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Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support: Situated in the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest National Park, Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club is one of Hampshire’s finest woodland/heathland courses. The club likes to point out that theirs is the correct and original spelling although it is pronounced the same as with the c, which was added to the railway station name in the 19th century by mistake and stuck.

The club hosted the first of last summer’s eight Rose Ladies Series tournaments, sponsored by Justin Rose. This was held in June just five weeks after re-opening following a 10-week lockdown, when the greenkeeping team was only doing essential maintenance to keep the course tidy. The idea for the series came from club member and Ladies European Tour player Liz Young, who was beaten by Charley Hull in a play-off at the inaugural event.

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

It was the pre-tournament support that club manager Kevin Light and course manager Kevan Glass received from John Deere’s local turf dealer Hunt Forest Group, particularly groundscare sales & golf specialist Andy Johnson and golf demonstrator Rob Patrick, that contributed to the decision to sign Brokenhurst Manor’s first ever fleet package deal using a John Deere Financial contract lease arrangement.

As a result, the club’s greenkeeping team now uses a 7500A PrecisionCut fairway mower, two 2653B tees & surrounds mowers, TX Turf and TE electric Gator utility vehicles, a ProGator equipped with a Charterhouse top dresser and a 5075E utility tractor on low ground pressure tyres, plus ancillary equipment including a tractor trailer, a Campey TB 220 brush and a Tru-Turf greens roller.

“Our previous five-year contract was up for renewal in the summer, and the decision to change to John Deere was influenced by a number of things,” says Kevin Light, who has been manager for three years. “Chief among these was that Andy and Rob were very forthcoming with loan machines for testing, demonstrations and tournament support. Both John Deere and the dealership did a very professional job all the way through this period and were really helpful when we needed it.”

“We’ve run John Deere tractors here for 20 years, used Gators before and know the 2653 utility mowers well, but the A Model fairway mower and the Tru-Turf roller were firsts for us,” adds Kevan Glass. “We managed to stay positive through the initial lockdown period and utilised the time as well as we could. Along with the new kit, we were able to get quite a few extra jobs done and ticked a number of boxes while we were shut.

“There are not a lot of clubs like this one, with the forest all around us – the natural beauty of the woodland feeds onto the golf course, it’s very tranquil and provides great views all the way round. However, with a clay subsoil and situated on a flood plain, it can be a hard job keeping it in top condition. Nowadays people want the full golf course experience, they don’t want tee mats and temporary greens during the winter months for example, so it’s definitely more of a challenge than it was 10 or 20 years ago.”

Since Kevin Light took over as club manager, a number of other significant changes have been made and there is a waiting list for members. “We have a great team here now, with Kevan and the greenkeepers, our bar manager Kevin Casswell and club pro Jason MacNiven, who is one of the UK’s leading club fitters, all working together rather than as separate entities,” he says.

“As a members club run primarily for our members, we know what people want to see the club evolve into. However, the whole place is a lot more social these days, and I’d like to think more welcoming to visitors. We are now looking forward to hosting another important tournament, the Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier, in May if permitted, and I believe the club can continue to grow and prosper, despite what we’ve all had to go through in 2020 and early 2021.”

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Enhanced wildflower mixtures offer benefits

Enhanced wildflower mixtures offer benefits: As part of its ongoing commitment to promote the ecological benefit of man-made environments, amenity grass and wildflower seed specialist Germinal has updated its range of wild flora mixtures to make them more beneficial to pollinators.

Enhanced wildflower mixtures offer benefits

Enhanced wildflower mixtures offer benefits

“Research carried out by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) into how best to support pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies has shown that planting a mixture of native and non-native flowers can extend the flowering season and therefore boost pollinator populations by providing a more abundant and longer-lasting source of nectar and pollen,” explains Richard Brown, Amenity Sales Manager at Germinal

“For that reason, we have updated our 2021 wildflower range by introducing a wider variety of species from beyond the UK which, in addition to creating a more abundant and sustainable source of food for pollinators and other beneficial invertebrates in urban and semi-urban environments, will also produce a more aesthetically appealing array of flowers with a wider palette of longer-lasting colours.”

By adding non-native species to its General Landscaping (Urban Meadows) Wild Flora range – which contains 100% wildflower mixtures and ready-to-sow wildflower and complementary grass seed blends – Germinal is now able to offer pollinator enhanced, ‘near-native’ mixtures for use across a range of different soil types and purposes.

