Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Paddock - initial work

The Paddock 17th April

As I recall we've generally been over on the Paddock and already given it a once over with a roller in march while the earth is still wet, but because this was the coldest March since 1962 today was the first time we were able to get over there without dying of hypothermia or being up to our shins in mud. Over the last couple of days the temp has been up in the high teens and early twenties centigrade and today has been breezy as well, so the moisture in the ground is rapidly drying out and I felt that we'd better get over there and make a start, partly inspired by the fact that the council have been in there today with a big rotary mower and cut it pretty short themselves.
Ben came over with me and gave me a hand which was good and obviously helpful and he ended up doing the majority of the heavy stuff, which was right I felt. If you look directly behind him in the image above you'll see the remainder of the fence and the fact that it's covered with brambles and trees. At the end of the summer and couple of times over the winter I've been cutting the brambles and the tree trunks at the base (Saplings) so that we can remove them. The reason being the sun comes in from the right of the image here casting a shadow across the bowling end of the wicket. This means if left the as it was the grass was suffering from a lack of light and taking too long to dry out after rain. So I made a decision to cut them all down.

 Once the mowing was done using my Ransomes Ajax mower circa 1973 the position of the wicket was obvious. We haven't cut it yet with a close blade as the grass is very busy growing and establishing itself after such a bad winter. At the far end (Batting end) we've got a very large dirt patch where I did some repairs, but the earth I used was far too organic with too little in the way of clay. I've got some clay and in an ideal situation I'd get some of that down, re-dig it and put some grass seed down ready maybe for use around mid - May. I'll have to see how it goes, as we'll need a few periods of rain if the seed is to grow well and cover the dirt patch.
Here you can see the trees and brambles that we've cut down, there's still some work to do with all the tangled stuff that intertwined in the fencing, but at least the light can through onto the wicket and hopefully the grass at the bowling end will be better and dryer this year.