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Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape

Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape: The football ‘close-season’ is almost at an end as the ‘pre-season’ edges ever closer. Most football teams enjoy an entire month of June recharging batteries before returning in early July for the rigours of pre-season training.

However, the ‘close-season’ is not a period of rest for everyone involved with football clubs.

Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape

One group of club folk who are particularly busy are those charged with looking after the playing surface and, at Exmouth Town that responsibility lies with head groundsman John Dibsdall who is also the club president.

The work that ‘Dibs’, as he is more affectionately known, has undertaken since the last ball of the 2018/19 campaign was kicked, is there for all to see with the Southern Road playing surface currently looking at its pristine best.

It’s clear that, while the June rain has not been to everyone’s pleasure, it has certainly helped in the grass growth at Southern Road as our pictures show.

There is one change to the Town pre-season schedule with news that the warm-up game with Taunton Town, set for Tuesday, July 9 has been cancelled and efforts are being made to set up an alternative match for Kevin Hill’s team.

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Agripower – Good Grounding Since 1964

Agripower – Good Grounding Since 1964: For expert advice on natural or synthetic sports pitch construction, drainage, irrigation, lake and reservoir construction please visit our stand  F187 at SALTEX 2018, Birmingham NEC.

For upcoming projects speak to our team and book a no obligation site visit to you club, school, college or university.

Agripower - Good Grounding Since 1964

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Scarify Your Lawn To Good Health

Scarify Your Lawn To Good Health: The simplest way to ensure that your garden lawn is sufficiently healthy to withstand the rigours of winter and be in good condition for the 2019 growing season, is to scarify the surface this autumn.

Mechanical scarifying using either a mains electric or petrol machine will remove the ‘thatch’ from the roots of the grass plants.  Thatch is dead material or rubbish and moss which builds up forming a spongy surface that prevents air, light, nutrients and, most importantly, moisture from reaching the roots to generate healthy new growth. It is amazing just how much thatch can be lifted from even a small lawn!

Scarify Your Lawn To Good Health

Cobra is the UK’s largest range of powered garden machinery and has four specialist scarifiers; two mains electric and two petrol powered machines.  All four have all been expertly designed in the UK to cater specifically for the changing conditions of the British lawn.

“With our rapidly changing weather, the need to scarify regularly is more important than ever,” says Peter Chaloner, managing director of Cobra.  “As we seem to swing from virtual drought to almost flood conditions throughout the year, the need for lawns to absorb rain and slowly release it to the sub-ground water courses helps reduce the risk of flash flooding.  Lawns that are not regularly scarified tend to hold water, forming more moss and further slowing down this vital role of absorbing rain and slowly releasing it back to nature.”

The two electric options are the SA32E and the S36E. The SA32E has a 1300W motor with a 13” working width, and can work depths from -9mm to +4mm. The S36E is slightly wider at 14” and has a 1800W motor, it offers 2mm more depth too. Both electric models have a 40-litre grass bag capacity.

There are also two petrol models, both with a 15” working width, 16 steel blades and 45 litre grass bag capacity. These models have the choice of a 127cc Briggs & Stratton 550 series engine (the S390B), or a 135 cc Honda GP160 engine (the S390H).

The recommended retail prices for the Cobra scarifiers are £119.99 (SA32E), £159.99 (S36E), £529.99 (S390B) and £579.99 (S390H).

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Good To Have David Back

Good To Have David Back: David Withers, who became one of this country’s most successful exports when he rose to the position of President and CEO with Jacobsen after 24 years with the company, has taken on the role of Managing Director of Iseki UK with the task of building a British arm for what is a very well known and respected Japanese brand.

David, for all his high flying career based in the United States, never lost either his love of his real home or contact with his British friends and associates, and being able to reignite with both sees him entering his new challenge with characteristic vigour.

He took time from building his new company infrastructure – and shouting at photocopiers and printers – to chat with Turf Matters.

Good To Have David Back

It must have been pretty full on since the decision to create Iseki (UK) towards the end of last year and your appointment as Managing Director shortly after that.

December and January was a really busy time. We had to find premises, hire people, put a computer system in place and pick up the inventory from Ransomes. It’s a big deal starting something from scratch in a very short space of time, ensuring all the legalities are in place etc, but we’ve been able to do it.

You were obviously very well aware of Iseki as a company, and their products, having worked with them while at Ransomes yourself.

Yes, I knew about the company from my time with Ransomes and Textron and that’s why I’m involved in all honesty and being able to work with a company that I wasn’t in competition with while at Textron.

Did your relationship with Ransomes assisted with the hand-over?