Mr Brown adds: “Protecting the diversity and sustainability of the UK’s wild flora heritage is an important aspect of every landscaper’s remit, not only to maintain and promote healthy ecological systems, but also to enhance the environmental aesthetics of man-made green spaces.

“However, what the public perceives to be a natural meadow habitat (a vibrant sea of different colouring flowers) is often at odds with what a true meadow actually contains – a much narrower palette of colours. As a result, these less visually stunning, but 100% native meadows often end up underwhelming their custodians, and frequently get tidied up into a more manicured green space. As such, they don’t last as long as more vibrant urban meadows which are more likely to be proactively maintained and retained for much longer.

“By incorporating non-native species into our general landscaping wildflower mixtures for use in urban or suburban settings such as new housing estates and business or retail park developments, we are therefore empowering landscape architects to not only do their ‘bit’ to reduce the decline in pollinator numbers, but also to produce the wide range of colours expected by the public.”

Germinal also offers a range of 100% UK-native wildflower seed mixtures: based on the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey, these Regional Environmental (RE) mixtures are made up of species which are entirely indigenous to the UK and which enable landscapers to create ‘true meadow’ habitats. “For landscaping projects where the use of species which are entirely native to the UK is the critical driving factor, our Regional Environmental range is the ideal choice,” Mr Brown adds. “These carefully selected mixtures accurately replicate local, regional and national UK habitats, thereby enabling landscapers to safeguard native wildlife populations by preserving the heritage of the UK’s natural environment.”

In addition to its standard wildflower ranges, Germinal is also able to create bespoke mixtures to suit site-specific requirements. All of Germinal’s wildflower mixtures contain species which have been deemed ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ by the RHS.

For more information about Germinal’s wildflower mixtures go to www.germinalamenity.com.

Alternatively, for advice on the most suitable mixture(s) for a specific remit or advice about a special formulation, please contact Germinal on 01522 868714.

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New partnership benefits Leven Links

New partnership benefits Leven Links: Golfers visiting Leven Links Golf Course in Fife are often unaware that they are playing, in part, over one of the oldest pieces of golfing land in the world. This is a traditional links with rolling fairways, many of which are lined by ancient sand dunes, fast putting surfaces, burns and pot bunkers.

The club dates back to 1820 although golf only started being played here in 1846, and it is thought that the original layout became the first course that century to boast both 18 tees and 18 greens. Leven Links also lays claim to hosting the oldest open amateur strokeplay championship in the world.

New partnership benefits Leven Links

New partnership benefits Leven Links

The Standard Life Assurance Company’s Amateur Champion Gold Medal has been held here since 1870, with more recent winners including Lee Westwood and Andrew Coltart. It also hosts the historic Lindsay Shield, an interclub match between Leven, St Andrews and Carnoustie which can be traced back over 150 years.

Establishing a new heritage is the aim of course manager David Gray, who took over here in September 2018 after a period as head greenkeeper at Ladybank Golf Club, also in Fife. David, who is a BIGGA Central Section Scotland committee member, believes there is a lot of potential to bring Leven Links back to a pre-eminent position by once more hosting big events and putting its name firmly back on the golfing map.

Two clubs share the course, Leven Golfing Society and Leven Thistle, and this comes with its own challenges, says David. The sheer volume of competitive golf generates a lot of work to meet the required standards and means the pressure on the small greenkeeping team is constant.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to manage my own course in the way I’d like,” says David. “Expectations are high, and we’re trying to produce the best possible conditions on a day to day basis. This has meant the introduction of more modern techniques and cultural practices, as well as investment in up to date course machinery.

“With the exception of my deputy Gary McLaren, who has spent an impressive 30 years at Leven Links, I have been able to build a fantastic new team who have adapted very well to my strategies and are loving the introduction of the new equipment. Teamwork is hugely important in our industry and with staff working independently towards the same end goal, the collective results are so rewarding.”

As part of this initial modernisation process, a ProGator utility vehicle equipped with an HD200 amenity turf sprayer was bought from local John Deere dealer Double A at Cupar. This provides more accuracy and precision plus a bigger tank capacity than the course’s previous mounted sprayer, and led to the clubs’ first John Deere machinery deal being agreed with the dealership in late 2019, as part of a new partnership approach.

