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A Masterline mix for all surfaces

A Masterline mix for all surfaces: In the 12 years since he established Greensward Sports Consultancy, it’s been seed from DLF that Director Andy Boyce has turned to for reliable results on surfaces from across the sporting spectrum.

Whether it’s bowls, cricket or winter sports, Andy swears by mixtures from both Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed for germination, presentation and plant health that never fails to hit the mark.

A Masterline mix for all surfaces

A Masterline mix for all surfaces

Offering everything from regular maintenance contracts through to one-off renovations, Greensward delivers the full complement of services to a wide variety of sports facilities across the South West. “For me, the Masterline range from DLF offers not just versatility, but quality that has been consistent over the years” explains Andy, who heads up a team of seven. “This means that no matter the type of venue we’re working at, there’s a mixture or a combination of cultivars that’ll work.”

Andy’s go-to mixtures have been PM36 (Wicket) for cricket, croquet and grass tennis courts, and Masterline’s PM79 (Playing Field) for winter sports surfaces and cricket outfields. PM79 incorporates 50% Double 4Turf® tetraploid rye for stronger establishment, drought tolerance and exceptional disease resistance and overall performance during the winter months. “A lot of the football pitches we’re working on are at grassroots level, some of which can be hosting three or four matches a week. This is where you’re relying on mixtures with high wear tolerance and seed that can germinate at colder temperatures. DLF’s tetraploid perennial ryegrasses have been a massive step forward in helping us to deliver that.”

“The Masterline range tends to be at just the right price-point for a lot of our clients, but it’s great to also have the Johnson’s mixtures at our disposal if we think something from this range will be better suited, or sometimes to fulfil a customer request.” Andy will consult with his DLF Regional Technical Manager Ian Barnett, whose advice he has trusted for many years. “Ian is always on hand with the knowledge we need and can answer any questions we may have on the various cultivars, mixtures and ranges. The fantastic service compliments the seed – it’s the whole package.”

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All you need to know about nematodes

All you need to know about nematodes: Spring is an important time of year for turf management. As the weather warms and preparations are made for the busy summer season, everything must be one to ensure that the turf is healthy – protecting the grass from soil-dwelling pests such as chafer grubs. Helpfully, nematodes can be used to control these unwelcome golf course visitors, which feed on the grass plants’ roots. 

Dr Colin Mumford, Technical Support Manager at Bayer Environmental Science, answers greenkeepers’ questions on how nematode-based products work.

All you need to know about nematodes

All you need to know about nematodes

DON’T NEMATODES KILL GRASS?

It depends. There are two types of nematodes – the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’. The ‘bad guys’ are plant parasitic nematodes that feed on plant tissue, stress the turf and often make it visually unappealing.

The ‘good guys’ are the entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and these don’t harm humans, plants or vertebrates. They are, however, able to target and control turf pests such as chafer grubs and leatherjackets. In this article, I’ll refer to EPN (the ‘good guys’) simply as ‘nematodes’.

HOW DO NEMATODES CONTROL TURF PESTS?

When you apply the nematodes to turf, they travel down to the roots, where the chafer grubs and leatherjackets reside. These pests become the nematodes’ hosts and, once they’ve found them, each nematode enters its host through its natural openings. Once inside, they regurgitate a type of bacteria that paralyses the host and, ultimately, leads to its death.

The nematodes then produce offspring that feed on the inside of that host. Once they’ve exhausted all of the resources available to them, they exit the body. These new nematodes will then go off to seek a host for themselves to complete their lifecycle.

DO ALL EPN NEMATODES WORK IN THE SAME WAY?

This is one of those ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. ‘Yes’ once they are inside the host species, they all produce the bacteria, complete their lifecycle and control the pest. But ‘no’ in so far as different species use different strategies to target their host.

