Changing Weather No Challenge For Honda Miimo

Changing Weather No Challenge For Honda Miimo: The UK’s traditional unpredictable and changeable weather patterns place additional stress on lawns and garden machinery manufacturer, Honda (UK), believes that its Miimo robotic mower can help ease some of these difficulties.

Firstly, continuous mowing at a height of cut suitable for the prevailing weather conditions will help reduce this stress on lawns. Honda’s Miimo robotic mower has a choice of cut height from 20mm to 60mm enabling it to continue mowing in very dry conditions, plus it’s fully waterproof and will operate effectively in the rain.

Changing Weather No Challenge For Honda Miimo

Secondly, is to make sure the lawn is getting the nutrients it needs. Here Miimo helps by continuously cutting and leaving the finely micro-shredded cuttings on the grass, this acts as a mulch to provide the roots with essential nutrients and helping retain moisture.

There are three Miimos in the Honda range, the HRM 310, 520 and 3000 and cut lawns ranging in size from 1500 M2 up to an acre and give owners more time to enjoy gardening without worrying about mowing.

Miimo is quiet, allowing it to run at night. It automatically detects obstacles, including children and pets, and will operate on slopes up to 25o and uneven ground.  Built-in security means that if the machine is picked up it immediately stops rotation of the cutting blades and sounds an alarm which can only be stopped by inputting a unique pin number.

Prices start at £1,799, for the Miimo 310, £2,399 for the 520 and £2,599 for the range-topping, app enabled Miimo 3000.

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BASF Launch Nematode Challenge

BASF Launch Nematode Challenge: BASF, the leading producer of beneficial nematodes used as pest control in British gardens, is on the search for volunteers to take part in its 2019 Nematode Challenge.

The Sussex-based company grows trillions of beneficial nematodes for use in its Nemasys range of pest controls. After an initial launch in 2017, the company has decided to run its Nematode Challenge for 2019. It will also, for a second successive year exclusively be launched in conjunction with the National Allotment Society (NAS).

BASF Launch Nematode Challenge

The representative body has over 125,000 members in which it assists them to acquire, maintain, manage and enjoy allotments across the UK.

Diane Appleyard, marketing co-ordinator at the NAS said: “We are thrilled to be working with BASF again to help build awareness of the benefits of nematodes. By working together, we can educate our members on how to keep their allotments pest-free whilst also having fun outdoors in our garden or allotment – a win-win situation!”

If you have not yet tried nematodes, then you will be surprised at just how simple and easy they are in helping get rid of garden or allotment pests. All of the six products are simply mixed with water and either applied from a watering can with a coarse rose or sprayed onto the foliage and soil, depending on the variety.

This process is repeated throughout the season, from the moment that the first signs of pests occur and can be easily slotted into your regular watering routine. There is no need to keep children or pets away from treated areas and the whole programme is entirely biological, meaning all the products can be used by organic gardeners.

Despite this simplicity, and their many benefits, many gardeners and growers are put off by them, thinking them to be too complicated or expensive.

So, in order to tackle this mindset, BASF is looking for 25 volunteers across the UK to give beneficial nematodes a try and to report on their results. The allotment gardeners will represent a diverse range soil types and growing problems, along with, no doubt, preconceptions about nematodes.

Volunteering couldn’t be easier, and the whole process is designed to be as easy as possibly, adding as little work to the allotments-holders as possible. To get involved, all you have to do is email by 8th April 2019.

Successful volunteers will be supplied with a free season’s worth of Nemaslug, along with a short, initial questionnaire to fill in, which will contain questions such as:

  • Where is your allotment garden?
  • What do you grow?
  • How would you rate your recent slug problems?
  • Which pest control products do you usually use?
  • Which have been successful?
  • Do you actively encourage wildlife into your allotment?

In late September, results and feedback questionnaires will be circulated, containing questions about how the volunteers found their experience of using Nemaslug, and whether they would use it again.

This is a great opportunity to try something new, and you may just find your new favourite pest control solution!

If you are interested, please get in touch and we will send further information.

