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Restoring a muddy lawn

Glastonbury Festival Thousands of festival goers have descended upon the 900-acre Glstonbury Music Festival site at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, which was churned up by a second morning of torrential rain. But although fans seem undeterred by predictions of another downpour tonight reports The Daily Mail, the weather has already caused some problems.  On-site medics have treated dozens – many of whom have hurt themselves slipping over in the mud.  

But music fans put on brave faces despite hundreds of tents flooding and the treacherous conditions.  We suspect the Health and Safety Executive will be looking into the problem - if they can get through the mud, probably too unsafe for their Inspectors to inspect :-)

So how do the owners of Worthy Farm get to grips with the site once the festival has ended?  Having been to the Isle of Wight Festival last year in a Retro VW Campervan as did not fancy the tentage bit, when it rained on the Thursday night, the site quickly turned to mud and moving around the site was slow work but good exercise for the legs!  On the Friday, the rain had stopped and a few sunny days with a stiff breeze followed so the site dried out quite quickly and all was fine.  The fields damaged by the muddy traffic were a bit capped on the surface but a tractor and plough would be able to break this up and re seed oce everyone had gone home.  This is what Glastonbury fields needs to help them.  The ground under the mud will be in fact quite dry as it is just the curned up field upper surface that is muddy.  Although Worthy Farm have implemented a lot of drainage works to try and trap the water across the site, a few hours of rain is a lot of water.  When a football pitch is too wet to play on, the game is cancelled for the safety of the players and preservation of the pitch and playing surface but Glastonbury just goes on - regardless of the state of the fields.  Glastonbury = Mud

The problem with the mud is all the litter gets caught up in it an buried so repair work is hindered by the litter picking effort so that this does not stay in the fields after renovation of the surface.  The Glastonbury site is a farm and the old surface can quickly be stone buried and renovated by big tractors and equipment and re seeded with new pasture seed, ready for next year.  Note that Glastonbury is NOT happening in 2012 because of the Olympics and lack of Police and Portaloos.

If you lawn is muddy, best job is to try and prevent water running onto it from terraces and driveways by doing a quick audit of where the water is coming from.  5 mm of rain across a terrace or patio is a lot of water to get rid of and once the soil has taken the gravitational water off down through the profile you can see what you have got left to play with.  If the site does not naturally dry out, deep tine aeration is the first stage of the renovation process and then some over seeding and top dressing to re create the surface back into a lawn.  The spreading of a sharp sand will assist but do not forget that sand sucks up water, often making the site muddier.  You cannot work a liquified soil so patience is a great virtue.  A few days of wind and sunshine will pay great dividends and grass is a tough plant that can survive a manner of things thrown at it.

If you are off to Glastonbury, you are a bit late for the start so get there quickly!

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Photo Credit - dubassy / Shutterstock.com

 

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