Major diseases, pests and weeds of winter sports turf. II. A questionnaire survey of local authorities.
The 563 local authorities of the UK were sent a postal questionnaire which sought information on the incidence of the following on full-size public-use (non-educational establishment) football pitches: (i) disease, pest and weed problems; (ii) pesticide application and legislation; (iii) general information regarding management including usage, construction, drainage, soil type, renovation, and mowing, spiking and fertiliser regimes; and (iv) general problems including wear, compaction and drainage. The design of the survey was revised substantially and greatly simplified to account for the fact that the local authorities are responsible for varying numbers of winter sports pitches. The results showed that fusarium patch (Michrodochium nivale [Monographella nivalis]) and red thread disease (Laetisaria fuciformis) were the most ubiquitous diseases, and earthworm casting and leatherjackets (Tipula paludosa) were the major pest problems. In addition, the majority of local authority pitches (82%) were affected by the incidence of dogs. Plantain (Plantago major), clover (Trifolium repens), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and annual meadow-grass (Poa annua) were the most common weeds.