The fleet now also includes 2500E hybrid electric and 2550 E-Cut triplex greens mowers, another ProGator with a Dakota top dresser, TE electric and HPX diesel Gator utility vehicles and an R Series walk-behind rotary mower plus ancillary products including a Wessex collector and a Tru-Turf greens roller, for which Double A is the official UK distributor.

“There was no structured machinery replacement strategy in place when I came to the club, so this was one of the first things we had to address to improve the overall course quality and presentation, as well as reliability of the equipment,” says David.

“I made a proposal to the Leven Links Joint Committee, and their support has been fantastic, bearing in mind we are breaking completely new ground for the clubs with this deal. Now we have an established plan and we’re always talking about what happens next, so it’s very much a continuing process.

“We opted for a John Deere Financial lease deal, which proved to be extremely flexible as not only could we defer payments due to Covid-19, we were also able to bundle in an extra machine, the HPX Gator,” says David. “We had great support too from John Bateson of Double A, and both of these aspects were key factors in making the deal happen very quickly and smoothly.

“Our cutting regimes have changed as well since bringing in the new Tru-Turf roller. John Deere cutting units are set up differently to our previous mowers and the clip rates are higher, so by using the roller we can miss out the odd cut now and again, which is a great bonus given the pressures on play.

“My past experience with Double A has been worth a lot, especially having them on the doorstep and knowing I can rely on the same level of service I’ve always received,” adds David. “They helped me to focus on exactly what I needed to fit in with my plans for the course, and we’re already benefiting from that and the great technological strides John Deere has made in recent years with its product range.”

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University enjoys H&S benefits

University enjoys H&S benefits: Agria UK’s remotely controlled agria 9600 hybrid bank mower makes lots of friends in high places. Recent converts include the 16 members of the University of Aberdeen’s grounds’ team, all now fully trained and regular users.

Bruce Reid, Grounds Officer in the University’s Estates and Facilities Department, said he knew instantly it was a machine that suited their purpose:

University enjoys H&S benefits

“It works well for us because it’s not complicated; it is so H&S focused and does a thoroughly good job. Tending steep banking both safely and quickly is imperative and that’s why the agria 9600 stood out. On first view at its demo, it looked like a high climbing miniature tank patrolling the grounds. We were an early adopter and purchased one of the first in July.”

“We have our fair share of extreme slopes and banked areas. There are three distinct campuses.  King’s College campus, is over 500 years old, and dominates the section of the city known as Old Aberdeen.  It lies approximately two miles north of the city centre.  To the west, there is the more recent Foresterhill campus, next door to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and home to the School of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as the School of Medical Sciences and then to the east is Hillhead campus which is predominantly student halls. Together with research and lecture buildings, all sites have bespoke grounds, sports facilities and green areas. Hillhead in particular, has purpose built student residences set among landscaped areas which house several thousand students.  Typically, it’s here where we have many steep slopes, gradients easily in the 30° to 50° range, all at varying heights. We try to cut and mulch these fortnightly during the growing season,” continued Bruce Reid.

With its low centre of gravity and rubber caterpillar tracks, the agria 9600 powers safely through heavy duty work on high slopes to 50°.  The operator uses a joy stick on a light, hand held LED display control panel to manage six key mower functions. The display shows travel speed, cutting height, hours of operation, the battery charge status, the radio signal strength and an on / off switch.

Range is an impressive 300 m at a generous forward speed of 10 km/ hr allowing some of the most difficult and awkward-to-reach terrain to be tackled from a healthy distance. Should frequency be disturbed, the remote control changes to a different band frequency automatically.

A Hybrid drive concept means the agria 9600 combines a petrol engine with being electrically driven. This set up is therefore more environmentally friendly than hydraulic systems. The petrol engine powers the mower and generator while the generator produces electricity in Safety Extra Low voltage (48V) for driving.

In two widths, 112 cm and 80 cm, it cuts and mulches in two directions and is effortless on a variety of applications, including fine turf.

“The main thing for us is health & safety,” continued Bruce Reid.  “We don’t want operators walking behind mowers on any of our banked areas. It is infinitely safer to have a remote machine perform these tasks. Like everyone else, we have risk assessments for all grounds care activities and right away, a remotely controlled mower minimises risk.

