If you wonder what happens to the green when bowling finishes for the season, read on…..
As soon as the bowling season finishes, this is when the hard work begins. First the ditches are vacuumed, ditch mats are removed, cleaned and stored, and the green is brushed and mown, any weeds are removed, and broken edges are repaired and held in place with blocks of wood. Then the green is hollow-cored, which removes many thousands of small plugs from the green, and these are all collected up – nearly two tons of them – and put in bags to slowly compost, ready for use as topsoil next summer/autumn. Then the green is thoroughly scarified, taking out an enormous amount of “thatch”, which is heaped up to compost (which will be turned at least once a week through the winter, so that it will be perfect usable compost by early spring). The green is thoroughly vacuum-cleaned, and then a specially selected mixture of grass seeds is sown over the green, and brushed and watered in. Then we hope for three weeks of warm weather to enable the seed to successfully germinate. The grass will be given lots of tender loving care through the winter to hopefully provide a good bowling surface when we re-open next spring.
Apart from looking after the new grass, the green team will be busy switching wormcasts away, and brushing the dew off each morning, as well as smartening up any scruffy or mossy edges, fixing worn or damaged banks, and sorting out uneven areas. All this, of course, is in addition to the year-round gardening jobs to keep the hedges, verges and flowerbeds looking good, and the winter refurbishing of rink markers, nets and machinery.
It’s called “putting the green to bed” but in fact it becomes a hive of activity which continues through the winter in all weathers.