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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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A tried and tested combination

A tried and tested combination: The Bishopton, Renfrewshire based dealership, Hamilton Ross Group, has recently supplied a customer with five Muthing MU-FM160 flails fitted to their Kubota F3090 tractors.

For the company Ground care Manager Jamie Gardiner said, “The combination of the Muthing MU-FM 160 flail on the Kubota F3090 power unit has proved very popular with our customers. This fleet deal proves how effective the equipment is for large scale operations, even in the toughest of environments on the West Coast of Scotland”

A tried and tested combination

A tried and tested combination

Simon Richard, UK Agent for the Muthing range says, “The restrictions on movement during these difficult times will leave some challenging areas when we eventually get back to cutting grass and the MU-FM 160, for power units up to 40hp, is the perfect combination for the widest range of contractor and local authority grounds maintenance tasks. The well balanced Muthing rotor, with specially formed flail lugs, protects against damage from obstacles and the self-cleaning roller with well-rounded edges preserves both soil and turf. The optimised distance between the outer rotor circle and the roller guarantees perfect contour following and even quality of cut. Market leading reduction in foreign object deflection make it the flail of choice when working safely in public areas”

For more information visit www.slopemower.co.uk

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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