Aim:

  • To improve grass growth

  • Reduce susceptibility of the grass sward to disease

  • Promote sward recovery following use

  • To produce a healthy bigorous sward

  • To improve aesthetics of the pitch

Method:

  • Calibration of the fertiliser distributor or sprayer.

  • Correctly mark out the area to be treated at the required bout centres.

  • Apply granular or liquid fertiliser with an approved distributor or sprayer.

  • Where possible, the fertiliser formulation and application rate should be tailored to the results of a soil nutrient test.

Timing:

  • Fertiliser can be applied all year round although fertiliser is most efficient when soil temperatures exceed 8° Centigrade.

  • Timings should be based on soil analysis, visual assessment of the grass sward and cutting frequency.

  • It's important to note that excess nitrogen applications prior to the winter season can cause weak sward growth and increased susceptibility to disease e.g. Fusarium patch.

Effects of incorrect procedure:

  • Poor sward density following under application.

  • Scorching of the sward following over application.

  • Increase in turf grass disease.

  • Poor aesthetics.

  • Poor recovery following prolonged usage.

  • Increase in weed infestation.

Equipment:

  • Suitable tractor mounted fertiliser distributor (calibrated).

  • Pedestrian distributor (calibrated).

  • Sprayer (calibrated).

Practical tips:

  • It is imperative that the fertiliser distributor has been correctly calibrated and a methodology is in place to avoid many of the issues outlined above.

  • Some proprietary turf care products come with recommended settings for a number of different pedestrian distributors.

  • Fertilising could be considered a specialist task and the groundsman may wish to sub-contract these works. For information on how to identify a competent contractor, please use the following link. How to identify a competent contractor

COSHH

A substance hazardous to health is a substance or mixture with the potential to cause harm if they are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with, and absorbed through, skin. Fertilisers can potentially be hazardous to health and should be regulated, used and stored in accordance with Government Legislation. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provides Government guidance on:

  • What is a 'substance hazardous to health?'
  • What you need to do in storing and using materials which fall under COSHH,
  • Basic advice on what to do to control exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.

When fertilisers are applied, it is important to carry out a COSHH risk assessment. If in doubt, information on what the law requires plus advice on competing COSHH assessments can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/index.htm