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Fight against the Garden Chafer

Fight against the Garden Chafer: International Pheromone Systems is looking for trial sites as part of its work to develop lures and traps to help monitor and control an insect pest that is menacing golf courses, race courses, amenity gardens and parks across much of the UK.

Dr Sam Jones, Technical Manager for IPS, explains: “Garden Chafer beetles are turf pests and are most problematic in locations where turf must be kept pristine.

Fight against the Garden Chafer

Fight against the Garden Chafer

“While adults can cause some damage from feeding it is the grubs (larvae) that are the most damaging as they feed and develop on the roots of the grass. In certain locations populations of the Garden Chafer can proliferate. There has been an increasing demand for an environmentally friendly, biocontrol method of managing these pests particularly following the ban of some pesticides. We estimate that a typical golf course would probably need 8 – 12 traps to efficiently monitor for these pests, dependent upon size, shape and planting.”

Monitoring provides early warning of a pest’s presence and identifies areas to be targeted, rather than treatments being applied to large regions where the beetle may not be present. Any trials would be expected to take place between May and July when the pests are usually most abundant.

“We don’t have a pheromone for either the Garden Chafer or the Welsh Chafer, so we currently use plant derived attractants which in the case of the Garden Chafer are floral odours. The hope is that our new lure formats will attract both species. This work will later be extended to the less damaging pests, the Rose Chafer and the Cockchafer,” Sam added.

Chafer larvae are distinguished by their “C” shaped body, which is white with a pale brown head. Garden chafer larvae reach up to 15 mm long when fully grown. Larvae feed on the roots of grasses which results in the formation of patches. Damage is often exacerbated by badgers and crows which like to dig into the turf to feed on the larvae.

“Damaged turf on sports pitches can sometimes impact on player welfare. Once weakened the turf may not provide adequate traction which can result in increased slips and falls and potential player injury.

“As well as injuries there can be loss of revenue for the facility if a sporting event has to be cancelled and the capital costs of replacing the damaged turf can often be substantial,” Sam explains.

International Pheromone Systems offers a nature-based approach and specialist knowledge for natural and safe solutions to monitor and manage pests in agricultural and domestic environments.

The company’s highly skilled entomologists find solutions from nature itself. Together with universities, scientific partners and growers, the IPS team works to find natural solutions to help reduce pesticide use and support integrated pest management (IPM) in agriculture, horticulture and forestry businesses.

A healthier, safer and more productive environment is achieved by using the natural behaviour of pests and finding the right pheromone combination and trapping solution specific to a particular species.

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Water Garden wins second KAR UK award

Water Garden wins second KAR UK award: For the second successive year, Water Garden UK has won the KAR UK Top Sales Award after its impressive distribution of Kasco Marine products.

Water Garden UK, a leading supplier of high-quality water gardening products, now has its name engraved on the trophy for both 2019 and 2020 after yet again excelling in the sales of Kasco marine products.

Water Garden wins second KAR UK award

Water Garden wins second KAR UK award

The family-run business based in Portsmouth, Hampshire, successfully market and sell the established brand of Kasco products which includes lake aeration equipment and decorative fountain technology – all of which are supplied to them by KAR UK.

As importers of the Kasco brand, KAR UK has seen a huge increase, year-on-year, in the demand for the products. It is a side of the business which is rapidly growing, with KAR UK recently awarded Kasco’s European Distributor of the Year 2020 which follows the 2019 Top Sales Growth Award.

Commenting on the award, Roger Lupton, Regional Sales Manager for KAR UK, said: “This award is another phenomenal achievement for Water Garden UK who continue to go above and beyond in actively promoting the Kasco brand.

“From all at KAR UK we would like to say a huge congratulations to the whole team. We have been working very closely with Water Garden UK for several years now and it has been a pleasure. I look forward to continued success with them in the future.”

For more information, please visit www.karuk.com

You can also follow KAR UK on Twitter @KARUK_LTD for much more news, reviews and insightful views

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Terrain Aeration for London garden square

Terrain Aeration for London garden square: The award-winning Earl’s Court Square Garden was originally laid out as part of the Edwardes Estate in the 1870s, and construction of the properties of Earl’s Court Square began.

