For this guide I am starting the year at the start of the Spring period, the beginning of March, with the run up to the start of the playing season in April. If you are in the Southern part of the UK the timing can often be two weeks earlier, and from Central Scotland North can certainly be later, so take this into account.

Mid to late March

  • Apply High iron Spring fertilizer. Be ready for the first mild spell of weather.
  • Check all equipment such as rink markers etc to ensure you are not caught out on opening day.
  • Lower height of cut at half mil stages from Winter height to around six mil by end of March, and mowing frequency up to twice per week by same stage.

Lead up to opening day in April

  • Ten days to two weeks after applying Spring feed the green should be spiked with chisel or pencil tines, then scarified.
  • Follow this by mowing to remove debris, then top dressing if required.
  • Spray with wetting agent and seaweed liquid. Both can be got here.
  • Step mowing up to three times per week at least, with mowing height down to five mil by opening day.
  • If a roller is available give the green a roll on the morning of opening day.

From opening day throughout the season

  • Verti-cut every two weeks.
  • Once per month precede the verti-cutting with spiking using chisel or solid tines.
  • Mow as often as possible at between four and five mil depending on the speed requirements and grass content.
  • If not mowing any morning ensure dew and debris are switched or brushed ready for play.
  • Roll weekly, or before competitions if at all possible.
  • Check mower for sharpness and setting at least once per week, and preferably every day.
  • Move playing head settings at least every second day, more if  during wet weather, or heavy play.
  • If wear is apparent after moving the heads, apply some top dressing on a weekly basis.
  • Watering will be required in dry weather but better to soak thoroughly every three days or so than to regularly water lightly as this ensures water gets to the roots. Spiking and wetting agent application are important to help achieve this.

If the labour and equipment is available the following is advised.

From mid May, apply seaweed based liquid fertiliser every four weeks or so, adding wetting agent at 50% rate. Ideally carry out a light spiking and a verti cut immediately before the applications. Otherwise follow the instructions below.

Mid to late May

  • Apply seaweed based liquid fertilizer with wetting agent straight after spiking and verti-cutting.

Late June to early July

  • Apply seaweed based liquid fertilizer with wetting agent straight after spiking and verti-cutting.

Early August

  • Apply seaweed based liquid fertilizer with wetting agent straight after spiking and verti-cutting.

Autumn renovation

Intensive deep spiking is required, either by slitting or in severe situations by verti-draining as well. Hollow coring should be avoided if possible but in certain situations can be justified( see full guide). Follow by scarifying in two directions, no need for diagonal, then by over seeding and top dressing. Finally apply wetting agent with seaweed and the Autumn fertilizer.

Autumn /Winter

  • Raise cutting height to seven mil, mow once per week till end of October, then keep trimmed as necessary over the Winter. Mow in at least four different directions alternately.
  • Check regularly to ensure debris such as leaves are not smothering the surface
  • Deep spike once per month if weather permits.
  • Three applications of  lawn sand at four to six week intervals starting mid November. Get here.