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Greenkeepers’ Acclaim For Meeting Ryder Cup Challenge

Greenkeepers’ Acclaim For Meeting Ryder Cup Challenge: For years the greenkeepers have remained the ‘unsung heroes’ behind tournaments and big events. For sure this year’s Ryder Cup coverage was focused on the players and the matches, but there has been far wider acknowledgement of Le Golf National as perfect hosts, and unprecedented praise for the role of the greenkeeping team.

During his opening speech, European Captain, Thomas Bjorn, singled out Alejandro Reyes, Golf Course and Estates Manager at Le Golf National, with appreciation for his pivotal contribution in crafting the course setup. In the final euphoria, Ian Poulter took the time from his jubilant celebrations personally to meet, greet and embrace the greenkeeping team on the 18th green.

This time, the European Tour created its own promotional video of what goes on for course preparation behind the scenes. Other broadcasters and media took advantage of a peak into life in the greenkeeping sheds, to show video footage of turf management practices and personal experiences from the Turf Team Challenge website.

Greenkeepers’ Acclaim For Meeting Ryder Cup Challenge

Syngenta’s Daniel Lightfoot, using his Master Greenkeeper experience gained as Course Manager of Bearwood Lakes Golf Club, spent a full week with the LGN greenkeeping team in its preparations and over the full tournament.

“It has been a fantastic experience, to share such an incredible week with so many highly talented and fully committed greenkeepers,” he said. “And it has been very welcome that all the work has been so widely appreciated.”

Daniel believes volunteering at Le Golf National has been an extremely valuable experience for greenkeepers’ personal and career development.

“You get to learn new skills and techniques from the best in the business – both the resident teams on the course and from the other volunteer greenkeepers involved. But equally valuable is learning to work as a team and the great comradery and friendships that develop from meeting the challenges of preparing and delivering a great tournament venue.”

And it doesn’t get any bigger or better than Le Golf National. Alejandro Reyes himself has been a keen volunteer at events across the world, citing it brings a new perspective for greenkeepers, and can be an inspiration to introduce new things on their own courses.

“For sure, I love to do tournaments! Between the European Tour and the PGA Tour, I’ve lost count of the number of tournaments I’ve worked on. And every time you work on one you see something different,” said Alejandro.

“You get a picture of something and think ‘ah, that could work on my course’ or ‘we could do it better if we did it like this’.

“I am incredibly grateful for all the courses and superintendents who gave me the opportunity to see what they did through volunteering, so it’s a chance to give something back.”

Alejandro acknowledged it’s an investment in time for greenkeepers to be away from the course. “But the experience that they bring back is extremely valuable. Also it’s good for the team to welcome other people and to share experiences.”

Kerr Rowan, Course Manager at Sand Golf Club, near Jonkoping in Sweden, pointed out his key learn from working at Le Golf National has been to focus on attention to detail. “I think we run at a pretty high standard, then you come here and you think, ‘No we don’t!’. Out there it’s fantastic, so for me it’s about being a little bit more switched on.”

If there is one thing he’ll take back on the turf quality, it would be the incredible density of the turf surfaces across the Le Golf National course. “I’m just amazed by it. They’ve really tuned in their fertiliser strategy and it’s got me thinking a lot about fertiliser, brushing and density and watering and thinking, how can I be as good as here, or at least as good as I can be for the resources I have?”

Improving turf density, smoothness and consistency for players has been the key driver for using Primo Maxx II for Tournament preparation at Le Golf National. The team pointed ut that players would experience the same playing conditions and pace in the morning, as the last players out in the afternoon.

Lucas Pierre, Alejandro’s right-hand man and Head Greenkeeper for the Albatros Course, also reported the difference with the fairways this year using Primo Maxx II, compared to last year without.

“When you were cutting the fairway every day, you had to empty the box every five minutes; this year, it’s like the guys are saying ‘you never empty the boxes’ it’s perfect for us.

“You save on time; the quality of cut is better; turf looks better; you have better roll. We have more consistency. It really helps.”

For Lucas, the relationship he has developed with Syngenta has been very important. “For us, this could be one of the successes of the Tournament,” he said.

Managing such a big greenkeeping team – of some 180 volunteers and course greens staff – has been a challenge in itself. Stefan Carter, Senior Greenkeeper at Wentworth, highlighted the atmosphere had been fantastic.