It was well-managed with professional gardeners until the Second World War, when the original cast-iron railings were removed and five emergency water tanks filled the southern half of the garden. Post-war it became much neglected and remained more like a building site until the mid-seventies when the present layout was designed. A children’s playground was added in 1980 and the mature London plane trees were pruned and maintained. The Earl’s Court Square Garden is one of the 37 Garden Squares in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Terrain Aeration for London garden square

Terrain Aeration for London garden square

The garden is much used by residents and hosts neighbourhood social events which ultimately led to the ground becoming severely compacted and dried out in summer, while in winter it became heavily waterlogged. Aeration was done regularly, and the grass re-seeded, but the problems remained.

“We learned of the work done by Terrain Aeration in Hyde Park after Winter Wonderland,” says Katrina Quinton, Chairperson of the garden management sub-committee, “and we thought the principles would apply here. They were scheduled to come to us in 2020, but a period of heavy rain and then Covid-19 intervened. The garden was a godsend for the community during lockdown, but the pooling was still a major problem.”

As soon as they were able, Terrain Aeration treated the area using their Terralift Tracker, which is designed for access in tight spaces. It works in the same way as the full-size Terralift machines used in Hyde Park. The Tracker hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil, releasing a blast of compressed air to fracture the compaction and create interlinked fissures. They simultaneously injected dried seaweed into the fissures, and this expands and contracts with the moisture content in the ground. The probe is inserted in equal spacing on a grid pattern, to ensure the underground fracturing overlaps. The resulting holes are top-filled with Lytag, lightweight aggregate, to provide a long-term aeration and ventilation shaft which will encourage air and water into the root zone. The result is a healthier soil structure; the compaction is relieved and a stronger root growth is promoted. The areas in the garden around the trees, which are greedy for water, were also treated to a depth of eighteen inches.

Katrina says: “the wonderful collection of people from Suffolk and their strange-looking machine came and worked without fuss, leaving the area clean and usable immediately. The following day it rained heavily and we’re delighted to say there was no longer any pooling. A great job.”

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Winter’s garden tractor

Winter’s garden tractor: As any owner will tell you, a Countax garden tractor is not only a mower, it’s an all-year-round machine that makes winter’s chores a lot easier. Countax builds them tough and durable for that reason and offers a range of accessories to see you through the winter months.

Using the tractor’s Power Take-Off (PTO) to drive powered accessories it becomes an invaluable utility machine.  One of the most useful is the broadcast spreader for easily spreading salt or grit on icy surfaces. It’s a must-have tool in the depths of winter to keep paths and driveways ice-free, featuring an adjustable flow rate and a hopper that holds up to 50kg of granular material.

Winter’s garden tractor

Winter’s garden tractor

Fitted with a front-mounted snowblade and a set of chevron tyres, the Countax becomes a formidable force in quickly clearing snow from your paths and drive. It has a tough, rubber-tipped edge on the snowblade designed to clear snow without damaging a concrete or tarmac surface. Hours of hard shovelling are reduced to a few minutes sitting on your tractor. The Countax dealer fits a mounting frame and yoke to the tractor and from there on it’s easy to fit and remove. It’s important to be prepared for what the winter might throw at you and have the accessories fitted in advance, so you don’t get caught out.  It will certainly pay to have the snowblade at the ready for those sudden cold blasts and heavy snow.

Chevron tyres are a good idea for extra grip on slippery ground and they are available for Countax C, B, and A Series. Sizes vary, for the C and B Series pair they are 45.7cm (18”) and the A Series pair 58.4cm (23”). The 4TRAC four-wheel drive tractors offer plenty of grip in snow and icy conditions but for a very harsh winter, chevron tyres can be used. These are factory fit only as the tractor has to be re-calibrated.

Even the toughest built accessories need looking after to ensure their longevity so it’s wise to make sure the spreader and snow blade are cleaned of salt to help prevent corrosion. It’s a fact that Countax painted components have surpassed 500 hours of continuous salt spray exposure without corrosion. But it’s also a wise person who uses a Countax tractor cover designed to protect it when not in use and stored in a garage or outbuilding. When the winter tasks have been performed it’s time to get the tractor serviced by the dealer, says Countax. So it is good and ready for the first spring cut and summer work as a mower, scarifier and general workhorse. Find out more by contacting Countax on 01844 278800 or visit www.countax.co.uk/find-a-dealer/ to find your local dealer.

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