Although the long hot summer has been wonderful for use all, the grass across all our parks and commons have struggled.
The last event on Clapham Common for the summer events season was SW4. They left site on Friday 31st August but the contractors, Talbots, were on the event site from Thursday 30th August starting the reinstatement work. They began with Grass Harrowing – this is where they scrape the surface lightly and break the top soil and any mud that has accumulated and lift up the grass. Then they vertidrained the site– this is the process where a drum with tines on it that they roll over the ground and create series of holes in the ground. This works to de-compact the ground and helps get air and water to the roots. A few days later they came back and fertilised and disc-seeded. This is a machine which has a blade the cuts a shallow channel which seed is pumped into and then a roller pushes the soil back over the top. The majority of the event site was disc seeded 1 way and where there were areas of greater impact form summer events Talbots then went over these areas a further 2 times. This process also leaves some seeds on the top of the ground and often where they have lifted the rollers to make a turn what is left in the pipes falls out onto the top of the ground. These areas are evident by the clusters of birds. The picture below is of the disc seeder on at work on Brockwell Park.
The best time to sow grass seed is Sept/Oct where there is warmth (but not too much!) and rain. Of which we seem to be getting good dose of each. As predicted 7 – 10 days after planting the grass began to germinate and we are now seeing areas of grass coming back. Over the next week this will continue and we’ll begin to see more green across the site.
We are monitoring very closely how the grass is returning and where there might be patches where it’s not coming back. Here we’ll look to undertake further measures to support the grass seed germinating. But we’re monitoring this.
The area around the grasscrete vehicle entrance by Long Road has been fully cultivated and re-seeded and will be fenced off to enable this area to come back without being disturbed.
We are over the coming days going to put up signage to let people know what is happening and to as them not undertake activity on here that will impact the ground at this critical regrowth stage.
Thank you for your patience and we’ll keep you posted as the grass grows.