Madejski Stadium turf ready for actionThe season is almost upon us. The pre-season friendlies are over, the excitement is once again high and everything is ready to go.
Especially the Madejski Stadium pitch. Head Groundsman Greg Bolton took time out to speak to readingfc.co.uk about the pitch progression over the summer. Flick through the gallery above to take a look! (Mobile site users should head to the desktop version to view).
"I'm delighted with the state of the pitch now ahead of the new season, which everyone is hugely excited about. It has been a busy summer made busier - the great weather we have recently has not conducive to the pitch as it has stressed the grass, but we're all ready to go.
"The last game was against Manchester City on the 14th of May, then we had five weeks of corporate events including small-sided tournaments, charity matches and the Allstarz Summer Party on the 1st of June. The week after that, we started the renovation process. We had about six and a half weeks to get the pitch ready to be in a playable condition for the start of the season.
"Renovation consists of stripping all the grass off from last season, getting rid of any unwanted grass, then applying the top dressing - getting plastic fibres through. We then put new grass seeds into the ground before applying the germination sheet - which speeds up the process of germination and seeds coming through.
"The seed went down into the ground on Friday 14th June and the germination sheets went on the next day and were taken down the following Friday before the pitch had its first new roll.
"We then start with the use of smaller mowers with lighter rollers on them which just bruises the grass and encourages it to thicken up. Then we gradually move on to the bigger mowers, and now we're up to a point where it's looking good and ready for the new season.
"I'm going back to the usual tried-and-tested way with the pattern now. Games come thick and fast - there'll be more league games this season and it's always busy especially as it's a duel-surface."
Make sure you're here on Saturday! Head to readingfcdirect.co.uk to buy tickets, or call 0844 249 1871.