Since the new wicket was prepared last Autumn we have seen prolonged drought, a cattle stampede, heavy snow, record low temperatures, drought, and yet more drought; and yet we seem to have the makings of a ground!
After the initial re-seeding in mid-September several members and friends spent many of the following weekends and evenings moving a drip hose around the square – not easy in the dark! This somewhat unwieldy piece of kit ensured that the grass seed germinated, in fact the growth was so lush that it attracted the unwanted attentions of a nearby herd of cattle who forced their way through the hedge and onto the square. Fortunately a passing member (wonder where he was heading?) noticed this incursion and the cattle were soon removed; although not before they had – in every sense – left evidence of their visit. Alan Moore – our pitch guru – drove over to inspect the damage and a day or two later a team from Trumpington Farm Co. arrived to repair the damage to the wicket. Disaster was (narrowly) averted.
A warm, dry winter meant we could give the square a couple of light cuts and follow the recommended worm and weed treatments. In addition the wicket has been professionally aerated. Heavy snow flattened the grass but the combination of a new drag broom (and a lot of hard work) meant that we could resume cutting the square.
In recent weeks efforts have been concentrated on the outfield and with the help of a trusty band of volunteers we have been cutting, raking and rolling the areas around the square. Our new one and a half tonne roller – more depending on the driver – has already proved a wise investment and the area surrounding the square is starting to look really good. Lately Lee Milburn arrived with a new flail mower and cut the entire outfield in under an hour. It would have taken days with our trusty Flymo.
The wicket looks good and we await with enthusiasm the next visit from Alan Moore. Regular rolling and cutting (and overnight rain) are essential between now and the start of the season – all volunteers are very welcome to pitch in!