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Make the Jube great again

Saturday, 25th January, 2020

Peter Johnston, curator of the Jubilee Oval, runs his fingers through some of the new turf. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Peter Johnston, curator of the Jubilee Oval, runs his fingers through some of the new turf. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

The help of those in the local football community is being requested to lay the third and final section of grass on the Jubilee Oval, ahead of the 2020 football season.

Jubilee Oval curator Peter Johnston said the oval was taking nicely to the new grass so far, and he was hopeful that the surface would be in optimal condition in round one of the local AFL competition. 

“I’m really happy with the first two lots of grass, considering the hot weather that we’ve had over Christmas and that,” Mr Johnson said.

“We’ve put in 1400 metres at this stage and Sunday we’re planting another 700 and that’ll be it, that’s all we can do now for this year because we’ve got to give it growing time.

“We’re still praying for rain, that would be lovely.

“If I could get a couple of inches of rain on the oval before the football season that would be really nice because rain is worth about ten weeks of watering.

“It’ll be a lot better than it was last year, because we had that issue over Christmas where we lost our watering system for two months.

“So it’ll be better but it’s not going to be perfect, nothing we can do about that.

“What we’ll do end of the football season is we’ll go back, have a look and see what patches we’ve got and we might go through a similar exercise again next year and put some more grass in.”

Peter said there are “no worries” about the oval being ready for football season.

“We’ll be able to play football on it, it’ll be a lot better condition than what they played football on last year, but as I say, ideally we would’ve liked to have been able to redo the whole oval but you’re looking at a million dollars to do that,” he said.

“We’ve put a lot of grass in and the watering system is working okay, if we get two or three inches of rain on it before football that would really cap it off.

“After we plant this grass on Sunday, I’ll fertilise again and we’ve got two months of warm weather before footy starts so the grass will spread and hopefully these other patches we’ve put in will take as good as what the others have.”

“The patches we’ve put in now are pretty well seamless, you can’t see where they’ve gone in but we’re happy with what we’ve done, would’ve loved to have more money and more time to do more, but the 700 metres we’ll put in Sunday will make a big difference.”

The middle of the oval gets the most wear, especially as footballers play more down the middle of the ground, than out to the sides, so a lot of the middle has been replanted.

“The grass planting is pretty straight forward, we’ve got all the areas prepared it’s just loading it off the palette laying it down like carpet,” he said.

“More hands we get on deck, the merrier and the less time it takes.”

“It is warming up for Sunday, about 34 so we need to get it in the ground before it gets too hot and the grass is coming from Dubbo Saturday night, so we don’t want to leave it sitting on the palettes longer than needed.”


WHAT: Grass Laying Working Bee

WHEN: Sunday January 26, 9am

WHERE: Jubilee Oval

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