January Maintenance

General Maintenance

Usually at the start of the year there a few key points to follow, it’s best to keep off the surface as much as possible, a little mowing and some aeration are usually sufficient:

  • Maintain a winter height cut of 10-12mm
  • Carry out inspection and maintenance of machinery and irrigation equipment
  • Spike, if and when possible, and only if conditions are right
  • Check for diseases and pests, seek advice if necessary
  • Aerate when conditions allow
  • Clean up any leaf debris
  • Drag brush daily
  • Maintenance of fences and hedges
  • Tip grass is necessary
  • Service equipment and replace any worn or damaged parts.


The grass roots are desperate for some air and you will find the square will be sodden, if not saturated. Try and do some aerating, some sarrel rolling or selected forking when it dries out sufficiently.

A slow release low nitrogen feed will be in order to nourish the sward, as temperatures are unusually high.

Weeds, Pests & Diseases

Regular drag brushing/caning of the green will be necessary if you find earthworms are a problem, as it will keep the surface free of debris and worm casts. Aeration on a regular basis will keep the surface open and aid in drying, which helps towards reducing the effects of earthworm activity.

The combination of early morning dews, warm and wet weather and diminishing daylight hours increases the risk of fungal disease outbreaks.

The typical types of diseases you may come across this time of year are:

  • Fusarium Patch
  • Red Thread
  • Dollar Spot

These diseases are occurring as a response to the unusually warm weather conditions. Relative humidity is important for spore germination and penetration of leaf tissues, and constant wet conditions will allow the development and transportation of active fungi spores.

Most fungi grow well between 10°C - 40°C and function best at a pH range of 4-7pH. The current lack of cooler weather and sharp frosts has not helped in reducing these active pathogens.

The first step in turf grass disease management is identifying the true nature of the problem. Diseases are only one cause of turf loss, and disease control measures will do nothing to alleviate damage from other causes such as management, wear or plant stress. It is therefore essential to determine whether the problem is disease, and if so, which disease.


It is important to maintain machines by carrying out regular servicing and repairs.

As grass growth slows down, use the time to take some machines out of operation for an overhaul.

  • Service machinery and equipment - changing oil / air filters and greasing up moving parts and sharpening mower blades.
  • Maintain a stock of consumables for your machinery, replace worn and damaged parts as necessary.
  • Keep an eye on your material stocks (seed, topdressing, petrol, oil), remembering to replenish as required.