“Ours is the 80 cm wide version. It’s a very straight forward machine yet versatile. The whole team took part in a familiarisation and training session given by Agria UK so everyone is now extremely confident. They feel safe because they don’t need to remain close to the machine nor do they need to set foot on the bank. It’s surprising light machine to transport, it can be popped on a trailer and moved with an ATV which helps save time and transport costs.”

Edzard Michalsky, Product manager for Agria said: “The beauty of this machine –and indeed all remote controlled agria mowing systems – is that there are no hand-arm vibrations to factor. Everyone deserves a healthy working environment and this machine means you can spend a whole shift engaged in cutting and mulching.”

Wilson Morrison, Sales Manager from dealer Fairways GM, who distribute Agria UK products in Scotland, said: “Bruce and his team put H&S at the top of their list. The agria 9600 gives them a head start. For example, if for any reason the transmission signal between machine and operator is lost the machine automatically shuts down.  Both the machine and the remote control offer emergency shut off switches and safety flaps giving protection against thrown objects, this has been tested independently by industry experts. At 420 kgs theirs is a light easily transportable machine. Running time is approx. 15 hours on each charge.  Each unit comes with a replacement battery and charger which almost doubles the working time.  Fuel consumption is around 20 litres per six hours run time. Developments like these help future proof the industry.”

See the agria 9600 at BTME on Stand RED 202 alongside sister company, Wiedenmann UK on 218.

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Ashridge GC Reaps Toro Benefits

Ashridge GC Reaps Toro Benefits: With one of the hottest summers on record last year, Ashridge Golf Club in Hertfordshire has reaped the benefits of a new Toro irrigation system, installed in the nick of time.

Consisting of a Toro Lynx control system and a combination of Toro FLEX 34, 35 and T5 RapidSet series sprinklers, the dry summer was no match for Toro’s top of the line technology.

Ashridge GC Reaps Toro Benefits

Course manager, James Camfield, explains: “The system was installed in the winter of 2017 and in 2018 we had an incredibly dry summer. It was a real test considering we were still getting used to the system, but the training provided by Toro was excellent, so we got through it with relative ease. We’re really fortunate we had the installation when we did, without it, I’m sure the course would have really suffered.”

With the new irrigation system having done wonders on the greens, tees, surrounds and approaches despite the extreme weather, James and the team have been blown away by the results.

“It’s been transformational,” he says. “We’re applying water consistently and uniformly to the greens and irrigating the surrounds automatically for the first time ever. Members and visitors have all seen the difference and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Looking at the club’s previous system, it’s hard to imagine what the course would be like now without the new Toro system. “The old system was originally installed in the 1970s with bits and pieces added over the years, so it just wasn’t able to keep up with the modern demands of the course,” explains James. “With leaking pipework, varying water pressure and a temperamental control system, the course would have been in far worse condition if we hadn’t updated the system when we did.”

Prior to the instalment, James visited several clubs to see different irrigation systems at work. Despite originally considering another brand, after watching the Toro Lynx control system in action James decided there was no question it was the superior option. “It became evident very quickly that Toro was the way to go, with extra features like the weather station, Turf Guard wireless soil moisture sensors and the fact you can control it from anywhere gives you complete peace of mind.”

In recent years, the 350-acre course, which originally opened in 1932, has undergone much development including rebuilding bunkers, levelling tees and managing woodland areas to name a few. As such a progressive club determined to stay at the top of its game and listed within the top 100 golf courses in England, Toro irrigation was the next step in that process.

Now, with Toro irrigation in place, the club is a proud ‘Total Solutions’ customer, and James is already making plans for the future.

“We’re looking to invest more in Toro machinery over the next few years. The club is considering a second phase of the irrigation project. Twelve of the fairways weren’t covered by the first phase and you can tell that they’ve really suffered compared to the rest of the course. Updating the fairways, starting in the worst affected areas, will help protect more of the course in the future.”

He concludes: “With our Toro irrigation system able to battle through one of the toughest summers yet, we’re confident it’s ready for any challenge that comes its way!”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Turf Reward Benefits For West Malling GC

Turf Reward Benefits For West Malling GC: Since claiming the Team Scout pedestrian sprayer through ICL and Syngenta’s Turf Rewards loyalty scheme, Course Manager Sam Young has seen an improvement in the efficacy of his spraying operations at West Malling Golf Club in Kent.

