Colm Byrne – “Spring is here, In the air…”

Hi folks, just wish to give you a little insight as to what is happening prior to the season and over the winter on the pitch…

This particular winter has been appalling for me as a groundsman. We have had constant rain from mid-November right through to mid-February, which unfortunately has afforded me little time on the pitch. Sometimes it’s better to stay off rather than try and work in the wrong conditions, which can create damage into the season.

Thankfully the sun has come out in the last couple of weeks, and as temperatures begin to rise work on the pitch can begin in earnest.

The grass has taken some abuse this winter, so one of the first tasks is to give it a good feed to get it healthy enough to work on. Once the fertiliser kicks in, the grass starts to show a healthier colour. Our first task is to get the roller out. However we only light roll at first and gradually build up the weight by adding water into the tanks on the roller.

Together with now more regular cutting and rolling in various directions we can consolidate the square to have it nice and firm by the beginning of the season. All of this work tends to go unseen (and unappreciated!!!) as training hasn’t begun yet. It is however, the most essential part of my work and the most enjoyable, as you begin to see the square take shape and the grass takes on its summer colour. It’s a great mood lifter as we say goodbye to winter and look forward to the season ahead and hopefully some good weather to follow.

Let’s all hope that Covid moves on quickly so we can enjoy the start of the season soon!

See you shortly, Collie.

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