For example, Bayer’s Harmonix Tri-Nema product contains three different species. ‘The Hunter’ Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, is a ‘seek and destroy cruiser’ nematode that actively seeks out or hunts its prey before attaching itself to it. Meanwhile, Steinernema carpocapsae is known as ‘The Resident’ because it uses an ambushing strategy that sees it sitting and waiting for a host to come along before jumping onto it to complete its lifecycle. Furthermore, ‘The Explorer’, Steinernema feltiae, has an intermediate foraging strategy between the ‘ambusher’ and ‘cruiser’. It will actively seek out the host but, rather than attacking, it will wait for the host to come past and then it will ambush it.

Ideally, you want to use as many different species as possible so that you’re utilising those different modes of action and maximising the effectiveness of your nematode strategy to control chafer grubs.

HOW DO I STORE THEM?

Ideally, you should use the nematodes as soon as possible after receiving them. But if you can’t get to the golf course because the conditions aren’t right, then you’ll need to store them appropriately.

Don’t open the box in broad daylight/direct sunlight because this is extremely damaging to the nematodes and can kill them. What’s more, don’t expose the nematodes to extreme temperatures, so don’t freeze them or expose them to temperatures above 30°C.

The product will typically come in a cardboard box, but you will need to take the packets of nematodes out of that box and store them in the fridge at a temperature of 4-8°C. Otherwise, the cardboard box will act as insultation, meaning the product won’t be stored at the optimum temperature range.

You want to loosely distribute the packets in your fridge and don’t put them together in one big stack. This is because the weight of all the packs can cause crushing injuries on the nematodes in the bottom pack. Just loosely lay them out in your refrigerator and always use the nematodes before the end of the expiry date on the packet.

All you need to know about nematodes

All you need to know about nematodes

WHEN DO I APPLY THEM?

The timing of application should coincide with egg hatch, or soon after egg hatch. Chafer grubs are the larval stage of several adult beetle species, including Phyllopertha horticola. Therefore, you need to monitor the activity of the adult insects from mid-May until late June.

Leatherjackets are another grass root-loving pest that nematodes can target. These are the larvae of the cranefly, most commonly the European crane fly (Tipular paludosa) although the common cranefly (Tipular oleracea) can also be seen in turf.

Contrary to its name, it’s not the most common species but the difference between this and the European cranefly is that several generations can live throughout the year. So, if you spot a cranefly in springtime then it’s most likely the common cranefly.

You should apply nematodes three to four weeks after you observe a decline in the activity of the adult insects. That way, you know that the vast majority of eggs would have hatched by then. And any eggs that haven’t yet hatched will be attacked by future nematode generations.

DO I NEED TO PREPARE THE GROUND BEFORE APPLYING THEM?

Yes. If you’ve got high levels of thatch the nematodes can get held up in there. So, anything you can do to reduce this prior to applications is advisable.

Also, avoid using granular fertilisers for two weeks prior to, and post, the nematode application because granular fertilisers can do untold damage them.

Ideally, you want to aerate the surface of the turf before applying the product to improve surface infiltration rates and aid the efficiency of the nematodes getting into the soil or the rootzone. Irrigating the day before application should ensure that you have appropriate levels of water in your soil.

HOW DO I APPLY THEM?

Typically, you will be using a vehicle-mounted sprayer or a knapsack sprayer.

You may have to premix a solution if it’s a small capacity tank or a knapsack sprayer. But whichever system you use, try not to apply them using too great a pressure, keep the pressure below 5 bar. The more pressure you have the more force going through the nozzle which tends to produce a smaller droplet. The benefit of large droplets is that they bounce and roll off the turf canopy until they get to the rootzone itself and are able to transport the nematodes into the root system.

You’ll need to remove all filters from your sprayer because nematodes can get trapped. Also avoid using warm water as this could shock the nematodes.

The other point that’s really important to remember is that you don’t apply these nematodes prior to, or during, heavy rain.

In this type of weather, it’s possible for the nematodes to be flushed through the rootzone and down the drainage system.

Finally, avoid applying the nematodes in direct sunlight. The ideal timing is first thing in the morning when you’ve got low light levels.

Calling all #MyKubota competition fans!

