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Pitch renovation underway ahead of 2016-17 season

3 June 2016

Head Groundsman Adam Grantham talks us through the renovations ahead of 2016-17 season

After a long season the renovation of the pitch is underway.

Both football and rugby matches pound the turf across the season and the groundsmen have done a fantastic job keeping the pitch in top notch condition.

Some weeks last season even involved a football match on the Saturday, then the very next day hosted London Irish, followed by yet another football match on the Tuesday night!

This gives an idea of just what the pitch goes though and what a great job the groundsmen do to keep it up to the requirements of Championship football, let alone the extra games coming from our FA Cup run last season!

It isn’t just London Irish and the Reading FC first team that use the pitch during the season but also the U21s, the U18s and the Women’s team have also had games on the pitch in recent years.

We caught up with Head Groundsman Adam Grantham to talk through the stages of the renovation:

STEP 1: Removal of all the dead vegetation after being killed off 7 days prior to this stage, thereby exposing the hybrid Desso fibres. This process was repeated twice.

STEP 2: Raking the pitch is the next step, a very delicate and timely operation that will stand and work all the hybrid Desso fibres up out of the surface so they are vertical, ready for sand dressing.

STEP 3: Once the sand is dressed all over the pitch, it is then aerated using a verti-drain, which works the sand in using a variety of brushes, it is then verti-drained again before the pitch is finally seeded.

STEP 4: The pitch is then covered and watered. The covers will be left on for a week to accelerate germination before being taken off and the new shoots will be fed. A proper feeding programme will then commence getting the pitch ready for the new season.

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