Very much so. The transition from Ransomes to Iseki UK was handled very well by both sides and done in a very friendly and co-operative manner. There are also five people who have transferred from Ransomes to Iseki. Our new premises are literally 400-500 yards away from Ransomes so in terms of transferring inventory it was relatively easy because we were so close.

How many staff do you have at present?

As we speak we have eight full time employees while we have three more who have agreed to join us and three temps. In total we will end up with between a dozen to 15 which should be enough to get us through this year and we’ll probably add some more after that.

Where does Iseki currently sit in what is a fairly crowded market?

It varies with tractors and mowers. We’re probably third or fourth with tractors at the moment and first or second when it comes to cut and collect mowers, which I believe are second to none when they come to build quality and performance.

What ambitions do you have for the company in the short, medium and long terms?

The task we’ve been given by our colleagues in Japan is to double business over a five year period. That’s what we are working towards and I think that it’s eminently doable. As things stand right now, golf is very important to us and local authorities are also very important to us but there is no doubt a lot of opportunity for us with contractors, homes with acreage, the bottom end of the agricultural market, so that is where we will be putting our effort. If I compare us to our colleagues in France, Germany and Spain, their sales are 50-50 on agricultural or turf tyres. For us it is probably 90% turf and 10% agricultural tyres. It’s not that the market doesn’t exist, it’s just that we haven’t focussed on it yet.

We often find we end up not doing the job for which we came into the business – Course Managers end up in front of computer screens rather than cutting greens for example. Are you looking forward to getting back to a more hands on role to the one you had latterly at Jacobsen?

Yes I am and no I’m not is the truth of it. I’ve been doing this for about four months and there are bits which I really love – out there meeting dealers, selling things etc. We’re a small team and if we’re really busy in an afternoon I’m out there picking parts something I’ve not done for many years. But then I find myself having to work a photocopier or a printer and I’m completely out of my comfort zone. It will be nice to get all the infrastructure in place so I can focus more on the business strategy side of things.

With all the experience you have gathered over the years you must be uniquely suited to your new role?

It was because of the experience and training that I picked up at Jacobsen that Iseki approached me and we started to talk about this role. To be honest it would be tough to find someone who has better experience and qualifications, based on the job I’ve done over the last 25 to 30 years.

Did you ever thing about sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labours?

It probably took two or three months to get around the fact that I wasn’t at Jacobsen any more. I’d been there such a long time and it had been so much a part of my life. I was still waking up in the morning thinking about work but by the time I’d got the summer I was bored. There is only so much golf you can play and it was too early for me. I still feel like I’ve got something to offer. We’ve got the five year plan to double the business and I’ll see how I feel when we’ve achieved that. I’ll be edging towards 60 by then so I’ll see then what I want to do then.

So exciting times ahead?

Very much so. I have to say too that we are working with dealers but we have gaps to fill so there will be opportunities for dealers who are out there and who are interested in becoming an Iseki dealer.

Well, David, we are delighted to see you back in the UK. The industry will be better for having you back involved and we’ll just let you get back to working out how to put toner in your printer.

Good Soil Grows Good Plants

Good Soil Grows Good Plants: Time spent preparing soil is an important investment that will bring rewards for many seasons to come. Soil cultivation is the simple principle of breaking up and loosening soil to create good, healthy foundations. It’s also the process of removing weeds and ensuring the ground is not compacted so that water, air and nutrients can get to the plants freely. This is particularly important when growing new plants to help them get established in their new home.

There are many methods for soil cultivation, all often requiring a different tool which can cause problems for how to store multiple tools, particularly for allotment owners with minimal storage space. The WOLF-Garten multi-change® offers the capabilities of 27 tools in one so eradicates this issue.

Good Soil Grows Good Plants

The multi-change® range is a series of interchangeable tool heads which can be partnered with 15 different handles, giving different lengths and functionalities. Each handle has a guaranteed fixed seat which enables it to withstand vibration and absorb shock when in use, and options include lightweight recycled aluminium, telescopic or FSC certified wood in a range of lengths and handle styles.

The multi-change® cultivation range incorporates all the tools needed to keep borders and allotment areas in good condition. If features grubbers, hoes, ridgers, weeders, millers and rakes among others to help keep weeds at bay, whilst breaking down the soil. There are also an additional seven handheld tools for working in confined areas such as small beds, borders or containers. Each tool has a solid, robust design with tines, prongs and blades that will resist bending, wear and corrosion.

WOLF-Garten has 35 years’ experience developing multi-change® tools for healthy and effective gardening. To celebrate this brand heritage, WOLF-Garten offers a 35 year guarantee – a true testament to product longevity and durability. The system uses a patented ‘click’ connection and includes more than 60 different tool heads and 15 different handles, so is bound to cover all the garden tasks you can think of. A handle is your multi-change® tool collection starting point, whether it’s for general use or more specific applications.

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