Turf Rewards provides the opportunity for customers to earn points from purchases that can then be exchanged against a fantastic selection of agronomic or turf related items and learning opportunities. Turf managers across the UK and Ireland have been benefiting from the scheme since its creation five years ago and it continues to grow significantly with more rewards and qualifying products being added year on year. The scheme can provide a great way to improve operations and enhance education.

Turf Reward Benefits For West Malling GC

“It’s a huge bonus when buying quality turf management products,” says Sam. “There is so much on offer as well; items such as health and safety clothing, iPads, Machine Mart vouchers and agronomy tools. We claimed the sprayer this year because it is something that we thought would improve the accessibility of spraying some of our smaller tees.”

The Team Scout is ideal for greenkeepers and groundsmen who require an efficient and reliable pedestrian sprayer. The unit has an adjustable pressure control system ensuring constant, accurate liquid application and three pneumatic wheels, the ‘rear jockey’ wheel increases manoeuvrability – which is something that Sam finds ideal.

“It is incredibly easy to manoeuvre. At my previous club we used to have a four-wheel pedestrian sprayer which was difficult to turn. The rear wheel on the ‘Scout’ allows for effective turning within the headland of the area being treated – this is particularly beneficial when considering some of the tees are only 25m2 with surrounding banks and thus not suited to using a tractor or utility vehicle sprayer. It is now possible to treat these tees as all the others”.

Turf Reward Benefits For West Malling GC

“This sprayer is well balanced, truly a great bit of kit; it now has larger pump, and with an average walking speed of 4km hour 500L/ha is achievable with a 04 nozzle, and with a choice of three different nozzles which come with the sprayer, you simply pick which one suits your application best.”

Other features include:

  • 60 litre capacity tank
  • 3 wheels with pneumatic tyres
  • Height adjustable 2 metre, 4 nozzle, folding boom
  • High output pump (14Lpm)
  • Adjustable pressure control system with gauge
  • 12V quick charge battery and charger

“I’ve used a few pedestrian sprayers in the past and this is easily the best one I have used. It’s also great for storage and transportation because the spray boom folds up”.

Please contact ICL on +44 (0)1473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie.

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Coventry Hearsall Benefits From Reesink Finance

Coventry Hearsall Benefits From Reesink Finance: Coventry Hearsall Golf Club is one of the first clubs to benefit from Reesink Turfcare’s fixed term finance for irrigation.

Course manager Jonathan Oldknow says he is ‘delighted’ with the new Toro Lynx system including sprinklers for the tees, greens and approaches, which replaced a 40-year-old irrigation system struggling with constant leaks and breakages. In fact, Jonathan attributes the club’s ever-increasing reputation to the success of the ‘Total Solutions’ package it now boasts with its Toro irrigation system and fleet of machinery.

Coventry Hearsall Benefits From Reesink Finance

Jonathan says: “A new irrigation system is no light investment, but in this competitive industry we recognised the need for modern technology to stay at the top of our game. Miles ahead of anything we’ve ever had before, choosing the Toro Lynx system was a big statement from us saying ‘this is where we want to be heading.’”

Buying irrigation on finance takes away two of the biggest headaches Reesink Turfcare finds exist for those embarking on an irrigation installation: installation is sooner and there is less upfront capital outlay.

Brett Mander, Coventry Hearsall’s course chairman, explains further how the club arrived at the decision to go with Toro: “We launched a full tender evaluation, starting with a number of suppliers before whittling them down to three.

“UK distributor of Toro Reesink Turfcare won us over with its presentation, which gave us confidence that its package and aftercare support would best suit the needs of the club. Out of all the suppliers, Reesink offered the most flexible solution over a period of time that matches our investment and growth strategy at Coventry Hearsall.”

Gone are the days of fixing leaks, and with peace of mind that the club has water on demand: “The main beauty of the system is the accuracy it affords us,” says Jonathan. “We take moisture metre readings to identify where water is needed and adjust individual sprinkler heads accordingly, targeting areas with reassuring success.

“We are one step ahead with our new Toro system rather than on the back-foot with our previous one. As opposed to fighting fires just to keep the grass alive we are now able to focus on keeping the plant in optimum health, and will be able to do so for as long as I’m a greenkeeper, and then some.”