Calling all #MyKubota competition fans!: The #MyKubota competition is back and Kubota UK is urging all Kubota fans to submit their entries, offering customers the chance to win a £200 retail voucher and a number of runner-up prizes.

From the 3rd to the 31st of May, users must simply send an image of their Kubota machine to the Kubota UK Twitter or Facebook page, using the hashtag #MyKubota, alongside a few words on why they love their machine.

Calling all #MyKubota competition fans!

Calling all #MyKubota competition fans!

Crucially, this year’s #MyKubota competition will be judged by a group of three independent panellists, so Kubota is encouraging entrants to be as ambitious and creative with their images and stories as possible, while following all relevant safety guidelines.

The panellists will select nine final entries (three each from construction, agriculture and ground care) for a final round of deliberation. From these top nine, one lucky winner will receive a £200 retail voucher, while the eight runners-up will receive an exclusive collection of Kubota merchandise.

David Hart, Managing Director of Kubota UK, said: “#MyKubota is a great opportunity for Kubota users of every stripe to show off and celebrate their machines alongside the entire Kubota community. Having such a diverse and versatile portfolio of construction, agriculture and ground care machinery used in an incredible number of environments and situations, we are looking forward to seeing what our customers come up with.”

To stay up-to-date with the competition, follow Kubota UK’s Twitter page at twitter.com/KubotaUK, or like the Facebook page at facebook.com/KubotaUK

For more information on Kubota and its extensive range of machinery solutions and first-class aftermarket support, visit www.kubota-eu.com or call 01844 268000.

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Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc: The battery-powered Pellenc Prunion pruning shears have proved to be instrumental in helping one of the UK’s largest Christmas tree growers.

Tayside Forestry has been producing Christmas trees in the heart of the Angus countryside in Scotland for nearly 60 years. The company produces approximately 80,000 Christmas trees each year on 500 acres of prime land and its clients include large retail businesses, wholesalers and garden centres. It also sells directly to the public from the farm throughout December, turning its farm shed into a Christmas tree forest and light show.

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Adam Robinson is the Farm Manager for Tayside Forestry and oversees the growing and the selling of the Christmas trees. He explained how the centrepiece of every home during the festive period takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

“Nordmann Fir and Fraser Fir are the main crops that we grow, and we have about 1.1 million trees in the ground,” he said. “We will normally take the trees out of the field in their seventh year, but we have to carefully nurture them along the way.

“During the process we let them grow and develop their root system and once they have got to a certain height (approximately thigh level) we will continue shaping the tree to make sure they have that beautiful Christmas tree shape.

“In particular, we carry out bottom handling on the trees,” continued Adam. “The purpose of this is to keep the bottom ten inches of the tree clear of branches so that people can get the Christmas trees into the stands. This is where the Pellenc Prunion comes in.”

The Prunion pruning shears are ideal for growers looking for the most powerful, lightest and most innovative tool on the market. Its grip fits any hand, and its large cutting diameter makes it incredibly comfortable to use. The numerous innovations of this pruning shear make it indispensable for professionals seeking either freedom of movement with the 150P pocket or the possibility to alternate tools with the 250 battery, which allows users to connect two Pellenc tools simultaneously.

Tayside Forestry purchased five Prunions with the 250 batteries from Pellenc distributor Agrovista Amenity and Adam revealed that they have made a huge difference to operations.

“Previously we used to have an air compressor and a lot of hose to do this job, but it was costly and took a very long time – we needed a solution,” he said. “Now, with the Pellenc Prunions we are so much more agile – you don’t have to have an air hose cable following you round or an air compressor.

“The team moves more freely and simply walk around the trees – the job is now completed in a much quicker time. One of the main reasons for purchasing the Prunion is because many of our fields are located on steep hills and it can get to where all the other equipment just cannot.

“There are quite a few settings and operating modes which is really handy. For example, if you are in a field with big branches at the bottom of the tree, you can adjust the settings to open the shears wider; and you can be sensitive on the trigger or aggressive depending on the task. It is a very precise tool.”

