Staff not stumped by yellow turf

SEEN GREENER DAYS: Mount Gambier City Council parks and outdoor maintenance staff Dave Hurley, Sam Shepherd and Mike Sharam at Frew Park yesterday. Picture: BRITTANY DENTON

YELLOWING turf at one of the city’s prominent cricketing venues is no cause for concern, according to Mount Gambier City Council.

The grass at Frew Park oval has seen greener days, but city infrastructure general manager Nick Serle explained the turf would return to normal when spring weather hits.

“It is looking pretty awful at the moment for two reasons, the first being at this time of year and especially when we have frosts – and we have had a couple – the grass turns yellow,” Mr Serle said.

“The type of grass on the oval is dormant during the cold part of winter, but it does green up again in spring.

“The second reason is that pink and grey galahs have been having a go at it.

“Interestingly they do not seem to do as much damage as the white corellas – they pull the grass out by the root, whereas the galahs seem to be nipping and scratching at it, but there are still green shoots coming through.

“The grass has not died – it will look green again as the weather warms up.”

Parks maintenance manager Dave Hurley said it was a similar scenario at a number of parks and ovals across the city.

“It’s the same type of grass at Marist Park and at Blue Lake Sports Park and we are seeing the same thing, the grass is yellow there too,” Mr Hurley said.

“We changed the type of grass at Frew Park a couple of years ago because this area gets so much water and floods in winter.

“We only water this grass for 45 minutes once a week in summer, whereas we were watering three times a week before.

“There is usually still a tinge of green during winter, but we had three frosts in a row a fortnight ago and that has not done it any favours.”

Mr Hurley said the outdoor maintenance team had been investigating options to deter birds from the grass.

“There is a spray that is not harmful to the birds, but has a taste they do not like,” he said.

“We are looking at spraying the grass, especially to keep the corellas away as they do the most damage.”