Flexible and transparent, Reesink’s strong relationship with a proven financial partner means it can offer some very competitive deals over one to ten years. Payment plans can be monthly, quarterly, or annually and clubs can finance through hire purchase (HP) or lease.

Alongside Toro irrigation, Coventry Hearsall plans to continue using Toro machinery long into the future, too. According to Jonathan: “Toro provides very useable machinery that is of the highest quality. With the best mowers on the market, we know we will always get the best results for our course.”

Brett concludes: “Our Toro ‘Total Solutions’ package has been instrumental in helping us to maintain and elevate our reputation as a premier golf club in the Midlands. Word is out about the quality of our greens and our membership is now full with a waiting list; put simply, the package has been successful in making us successful.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Benefits Of Germinal’s New Ryegrass

Benefits Of Germinal’s New Ryegrass: On Thursday 6th September, Germinal will be attending the FutureScape Scotland show, incorporating ScotHort, at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, with a focus on its upgraded range of landscaping mixtures, with a particular emphasis on the inclusion of new-for-2018 creeping perennial ryegrass cultivar, Zurich, which offers increased wear tolerance and fast sward recovery.

Zurich scores 6.5 for live ground cover and 6.3 for visual merit, making it one of the best-performing creeping perennial ryegrasses on Table S1 of the BSPB’s Turfgrass Seed 2018 booklet.  It is a fine-leaved variety that also exhibits high resistance to insects and nematode attack due to naturally high endophyte levels, as well as good persistence and a creeping growth habit which aids sward recovery.

Benefits Of Germinal's New Ryegrass

Zurich now features as standard in three of Germinal’s landscaping seed mixtures; A3 Embankments and Drought, A18 Road Verge & Embankments and A19 All Purpose Landscaping (see below for full specifications).

“A3 has traditionally been the industry’s go-to seed mixture for stabilising embankments due to its high percentage of creeping fescues and bentgrasses which bind the soil together,” explains Richard Brown, Amenity Sales Manager for Germinal.  “The addition of Zurich gives this popular seed mixture the added benefits associated with a perennial ryegrass: speed of establishment, the ability to germinate in colder temperatures, and the ability to rapidly recover from damage caused by excessive wear.  For A18 and A19, the addition of Zurich further enhances the ability of these mixtures to recover from wear with minimal intervention.

“Zurich exhibits an excellent creeping habit, which binds manufactured soils together quickly and effectively thereby preventing gully erosion and loss of soil.  It’s ability to self-regenerate gives added protection during the winter and slowly helps damaged swards to repair themselves with minimal additional physical intervention.  It also makes the improved seed mixtures more effective in cooler temperatures at the beginning and end of the growing season.”

Germinal’s landscaping seed mixtures can be ordered online from the company’s new website (www.germinalamenity.com) which also contains all the information landscape architects need to optimise the performance of their amenity facilities: the website includes complete specifications and usage guides for Germinal’s Grade ‘A’ range of landscaping grass seed and wildflower mixtures for everything from low maintenance reclaimed land to saline road verges, shaded habitats, fine lawns and an array of natural habitats.  All product details can be easily cut and pasted into external documents, making it simple for landscape architects to insert them directly into the appropriate project specification.

“As well as constantly investing in research and development to bring first class grass and wildflower seeds and turf care products to the landscaping sector, we are also conscious of the constant need to provide the industry with the latest news and advice,” Richard Brown adds.

Benefits Of Germinal's New Ryegrass

“The new website has therefore been developed to make it easier for new and existing customers to keep abreast of our developing range of products and to enable them to specify the most appropriate products to suit each site’s individual requirements.

“We’ve populated the new website with a collection of advice guides and video resources covering a range of useful topics from simple over-seeding and sowing ‘how-to’ guides, to more detailed explanations of the importance of key success factors such as soil pH, the use and application of macro and micro nutrients and how to physically manage recently renovated and established swards and amenity landscapes.”

The website also contains a selection of standardised fertiliser plans – written and designed by Germinal’s FACTS (Fertiliser Advisers Certification and Training Scheme) qualified experts – to enable everyone from novice gardeners to professional turf growers to get the best results from their amenity facilities.

The new www.germinalamenity.com website also features a ‘Product Selector’ tool which has been designed to make it as easy and simple as possible for landscape architects to find the most appropriate grass or wildflower products for each project’s specific needs.