Adam estimates that last year the five Pellenc pruning shears were used for somewhere between 167 and 189 hours, and never once did the battery power fail the Tayside Forestry team.

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

“The team can be out in the field cutting with them constantly from 7am-5pm,” continued Adam. “Not one set has ever run out of battery on us – you could easily get two days’ work out of them.

“Originally, they were just purchased for bottom handling, but we have found a lot of other uses for them like clearing old fields, bottom handling very old trees, they can be used alongside marking trees, collecting branches and making Christmas wreaths.”

After working hard throughout the year, Adam sent the Prunions for an annual service at the expert Pelllenc technical centre in Edinburgh.

“I was very impressed with the service and it was all part of the warranty agreement,” he said. “I simply dropped them off locally to Agrovista Amenity and all five Prunions were back within a couple of weeks with new blades and in excellent condition ready to be put to work again.

“I’ve used electrics for quite a number of years for pruning and these are the best set I’ve ever come across,” Adam continued. “They are practical, easy to use, cost effective and function very well. They have proved to be an exceptionally good purchase.”

Pellenc products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Etesia UK.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com

You can also follow Pellenc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @PellencUK for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh: Managing a high wear pitch, on a relatively tight budget is probably a story with which most non and lower league club grounds managers can relate.

For Eastleigh FC Head Groundsman Dan Barnes, the task is made slightly easier by getting the right seed in the ground first and foremost – and for this, he turns to Johnsons J Premier Pitch. Along with delivering superior wear tolerance, its resistance to disease has meant Dan has only applied fungicide once in the last four years.

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Eastleigh FC moved to their home at the Silverlake Stadium in the 1950’s and limited investment since then has resulted in a pitch that struggles with drainage and requires thoughtful management – a challenge Dan picked up four years ago, despite having no previous Groundsmanship experience! “In those first few months I spent a lot of time undertaking qualifications and networking with other groundsmen as I sought to build a bank of suppliers” explains Dan, who is assisted only by a team of volunteers. “When it came to seed, after I tried Johnsons J Premier Pitch mixture, I’ve never wanted to use anything else.”

“Despite our challenging ground conditions, this mixture delivers on all of the key performance characteristics – it’s hard-wearing, gives us fantastic visual merit and has demonstrated fantastic tolerance to disease. In four years, we’ve had just one Fusarium outbreak which we could attribute to the use of pitch covers.” Due to budget constraints, Dan has to be creative when it comes to seeding, usually applying 50g per m2 during summer renovations and then overseeding at 25-30g per m2 in the autumn and again in the spring to see them through to the end of the season.

Last winter, Dan supplemented Premier Pitch with Johnsons J 4Turf to benefit from the lower temperature germination of DLF’s tetraploid ryegrass. “This gave the pitch a real boost through the winter and undoubtedly helped us get through a fixture pile-up we had in February 2021 where we hosted five games in a 19-day period. The increased root length we get with the J 4Turf mixture provides great additional strength and, along with J Premier Pitch, recovers brilliantly.”

“There is nothing more satisfying than being proud of the surface you present” Dan concludes. “This combination of Johnsons mixtures gives us a pitch that is always fit and ready for play which, in turn, satisfies the following of fans we are really fortunate to have here at the club.”

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Access all areas with the Kubota B1

Access all areas with the Kubota B1: Kubota has unveiled the latest version of the highly popular B1 compact tractor, featuring a new development that will make it even more versatile.

This adaptable little workhorse is increasingly finding favour with nurseries, specialist fruit and vegetable growers and smallholders and now benefits from an all-new folding mid ROPS option.

Access all areas with the Kubota B1

Access all areas with the Kubota B1

The ROPS is positioned in front of the operator platform, providing essential protection for fieldwork, but folding flush with the bonnet when working in a height-restricted situation. This reduces the overall height of the tractor to a maximum of 1.41m, ideal for accessing polytunnels, greenhouses or low buildings. It also avoids any interference with rear mounted implements, and folding is a simple matter of removing two pins at the base of the ROPS frame.

