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Today it is mist in Ashburn

7 Day Forecast In Ashburn

  • 08:00
    overcast clouds - 2°
    Humidity - 93%
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  • 09:00
    light rain - 3°
    Humidity - 93%
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  • 10:00
    overcast clouds - 4°
    Humidity - 93%
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    overcast clouds - 5°
    Humidity - 95%
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  • 12:00
    light rain - 5°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 13:00
    light rain - 6°
    Humidity - 97%
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    light rain - 6°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 15:00
    overcast clouds - 8°
    Humidity - 92%
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  • 16:00
    overcast clouds - 8°
    Humidity - 89%
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  • 17:00
    light rain - 8°
    Humidity - 89%
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  • 18:00
    overcast clouds - 12°
    Humidity - 79%
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  • 19:00
    overcast clouds - 11°
    Humidity - 82%
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    overcast clouds - 13°
    Humidity - 79%
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    overcast clouds - 13°
    Humidity - 80%
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  • 22:00
    overcast clouds - 12°
    Humidity - 86%
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    overcast clouds - 10°
    Humidity - 92%
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    overcast clouds - 9°
    Humidity - 92%
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    overcast clouds - 10°
    Humidity - 92%
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    overcast clouds - 9°
    Humidity - 91%
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    overcast clouds - 9°
    Humidity - 91%
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  • 04:00
    overcast clouds - 8°
    Humidity - 91%
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    overcast clouds - 9°
    Humidity - 91%
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  • 06:00
    overcast clouds - 8°
    Humidity - 94%
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  • 07:00
    overcast clouds - 8°
    Humidity - 95%
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  • 08:00
    light rain - 8°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 09:00
    light rain - 8°
    Humidity - 95%
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  • 10:00
    light rain - 8°
    Humidity - 95%
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  • 11:00
    moderate rain - 8°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 12:00
    moderate rain - 9°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 13:00
    moderate rain - 9°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 14:00
    moderate rain - 9°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 15:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 16:00
    moderate rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 17:00
    moderate rain - 10°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 18:00
    light rain - 11°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 19:00
    light rain - 11°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 20:00
    overcast clouds - 10°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 21:00
    light rain - 11°
    Humidity - 92%
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  • 22:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 95%
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  • 23:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 00:00
    moderate rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 01:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 02:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 96%
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  • 03:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 04:00
    moderate rain - 10°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 05:00
    light rain - 10°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 06:00
    light rain - 11°
    Humidity - 97%
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  • 07:00
    moderate rain - 11°
    Humidity - 97%
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Setting a pedestrian mower

Probably the most common job any groundsman will do will be to cut the grass. Quality mowing will be as a result of a good operator taking time and care to prepare the mower in a professional manner. The first step will be to establish the cutting height of the mower. Cutting heights will vary depending on which area is to be cut and the time of year that the cutting is being carried out.

The height on football pitches can vary between 17mm (3/4 of an inch) to 32mm (1 1/4). This is quite a variance but should cover all mowing throughout the year. I have a preference to cut at around 24mm in season lifting the height to 30mm in the close season when trying to establish the new swards.

Part of a groundsman’s tool kit should be a setting gauge. These gauges can be either bar gauges or a frame. Whatever type of gauge is selected the setting principal is the same. The setting bolts will be measured and set to the chosen height. The gauge will be placed under the mower with one end touching the front roller and one end touching the rear roller. It is important that the gauge touches both rollers. At this point the lock nuts holding the height adjustors on the mower should be slackened. The front roller should then be moved up or down until the head of the bolt on the gauge can locate on to the bottom blade. When this is done the front roller should be touching the gauge. The front roller should be able to be turned by hand but should not spin freely.

If you are using a bar gauge you should check the height at both ends and the middle. If you are using a frame gauge then check that the roller touches at both sides of the gauge. If you are sure the chosen height has been set, lock the adjustments up before removing the gauge.

The height of cut

The height of the sward found on a pitch will have a profound effect on how that pitch will perform. Adjustment of the mower is critical to success. Raising the front roller will lower the height of cut and lowering the roller  will increase the height. The usual method for testing the correct height is to place a straight edge beneath the machine and from the rear to the front roller. The gap between the straight edge and the top of the bottom blade is the height that the machine will cut the sward. Allowances must be made when the surface to be cut is damp as the weight of clippings in the machine being used will have a marked effect on the height, which will have been already set.

Many grounds staff will now use a tool specially made for adjusting the height of cut. This can be made of a straight bar or frame as shown in the picture. A bolt is threaded through the bar, which can be adjusted to the height of cut required. It is then placed onto the two rollers and the correct adjustments made.

Adjusting the on cut

Having set the height the next step is to ensure that the cutting cylinder will give a good clean cut. Most cutting machines will have setting screws at both ends of the cylinder. Using the correct sized spanner, these screws should be turned slowly trying to do the same at both ends to ensure an even cut across the cylinder. Care should be taken not to over tighten the cylinder. Should this happen the reel will screech when switched on and tramlines (black lines) may appear on the cut. An ideal situation is when the cylinder and bottom blade are just touching.

To be certain that the machine is cutting evenly and cleanly all over the cylinder should be checked using a thin piece of dry paper. The paper should be held between the cylinder and the bottom blade. Using your free hand, carefully turn the cylinder round onto the bottom blade and test the cut. This should be done along the full length of the cylinder. Having checked the height of cut and the quality of the cut the rest of the machine should now be checked. These checks should take in the fuel, oil and guards. The machine should also be greased if required.

Using a pedestrian mower

Having set the mower for use care should be taken when using the mower on the pitch. Most mowers have the grass box out over the front of the machine. This can add quite a bit of weight to the machine. If it is allowed to accumulate especially when the grass is wet it can affect the height of cut. Extra care should also be taken when turning. Damage can be done to the areas along the goal line and touchline when turning. The use of boards to help spread the weight of the machine during turning can help prevent this.