Posts

Fresh confidence for Festival of Turf

Fresh confidence for Festival of Turf: The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association has reaffirmed its commitment to hosting a new trade exhibition that will allow golf greenkeepers, groundsmen and the wider turf industry to get together in a COVID-safe environment and enjoy two fantastic days of networking, innovation and entertainment.

Although the delay to the lifting of lockdown restrictions announced on Tuesday 14 June wasn’t the news anyone was hoping for, BIGGA is pleased that the new date facilitates the successful staging of the Festival of Turf.

Fresh confidence for Festival of Turf

Fresh confidence for Festival of Turf

The golf industry has faced significant challenges relating to COVID-19 over the past 15 months and BIGGA has been at the forefront of discussions relating to safety measures, essential maintenance guidelines and the eventual reopening of the game. Likewise, the Festival of Turf was formulated as an exhibition that could be hosted in a safe manner for all involved. BIGGA has worked closely with specialist contractors throughout the design and planning stages to ensure safety for all who attend, as well as ensuring the event will comply with any regulations that may be in place. A combination of outdoor and indoor exhibition space alongside other measures such as enhanced cleaning, pre-registration and social distancing measures will ensure a safe exhibition experience for all.

Numerous conversations with both BIGGA members and those on the commercial side of the business over the past year made it clear that there was a real appetite to host a physical event this summer. Such an event would allow everyone to reunite and share their experiences, as well as discover what new innovations BIGGA’s commercial supporters – both old and new – have developed in the past year or so. Although the lifting of restrictions has been delayed, this appetite remains and the Festival of Turf has been warmly received across the sports and amenity turf industries, with exhibitors hurrying to book up the available space and exclusive product launches planned for the event.

Registration for the Festival of Turf is open and available via the BIGGA website.

A video explaining more about the Festival of Turf is available to watch and embed on YouTube.

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove: Head groundsperson Richard Hare, has reported excellent results from using a selection of Limagrain products at the outstanding Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire.

Founded in the Middle Ages, Bromsgrove is one of the country’s largest independent schools with a glowing reputation for both academic and sporting excellence. Astonishingly, given the size of it, you can drive through Bromsgrove town and not even see the School. How is this possible? Well, according to most, Bromsgrove keeps one hundred acres of secrets from a casual visitor, hidden like a vast walled garden – and this is where Richard Hare comes in.

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove

Richard is responsible for the all the sports pitches and green spaces across the School’s three sites and leads a team of 15 members of staff consisting of groundspersons and gardeners. Depending on the term, the team maintains an array of pitches, which includes rugby, football, hockey and cricket. However, with such a busy schedule it leaves a tight window for renovations.

“The winter renovation work takes place during the school Easter holidays,” said Richard. “As part of this renovation, we will over-seed all the grass areas with a Limagrain winter sports mix. We carry out the cricket renovations after the cricket festivals which finish the second week of August. The rugby pre-season training starts the last week of August.”

It is during this period that Richard relies on a range of Limagrain UK’s grass seed which includes the headline mixture MM50 for his cricket wickets. Over recent years, Limagrain’s MM50 has been the number one choice for cricket groundsmen. Those representing grass roots, schools, local clubs and international test venues have all benefited from using MM50. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round.

“I buy seed from Limagrain UK which covers all the grass areas for cricket and rugby,” continued Richard. “Grass seed, as anyone will tell you, is a massive investment and I can’t afford to apply that amount of grass seed and just hope that it will work. I need to have the confidence that it will germinate especially as we have such a small renovation window. I have that confidence with Limagrain and that is why I have used the seed for so long.

“We don’t have irrigation on all the pitches, and we don’t get a lot of rain in August and it still germinates. We always get great coverage.”

Grass seed aside, Richard also revealed that some of the School’s most aesthetically pleasing areas are thanks to Limagrain UK’s Colour Splash mixtures.  Over the past few years, these flower mixtures have been used in a broad range of landscape and amenity areas throughout the UK. The range has a floral arrangement for every requirement – whether it be a golf course, a local authority green space or any other establishment that has an area which needs brightening up.

The Colour Splash range of mixtures are extremely easy to sow and the resulting vigorous plants are more than capable of competing with weeds. Their vigour is equally matched by robustness; resisting long periods of drought. They are also fast flowering and cost effective.

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove

Confidence is high at Bromsgrove

“We use the Colour Splash mixtures in eight different areas around the School,” said Richard. “The main reason for applying these mixtures was because I wanted to create some wildlife friendly areas. The School and the students have really bought into it and the areas look absolutely stunning – we are always getting nice comments from teachers, pupils and parents.

“Also, we find that these areas are helping us to save on fuel and man hours too because previously they needed cutting and looking after regularly. Now, we just cut the areas and reseed once a year – that is all they need. We just seem to be adding more and more of these Colour Splash areas all the time.”

Richard was also quick to praise the support from both Limagrain and Agrovista Amenity – the company he purchases the seed from.

“I always have good conversations with Mark Allen (Agrovista Amenity) and Matt Gresty (Limagrain UK) and they will come in and help us in any way they can. The advice has been invaluable at times.”

