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It’s always been MM seed!

It’s always been MM seed!: Stuart Antell has been a long-term fan of Limagrain’s MM range of grass seed, using it throughout his whole career. There was no exception after he was appointed the Head Groundsman at his beloved Yeovil Town FC.

Prior to accepting the position in January this year, Stuart was enjoying a warmer climate in sunny La Manga, Spain. As much as he and his girlfriend had become accustomed to sun, sand and sangria, there were only two jobs that would tempt him back to the UK.

It’s always been MM seed!

It’s always been MM seed!

“It was lovely out in Spain and I enjoyed maintaining football pitches and cricket squares in the sun,” said Stuart. “However, when we first moved out there, I said to my girlfriend that there would only be two possibilities of us returning home – if I was ever offered a job at Lord’s – the home of cricket, or at Yeovil Town FC – the team I have supported my whole life.

“I couldn’t believe it when the Deputy Head Groundsman position at Lord’s and the Head Groundsman position at Yeovil both came up at the same time!”

Stuart admits that the opportunity to join his boyhood team was just too good to turn down. He started in January this year and after finding his feet, he was keen to make his mark.

When it came to the grass seed, he was keen to bring in a brand he was familiar with.

“The club was previously using another brand, but I’ve always used Limagrain’s MM seed because it has always worked for me,” he said. “The main reason I chose MM seed was because I conducted a seed trial back when I was an Assistant Groundsman at Bath Cricket Club.

“I carried out a test plot with three seed mixtures from three leading breeders. MM seed proved to be the best and was also the most cost effective.”

Following the trial, Stuart continued to use Limagrain’s MM seed in his next position at Hampshire County Cricket Club and even relied on it out in La Manga.

It’s always been MM seed!

It’s always been MM seed!

At Yeovil Town FC, Stuart chooses to use Limagrain’s MM60, which is the UK’s leading winter sports renovation mixture and can be attributed with playing a key role in many of the finest sporting venues you see today. The 100% Ryegrass formula, which is perfect for divot repair, is renowned for its extremely fast germination and its high wear tolerance. It produces fantastic aesthetic qualities, and its high disease resistance provides ultimate protection.

MM60 is also treated with HEADSTART® GOLD, which is a further development of the well-recognised Headstart treatment and has been developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience. It is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination.

“We did a mini renovation at the end of July and we overseeded with 11 bags of MM60,” said Stuart. “Not only do I use it for renovations, but it is a product I’ll use frequently throughout the season. After every game I’ll go over the pitch looking for any holes that have been kicked out – I’ll then apply a bit of seed to those areas just to keep on top of it. Even before a game I like to put some seed down in the goal mouth areas, which the keepers will then tread in and then after the game I’ll apply a light top dressing.

“I just cannot fault the seed at all,” continued Stuart. “It’s resilient, cost-effective and offers the best germination I’ve ever seen in a seed.”

Not only does Stuart tend to Yeovil Town FC’s stadium and training ground but, somehow, he also finds time to be the local pitch advisor for the Dorset Cricket Board.

“Through this position I carry out a handful of cricket renovations a year and I always use Limagrain’s MM50 which is perfect for cricket,” he said. “As a board we always recommend MM50 to all of the local cricket clubs.

“I have full confidence in Limagrain which is why I’ve used the MM brand throughout my career. I also like the fact that they are always looking to improve the mixtures by adding different cultivars.

“The customer service from Sam Horner (Limagrain Amenity Seed Sales Specialist) is great and he is always available if I need any advice. Everything just works – it’s the whole package.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/amenity – you can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Always the right tine for a Verti-Drain

Always the right tine for a Verti-Drain: Shortly after taking over as Head Greenkeeper at Charleton Golf Club, Brian Heggie quickly drafted in another new member of the team – a Redexim Verti-Drain® 7416 from local dealers Henderson Grass Machinery.

The versatile range of tine options available means that the Verti-Drain® has had a busy year since its delivery in March 2020, conducting monthly aeration across the course’s greens, tees and approaches.

Always the right tine for a Verti-Drain

Always the right tine for a Verti-Drain

A quick scan of the shed upon joining the club in September 2019 highlighted to Brian the absence of any aeration equipment – something he was keen to rectify. “I’ve used the Redexim Verti-Drain® in a number of my previous positions and you know that whichever model you choose, it’s going to be reliable and do exactly what it says on the tin” says Brian, who heads up a team of four. This time Brian opted for the 7416 model, offering a 1.6m working width and penetrating the ground to a maximum depth of 350mm (14”).

“What keeps me coming back to the Verti-Drain® is the flexibility of being able to use different tines throughout the year – ensuring that we are achieving optimal results, no matter the ground conditions. This year we’ve been aerating the greens, tees and approaches once a month with either 8mm pencil tines, 14mm solid tines or 14mm hollow tines. We will continue with the monthly programme over the winter, using pencil tines to keep the surface open while keeping disruption to a minimum.”

While, from experience, Brian knows what he likes when it comes to machinery, he has the additional reassurance of support from his local dealer Hendersons, especially Scott McNeil. “Having been a greenkeeper himself, he’s great to have at the end of the phone to answer any questions we may have.” Brian concludes, “The Verti-Drain® never disappoints and now that we have one in the shed here at Charleton we can up the amount and type of aeration we conduct which will only bring benefit to the health and condition of our playing surfaces.”

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It’s Always Terrain When It Pours

It’s Always Terrain When It Pours: Enable Leisure and Culture (ELC) is a registered charity, contracted by Wandsworth Council to manage and develop the council’s parks, commons and playgrounds. Working in conjunction with sub-contractors such as idverde.

ELC takes responsibility for monitoring the grounds maintenance across a total of 200 sites. Enable also advises Wandsworth Council on its responsibilities with respect to legislation relating to biodiversity and best practice in the ecological maintenance of parks. Among the sites under their watchful eye are the sports pitches, of which there are 95 football pitches, 10 cricket squares, bowling greens and running tracks.

It’s Always Terrain When It Pours

“A lot of the sites are on made up ground and experience major problems with drainage,” says Andrew Green, Enable’s Parks Officer, Sports Provisions. “We have carried out aeration down to 300mm but it’s not enough to get to the pans.”

Andrew called on the services of Terrain Aeration whom he has used for around 20 years to deal with waterlogging problems, most recently for Tooting Common, with its six senior football pitches which became waterlogged in the winter season; along with Garratt Park and Fishponds Playing Fields. Terrain Aeration’s Terralift was brought in to apply deep penetration aeration to relieve the problem. The machine uses a JCB road breaker hammer to drive a hollow probe one metre into the soil. This is needed, especially on made up ground, because it is usually so compact at depth it requires the hammer to get through. Once the probe reaches the optimum depth, compressed air is released up to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi). This blast fractures the compacted soil to allow drainage and deep aeration.

It’s Always Terrain When It Pours

The probe is withdrawn and, in the case of the work for Wandsworth, the process repeated using one and a half metre spacings on a staggered grid pattern. This means each shot interconnects the fissures. On the tail end of the blast, dried seaweed is injected which sticks to the walls of the fractures and fissures. Over time, this expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil to effectively keep the ground drained. At Wandsworth the 1½” probe holes created by the Terralift machine were backfilled with Lytag aggregate to provide a semi-permanent aeration/ventilation shaft, helping to keep the whole aeration process working. Put simply, Andy Green says: “We wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. We find the Terrain Aeration process is a cost-effective solution, without the need to dig up pitches and lay drainage.

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