Aim

This has a number of uses on the cricket ground.

  1. To level top dressing to ensure a true surface
  2. To check the surface level and gradient within the Performance Quality Standard assessment system (PQS).
  3. To set the height of cut on a cylinder mower.

How it’s used

  1. As part of the renovation of a turf surface, top dressing is applied and to ensure a level surface a straight edge is drawn across the surface to move loose top dressing from high areas to low areas.
  2. One of the tests within PQS is the assessment of surface levels and gradient. A straight edge is used for this method.
  3. When setting a mower height of cut, a straight edge is placed from the back roller to the front roller and the height of the bottom blade measured and adjusted.

Timing of use

  1. Top dressing is normally applied at the end of the season and when a square is renovated, normally in late September/early October.
  2. A PQS assessment can be done at any time of the year.
  3. Checking and setting the height of cut on a mower should take place each time the mower is used. 

Effects of incorrect procedure

  1. Not levelling top dressing will lead to an uneven surface which will increase high points and low areas.
  2. Assessing level without a straight will not give you an accurate standard for your surfaces.
  3. If the mower is incorrectly set the grass can be damaged and the surface standard reduced.

Equipment needed

(Surface levelling) A straight edge wider than a pitch should be used on the square (3.05m). A 3m straight edge is the standard length. (Cylinder mower height) A 0.5m straight edge is common but also mower manufactures are providing setting bars with each new mower.

Practical Tips

(Surface levelling) Due to the size and possible amount of soil to move, make the straight edge out of light material such as aluminium to make it possible for two people to pull. (Cylinder mower) Using a setting bar is much easier and needs fewer hands.