A number of other improvements have been made to the B1 series tractor, which is available with a choice of 18 and 24hp proven Kubota E-TVCS engines. The straightforward mechanical transmission offers three forward speeds in each of three ranges while highly effective power steering improves manoeuvrability in tight yards and sheds. Bevel gear four-wheel drive keeps productivity up in tough conditions,  its design also enhancing ground clearance.

There’s no end to the tasks that can be accomplished with the B1 series, which has a category 1 rear linkage and optional mid-pto for a mower deck on the 18hp B1181 model. The LA213 front loader can also be specified for the B1181 to tackle materials handling jobs around the farm or nursery.

Operator comfort is ensured by a roomy platform with easy access when frequent climbing on and off a tractor is required.  There’s a fully rubber covered deck, clear control layout with lever guides and handy cup holder.

This is also a tractor that’s a breeze to maintain – the bonnet lifts clear, side guards come away and the front grille comes out to give all-round access to the engine.

“The mid-ROPS options will make the B1 series, which already punches above its weight, a real favourite for nurseries and growers or anyone who needs versatile power in a compact package,” comments Phil Catley, Kubota Key Account and Groundcare Product Manager.

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It’s all about Grass Seed

It’s all about Grass Seed: Stronger germination and faster establishment are key.

DLF Seed’s ProNitro Coating Technology has been helping greenkeepers and groundsmen achieve stronger germination, faster establishment and lower input costs.

It’s all about Grass Seed

It’s all about Grass Seed

Four years on from its launch, the next generation of ProNitro is now available, featuring DLF’s new Hydroactive Water Management Technology. ProNitro’s targeted combination of controlled release nitrogen and sustainable water distribution optimises the delivery of essential nutrients and moisture to the developing seedling.

With sustainability an everincreasing priority for turf managers around the world, the ProNitro coating ensures available water is used more efficiently.

“The new ProNitro formulation has been conceived and developed as a direct action for input optimization on grasses, improving water distribution in the field. Making the best of every drop of water gives both the grass seed and the fertiliser the optimum conditions for establishment, strong root development and healthy, vigorous
growth,” explained Giovanny Lopez, Lead Seed Coat Technologist for DLF.

In trials, the coated seed contributed to a 34% increase in establishing plants and a 30% improvement in root growth. In addition, the targeted nitrogen application system reduces the leaching of unutilised fertiliser into the environment by more than 50% when compared to traditional chemical applications.

ProNitro combines sources of both fast-acting and slow release nitrogen with water management technology, encapsulated in a smooth outer coating for improved seed flow and accurate delivery. This ensures the new seed receives the full benefit of the available water and nutrition, encouraging the roots and shoots to grow rapidly – particularly important when overseeding into a competitive sward.

It is suitable for use on all types of playing surfaces and is available on a selection of popular mixtures from across the Johnsons Sports Seed range. On golf greens and football pitches, even those with low-fertility, sandy soils, ProNitro provides faster establishment, bringing surfaces back into play quicker. The improved uniformity and sward density also make it ideal for turf producers by reducing the invasion of Poa annua and broad-leaved weeds. Replacing the need for seedbed fertiliser, ProNitro saves both time and money.

Prestigious Club Goes All In For Toro

Prestigious Club Goes All In For Toro: At the pinnacle of St George’s Hill Golf Club sits its iconic clubhouse, casting an eye over its three nine-hole courses widely regarded as Harry Colt’s crowning glory, and now in the hands of Toro to uphold.

Set within an exclusive private estate in Surrey, the club was in need of a fleet of turfcare machinery to maintain the high standards of the course, and it was a complete Toro package that proved to hit the mark with the club signing its first ever five-year agreement plan with Toro and its distributor Reesink Turfcare.

Prestigious Club Goes All In For Toro

The historic club provides one of the most exclusive golfing experiences, currently ranked No.63 in the World by Golf Digest Magazine. With so much history and expectation, course manager Chris Godsen says the pressure to provide the very best is always on.

