Thursday, March 03, 2011

Paddock News

So, we’re into March and what some may consider spring, but we’ve got off to a very cold start. Years ago when I was younger I’d have expected to have had my shirt off by the end of March and made a start on my tan, but going by the weather at the moment that looks a little optimistic. Although last week (Thursday) it was spring like with the temp hitting 15, but since the end of Feb the temp has plummeted and we've had daytime temperatures of around 2-5 degrees and colder at night. Despite this, the council, were out on March 1st cutting the grass adjacent to the paddock. From what I can tell they’ve not been in the paddock and cut the grass in there, but it’s an indication that the grass is growing and maintenance should start. The last time I had a look the ground was saturated with water, so even if the council did have a smaller mower with them to get through the narrow entrance to the paddock, they may have decided that it was far too wet?

This image above is shot from the usual bowling end, and the stumps would be situated in line with the goal posts at the other end. I'm contemplating as detailed below having the stumps at this end this year later in the season once we've wron out the far end.

Here you can see where the stumps normally are and you can see that the seeds that where sewn have been sucessful and the general growth of the grass has recovered. I'll sow some more possibly this weekend as the weather prospects are slightly better this coming week.

This shot is looking down towards the bowling end from where the stumps are situated. The ideas is that the stumps at the new end later in the year will be right up against the fence. This will allow us to bowl from a position some yards in front of the stumps and not over-wear the wicket in the area where we'd normally pitch the ball. The grass in the middle of our usual wicket is pretty uneven and if we end up bowling and walking-in around that area the wear and tear may facilitate a more productive repair process next October?

As mentioned above what with it being March, I am looking to get some seed down as soon as possible, on the basis that the weather has got to break soon and a run of good, warm and sunny weather being imminent. I want the seed down and growing because we’re planning not getting in there till May to actually use it. Having said that though the small boys that have been using it over the last couple of years for football are all going to be a bit bigger and potentially more into their football, so there’s a chance that they’re going to damage it more this year? That aside the preparation plans are being made so that we don’t actually get in there till May. Last year we started in April and because the ground was damp still and the grass cover still fairly thin, it sustained a lot of wear and tear early in the season. We’re just looking to get a couple of good months out of it through May and June and then review the potential for changing the ends, as the last couple of years we’ve had the stumps at one end only. This has meant that the wear and tear at the bowlers end has been so heavy that it’s been impossible to bowl down that end, but the repairs and leveling that was done in September and the fact that we’re slowly extending the length of the strip means that an end swap may be possible?