Dave Saltman gives an update on the pitch renovations
Shrewsbury Town’s Head Groundsman, Dave Saltman, is confident that the pitch will be ready in time for the first home pre-season game in a month’s time.
Pitch renovations were put on hold for the Lionel Ritchie concert to take place last week, but the pitch was sown over the weekend and Saltman is hopeful that the first signs of life will come later this week.
“The promoters were very good and got the pitch cleared quickly, so by lunchtime on Friday we were able to get started”, said Dave.
“We verti-drained, so we punched deep holes into the pitch right up to the tarmac pathways, we over seeded the surround, and then started spreading sand and fibre root zone over the top of the pitch, before we cultivated it in.
“Then we added some slow release fertilisers, both organic and inorganic, which were mixed in during cultivation, and then we box-racked it, so basically consolidated and graded it. By Saturday lunchtime we were seeding, so water went on and we’ve been maintaining plenty of water since.
“I would like to think that on Thursday or Friday we will start seeing the grass start to poke through and then towards the end of next week we will look to get our first rotary cut on.”
One of the big advantages this year will be an improved sprinkler system and Dave hopes it will help create a slicker surface.
“We’ve changed the centre sprinklers”, said Saltman.
“Before we had three sets of two running through the middle of the pitch, but we’ve cut those off and we’ve now got three big heads running up through the pitch and the water throw on those is very good, so we can almost water to the edge of the pitch just with those three, which will be great for just before the game and half-time watering, so that we can grease up the surface.”