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

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Confidence is the key

Confidence is the key: Bruce Elliot, Crystal Palace FC’s Head of Grounds and Estates, claims that his overall confidence in the Dennis brand was a major factor in the club’s decision to purchase six PRO 34R rotary mowers.

After using smaller rotary mowers for several years, Bruce decided that it was time to start exploring larger machines. The aim was to speed up the task of cleaning pitches after games and training sessions. However, his first experience of larger rotary mowers was not quite what he was expecting.

Confidence is the key

Confidence is the key

“The smaller rotaries were good but time consuming, so this was the reason we wanted larger rotaries,” said Bruce. “The Dennis rotary mowers hadn’t been launched at that moment in time, so we went with an alternative machine which unfortunately didn’t work out as we had expected.

“Therefore, when the Dennis PRO 34R’s were launched, it was something we seriously looked at because we place great trust in the reliability and the quality of the rest of the Dennis machinery. We had the confidence to just go and get the units and we purchased six – four for the first team training ground and two for Selhurst Park.”

Bruce may well have had to wait a while for the release of the PRO 34R but no stone was left unturned in its creation. Following the original prototype, the mower was refined and developed over a period of 12 months based on the input from the groundsmen who would eventually be using it.

Designed to help groundsmen achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface the Dennis PRO 34R is a 34” (860mm) rotary mower ideal for sports pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently.

The angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single ‘click adjuster’ ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting groundsmen’s requirements.

It wasn’t long before the Dennis PRO 34R’s were performing in exactly the way Bruce wanted them to.

“With the smaller rotary mowers, we used to be able to do one pitch with four members of staff and it would take an hour. With the PRO 34R’s we can still do a pitch in an hour but only with two people – which is a huge benefit and is exactly what we wanted to achieve.

“Freeing up two members of staff, who can then tend to other tasks such as spraying, verticutting, or whatever it may be, is brilliant for us. We can either put all the staff on the rotaries and get the job done even more quickly or we can divide the workload – it’s nice to have that flexibility.”

Bruce further explained just how effective the PRO 34R’s are:

“The mowers are set to pick debris up and they do a fantastic job because the brush unit at the front flicks all the grass up as well,” he said. “In fact, I think this was part of the reason why we were so successful on the stadium pitch last season because we were constantly cleaning out the debris with the PRO 34R’s.

“They are used predominately to clean the debris up but we do use them to cut when the grass is actively growing well – the presentation from the machines is of such a high quality that I am confident to present pitches with them.

“We are now looking to buy four more for the academy ground so that would give us ten PRO 34R’s in total,” continued Bruce. “I think this shows just how confident we are in these mowers – the grounds team enjoy using them; they are robust, and they are efficient.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Dennis on Twitter and Instagram @DennisMowers and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/DennisMowersUK You can also view the latest Dennis videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence

Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence: The Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, Andy Richards, is a strong believer that aeration is one of the most important practices carried out by groundsmen, and this is exactly why he has recently purchased a new SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid.

Shrewsbury School is one of the country’s leading co-educational independent schools for 13-18-year-olds and attracts boys and girls from all over the country. It is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, and its impressive list of previous pupils boasts a certain Mr Charles Darwin. In line with the work of its most famous “Old Salopian”, the school continues to evolve in a dynamic way, achieving both outstanding academic and sporting results.

Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence

“We have a good blend of academics and sports at Shrewsbury School,” says Andy. “Sport is a massive part of the School and there is a very strong house sport system – in fact the students are willing to run through a brick wall for their school and their house in sporting competitions!”

It is for this reason that Andy and his team leave no stone un-turned when it comes to preparing and maintaining sports pitches of the highest standard. In discussing his maintenance procedures, Andy pin-pointed aeration as one of the most vital.

“Speaking with other groundsmen, we have one of the highest pitch usages in the country. On each pitch we average 10-15 hours per week and we’ve got limited drainage. Therefore, one of the most important things we do is aeration and we aerate pitches all of the time. Grass lives and needs air like anyone else,” he says.

Breathing life into Andy’s grass is his newly purchased SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator, and he had no problem in running it past the School’s bursars – as he explains.

“It was the machine I wanted because I had previously trialled it and had good results. I Clegg hammered the pitches before and after using the Aer-Aid and had noticed a massive reduction in hardness. I know that the Aer-Aid had recently undergone extensive Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) trials and it came out with excellent results – which always gives you confidence and makes it easier to explain to the bursars why you want to purchase it.”

As Andy says, the Javelin Aer-Aid recently gained rave reviews from the STRI. Over a three month period, extensive STRI trials led by Dr Christian Spring were carried out which examined how and if the Javelin Aer-Aid had an effect on the hardness of the turf, the root depth, water infiltration and disease. Christian reported that “it became obvious that the Aer-Aid improved maximum root and depth within the soil profile and also had the benefit of increasing the depth of the average rooting mass.”

With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres (3cu.ft.) per minute. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently.

“We do all the normal types of aeration but to actually be able to inject air into the surface as opposed to just a mechanical operation of it is a massive bonus,” says Andy.

“It’s a really good machine, easy to use and we can see significant improvements since using the Aer-Aid.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.