmer weather and over run the new grass. Bear and Buss attended the parish council showcase recently, and showed them photos of the state of the green after last year’s drought and the urgent need for remedial work to be carried out, so hopefully this has had a positive persuasive effect on the council to authorise the work.
Finally, an appeal. Each season, for the month before the season actually begins, we aim to roll the square for a minimum of 30 hours. There are various reasons for this. It obviously flattens out the surface, but also compacts the ground which makes the ball bounce more evenly and also reduces the amount of water that is needed to keep the grass alive during dry spells, as the water applied either with the sprinkler or from rain doesn’t drain straight through the ground.
30 hours sounds daunting, but its easily achievable ( we have already rolled for 6 hours which is terrific as its still only March). If anyone has a spare hour or two, if they wouldn’t mind spending some time chugging around the square on the new,easy to drive roller, it would be massively appreciated. Here is a simple video showing how to start and drive the roller.
There is also a working party on Sunday 14th April at 10:30 to tidy up and get everything set for the start of the season the following Saturday.