Work got underway on the Meadow Lane pitch on Thursday in preparation for the 2013.14 season.
The pitch has been used for a number of corporate and community events since the end of the 2012.13 season, ahead of the planned start of works this week.
With just over 10 weeks until the official start of the new season, the hard work has started in earnest to get the playing surface into the best shape possible ahead of the new campaign.
Head Groundsman Trevor Hutchinson explained: “ Fineturf started at seven o’clock this morning, they’re just removing about 6-8mm of material and once they’ve completed this first pass we’ll reassess it.
“The main aim for today is to get all the grass cleaned off it, get it back down to bare material, be happy that it’s as clean as we can possibly get it.”
Simon Hudson, Managing Director of Fineturf, who are carrying out the pitch work added: “This is a semi-renovation. We think probably next year it will need a big renovation which is strip the top off, turn it over, add new fibresand, regrade and then reseed, so this is just an interim one that will see next year well.
“At the moment we’re stripping the existing surface, which is the removal of the existing grass, the slime and the thatch layer, back down to clean root zone.
“After that we’ll go over it again and just remove any remaining debris, then we’ll put a vac over it to clean off any seed heads or anything that’s really left to just leave a really clean surface.
“Then it’s going to be dis-seeded in four directions with OM60 grass seed. There’s 28 bags going on, which is about 70g per square meter. In turn that will make sure the pitch is ready then for eight to ten weeks’ time.
“Once the seed’s gone on it will be lightly top dressed, drag netted, fertilised and then it’s over to Greg and Trev to grow it in.”
The groundstaff’s efforts will be boosted next season by the addition of four lighting rigs that have been built from recycled material by a group of students from Nottingham University’s Mechanical Engineering Society.
“They will make a huge difference,” added Mr Hudson. “You’re going to be able to make grass move and root through dormant times, so you’re going to see a huge difference.
“The secret will be in moving the lighting rigs in strategic places and often enough to get best value out of them, but they are really going to help goalmouths, the centre circle and troubled areas.”