“There’s been a lot of people, putting a lot of hours in. It’s a great bunch of guys and women from around the world. We all shared stories and shared experiences, which has really made it a happy place.”

He welcomed the chance to see the range of jobs involved and the opportunity to do a bit of everything.

“!t’s the way that they refine every detail and the finishing touches that sets it apart. To be part of the biggest golf event in the world has just been so fantastic,” reported Stefan.

“The networking here can change your career; it’s not just one week’s work, it’s a potentially life changing opportunity.”

For Swedish greenkeeper and mechanic, Johan Olsson, the mantra learned at his Le Golf National time has been to ‘check, check and check again’, just to make sure everything is set up precisely and will work perfectly and consistently out on the course.

“Then, when they’ve finished the morning session, it’s check it all again, ready for the evening. It’s just been the biggest thing you can experience, as a greenkeeper or mechanic.

“Watching 180 guys move out in the morning; it’s unbelievable, and something I can really recommend,” he added.

Wendy O’Brien, Golf Course Superintendent at Jurmala Golf Club in Latvia, highlighted just how much fun the whole greenkeeping team had, but also the opportunities for seminars and career development, along with the chance to glean the knowledge of others.

“For example, I have capillary concrete in my bunkers back home, so it’s been great to talk to others about their experiences and how they best manage them.”

She welcomed the professionalism of all the greenkeepers and organisational staff that had ctively encouraged and integrated women working on the team throughout the preparations. “We are all used to working as a minority group, but to be treated exactly the same and given the same responsibilities and jobs for our skills alone has been a great experience,” added Wendy.

Chloe Gallagher, of Sunningdale Golf Club, concurred. “Being part of a team with a dozen or more women has been really different and a great experience.

“It’s a fantastic industry for women and it’s given a showcase for what we can achieve. In the future the industry is going to be equal across the board, which I think is really good.”

South Africa’s Leopard Creek Country Club Golf Course Superintendent, Neville Wenhold, found the whole process of handling the pressure of a big tournament fascinating.

“Alejandro has made it a lot easier for us because he’s so professional at what he does. He makes it clear what expects from the team. He prefers for us to make sure that we are doing the right thing, rather than just pushing, pushing, pushing and making a mess along the line.

“He’s the key to everyone doing such a good job. The standard out here has been unbelievable. I’m taking a lot back home; new ways of doing things. It’s been really good learning from these guys.”

The BBC on-line commentary team summed-up the team’s performance perfectly at the end of the event:

“As the sun sets on Le Golf National, the Ryder Cup organisers are getting the presentation ready on the 18th green. The greenkeeper must be having kittens.…” “He deserves a pint or 10. What a course it has been this week. I’d say it’s the best course I’ve ever seen in a Ryder Cup. Let’s get it back again asap.”

Bernhard’s Three Peaks Challenge

Bernhard’s Three Peaks Challenge: Fourteen members of Bernhard Company will be tackling Snowdon in Wales, Scafell, in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland in a challenge which starts at 2pm on Friday 8th June 2018.

To successfully complete the challenge, the team has set out a plan to reach each of the summits and come back down again before 7pm on Saturday 9th June. Setting off from their Factory in Haverhill, they will spend 12 hours travelling 1,258 miles across the three countries. This will leave them 4,5 hours to climb Snowdon (7 miles long, with an ascent of 723m), 5 hours to climb Scafell (6 miles long with an ascent of 989m) and 6 hours to finish the 10.5 miles with the highest ascent of 1352m of Ben Nevis.

Bernhard's Three Peaks Challenge

The team is aiming to raise £2,500 before they set off to the trek. All funds raised will go towards supporting the work Mind, the mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Please support Gary Bonfield, Gary Woodward, Iqtidar Hassan, Neil Hullah, Piotr Zurawski, Renata Mundim, Robert Smith, Scott Purdy, Simon Hale, Steve Church, Steven Nixon, Sue Challis, Tony Sheppard, Dale Marshall in their effort to raise money for Mind.

Thanks for your help.

Click HERE to donate

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