The story of levelling and relaying the croquet lawn in 10 episodes – the Chairman’s view.
The debate begins with “do we want the lawn level or flat?“ This begs the questions “what is level?” and “what is flat?”
Level is at the same height above a given datum and flat is all on one plane. The answer to the debate is we want our lawn to be both level and flat. This is the task we set the contractor Jason of JGCSportsturf.
The plan involves reworking the practice area as well as the lawn and hopefully widening the playing area of the lawn by maybe a yard. To achieve all this the top vegetation has to be scalped off and the next 4 inches depth cultivated (rotovated) and combined with 20 tonnes of new sand/loam mixture. The surface is then “Lasergraded” level and flat; consolidation, seeding and fertilizing follows with a germination sheet covering to finish.
Picture A is of the existing lawn on 6th September, just as a reminder. The new work started on Monday 7th September in parallel with similar work on the cricket square and grass-courts of our sister clubs.
However before the start, the watering system pop up sprinklers had to be temporarily removed and the pipework blanked off to facilitate the possible widening. Claire, Mike and JohnB undertook that task on Monday morning [Picture B]. It involved digging out a 1 ft cube around each of the 6 sprinklers [Picture C], marking the exact positions with large cardboard templates, blanking off the pipes, refilling the hole and tamping down. Blanking off the pipes proved to be a bit tricky at times [Picture D] but a combination of milk bottle tops, plastic bags, black electrical tape and wrap ties did the job.
Tuesday, tractors all over the place [Picture E, featuring Jason], 4 or 5 tractors, a digger and a tracked excavator in total. Our lawn was surveyed, Picture F, and scalping off the grass was started with about a third removed by the end of the day, Picture G.