“Every day here is a big day,” he explains. “Everyone who comes to play is looking for the best and wanting an experience like no other, so we have to work to provide that every day, no exceptions.”

With the club boasting 500 members and the estate home to 420 houses, having a comprehensive and efficient fleet is vitally important.

“The fleet here was already about 90 percent Toro,” Chris says. “But we wanted to invest in new machines, so we’d be up to date with the latest tech and innovation.”

Despite looking at a range of options with other brands before making a commitment, for Chris, Toro was the only choice.

“We did look at a couple of other brands, but there would always be one or two unreliable machines that would really let the package down. But with Toro, there isn’t one piece of kit I can see doing that. Toro always has far superior machines that are durable, reliable and state-of-the-art, which is just what a prestigious club like St George’s Hill needs.”

And club secretary Gary Peddie agrees: “The decision to choose Toro was a relatively easy one. They are recognised in the industry as a leading manufacturer of golf course machinery. That position sits very well alongside St George’s Hill Golf Club, as we look to deliver the best in golf course conditioning.”

With the package deal comprising near thirty pieces, including three Greensmaster 3250-Ds, three Reelmaster 3555-Ds, two Groundsmaster 4300-Ds, four Workman HDX-Ds and a ProPass 200 to name a few, Chris is excited to put the new comprehensive fleet to work.

“We’re particularly excited to trial our new lightweight mowers as we haven’t had them before. The Multi Pro 5800-D sprayer is also going to be a big help. It’s bigger and faster than what we have now, so we’ll be able to get more coverage in less time.

“I’m confident this agreement is just the start of an ongoing partnership,” says Chris. “The service from Reesink has always been great and now with a full fleet of Toro equipment, I have total peace of mind that the course is in good hands.”

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GKB To Top All At SALTEX

GKB To Top All At SALTEX: The GKB Top-Clean is a full mechanic, self-driven machine that removes all kind of dirt from the top of a synthetic pitch, from cigarettes, leaves and papers to plastic bottles.

This machine can easily be connected to almost every tractor by using a standard three-point hitch or electric drawbar. Using a high driving speed (around 10 km/h) will result in a perfect looking artificial pitch that you can be proud of!

GKB To Top All At SALTEX

Designed as a full self-driven machine, the Top-Clean features two rubber wheels at the front ensure that the machine will roll softly across the artificial pitch. Not only this, but a rotary brush is connected with the wheels by a chain drive. You can determine the speed of the brushes with the driving speed.

During operation debris and infill will come on a vibrating sieve. This sieve will separate infill material from the debris and thanks to the vibration of the sieve, all pollution moves to the bins at the end. Containing two separate bins, after use, the bins can easily be removed to get emptied in a regular waste container.

GKB is proud to be showcasing this new to range model at the 2019 SALTEX show. Visit stand H051 to discover more.

For more on GKB Machines and their reliable and robust range of machinery for natural, hybrid and synthetic turf, please visit www.gkbmachines.com or contact Tom Shinkins on 07495 883617 to enquire about the GKB Top Clean ready for next season.

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Mirimichi Green Announces Carbon In All Liquid Products

Mirimichi Green Announces Carbon In All Liquid Products: Mirimichi Green has produced one of the most advanced carbon solutions in turf technology by bringing a high performing micronized liquid carbon to the market. Now, Mirimichi Green has announced that their liquid carbon is being mixed in all of their liquid fertilizers and bio-stimulants.

How much liquid carbon is in each product?

  • Release 9-0-1 C – 10% liquid carbon
  • Release Zero – 10% liquid carbon
  • Nutri-Release – 2% liquid carbon
  • Tree & Shrub – 2% liquid carbon
  • Nutri-Kelp – 2% liquid carbon
  • Nutri-Turf – 2% liquid carbon

Mirimichi Green Announces Carbon In All Liquid Products

Mirimichi Green began mixing the micronized liquid carbon into their products at the beginning of the year to start replenishing inventory with the updated formula. Now, all of Mirimichi Green’s liquid products stocked in distributor locations contain the liquid carbon combination.

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