A range of CPD resources and seminar details has also been added: landscape architects can contact their local Germinal technical specialist who will be happy to visit them to provide more detail on a range of topics such as how to establish and maintain wildflowers and understanding the latest plant nutrition protocols.

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Scarify In Autumn For Benefits Next Year

Scarify In Autumn For Benefits Next Year: Scarification is a vital part of lawn maintenance that involves the removal of thatch or moss from the lawn, helping with air flow and keeping it health. If you do not scarify, debris will build up and lead to other problems. For example, thatchy and mossy lawns will not be very wear or drought tolerant. 

It is important to scarify at the right time of year, otherwise you will either risk having an unsightly lawn just when you want to be enjoying it, or you will open it up to more problems and damage. A light de-thatching or scarifying is recommended in spring, just as the weather is heating up, and there is an increase in the growth and recovery of the grass.

Scarify In Autumn For Benefits Next Year

In the autumn, however, is when a more intense, heavier scarification can take place. At this time of year there are a number of jobs to do around the garden to ensure that you leave in the best possible state over winter, and this is one of them. Whilst intense scarification sounds like very hard work, there are machines available to take the strain out of your lawn maintenance. The XC1 B40 from Cub Cadet, for example, steps up to the challenge with a powerful 35 H OHV Cub Cadet engine and a 1.7 litre fuel tank. The 34 verticutter blades, each with a width of 163mm, scratch out the dead grass and moss with ease, allowing in light and rain all the way down to the roots.

The machine also has the added benefit being able to aerate the lawn if necessary. To do this, simply use the higher position with a gentle touch of the blades and springs on the surface of the soil. When scarifying use a deeper blade and spring setting to allow for a more aggressive action on the lawn surface. A central height adjuster knob enables infinite working depth adjustment.

Featuring a wide 35cm working width, the machine has folding handles for easy storage or transport and an optional collection bag for collecting the debris can be purchased if desired, although due to the volume that is raked out of the lawn, most people will find it more effective to go over with their mower to collect the debris.

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Industry Award Brings Big Benefits

Industry Award Brings Big Benefits : The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, which is now in its 29th year, is recognised and respected across the greenkeeping industry for discovering the most promising talent in the country, thanks to the support of the profession’s college lecturers.

Here we speak to John Millen, sportsturf tutor at Plumpton College, someone who has witnessed firsthand the benefits of a student being nominated and winning the acclaimed award:

Industry Award Brings Big Benefits

“I have nominated a student most years I have been a lecturer and that’s more years than I care to remember! There are plenty of good reasons for this. To start with the award generates career interest and that’s something I wholeheartedly support. I think more needs to be done to push greenkeeping as a viable career option and this is one way to do that.

“It’s also a positive way to promote the college. It’s important for students coming into college to see the success and recognition of their course peers and be confident that their college is going to support them too, in any way it can. I believe being consistently attributed to such an award as a nominator will attract more people to the course and college.”

This year was the first year that the award had opened up nominations to employers, and having been a course manager himself for many years, this is a development John welcomed.

“I think of this industry as one big family; we all play a part in supporting the next generation, nurturing them and helping them achieve their goals. As such I don’t think it makes a difference who nominates the student, it’s just important that we all keep spotting the talent and not assuming someone else will.”

In fact, this year’s winner, Nick Machin, was nominated by his employer, the course manager at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, a decision supported by John as Nick’s lecturer at Plumpton College. David Cole, managing director of the award sponsor Reesink Turfcare, reiterates: “This year’s winner Nick didn’t just prevail through his own efforts, but through the support of his employer and educators. Nick has benefitted from the excellent support of his employer and we are pleased to recognise Plumpton’s important influence on his career to date. It’s a successful combination.”

Not only has John been a lecturer and a course manager, but he was also chairman of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) in 1994, so it goes without saying that anything developing the profession of greenkeeping is a good thing in his eyes. “Education and training are paramount in any industry, no matter whether you are fresh out of college or, like me, decades into your career,” he says.

With the paid-for prize of a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, which consistently ranks in the top 100 of The World’s Most Innovative Universities, for the winner and a trip to the Golf Industry Show in America for the student and nominator, there’s huge benefits at stake here, as John confirms:

“Having been to the show as a result of one of my nominations, I can vouch that it’s an incredible show; the learning experiences, whether you are a lecturer or employer, are fantastic and well worth the application form!”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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