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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

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High Standards From MM Seed

High Standards From MM Seed: Cheltenham College’s Christian Brain has praised Limagrain UK’s range of MM grass seed mixtures for their role in helping him to maintain the high standard of pitches in his role as head of grounds at the prestigious school.

Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham College is a leading independent boarding school which dates back to 1841. Well known for its classical, military and sporting traditions, Cheltenham has approximately 700 pupils between the ages of 13 and 18 with many of whom go onto world-class universities such as Cambridge and Oxford. The College also features a prep school with pupils aged between 3 and 18.

High Standards From MM Seed

Christian is the man responsible for maintaining the grounds at both the main site and the prep school, and was initially drawn into the world of groundsmanship through his involvement with club cricket. He went on to work in a number of deputy roles in public schools before getting his opportunity at Cheltenham College.

Christian now oversees a team of four and ensures that the sports and surrounding grounds are at a consistent quality all year round.

“As you would expect, we have cricket in the summer term and then we change into rugby which lasts pretty much up until Christmas,” he says. “After Christmas, it is mainly football and rugby sevens until Easter with hockey which is played on our artificial surfaces.”

Christian relies on both Limagrain’s MM50 and MM60 grass seed mixtures which he uses on the winter pitches, outfields and cricket squares.

“We overseed our winter pitches with MM60 and this is done twice a year,” he says. “Once in August so we are ready for rugby and then we apply again in the spring. We overseed with MM60 after we’ve scarified the smaller cricket squares during the renovation period – purely because it is a stronger mix and can withstand winter sport.”

As Christian says, Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for performing incredibly well on winter pitches and produces an excellent playing surface. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination. MM50, is arguably a more popular choice for cricket groundsmen. This superior mix contains the perennial ryegrass cultivars, Venice, Alison and Malibu, which are renowned for providing a great sward. It features excellent shoot density along with tolerance to close mowing making it particularly suitable for cricket squares.

High Standards From MM Seed

“I’ve been using MM mixtures throughout most of my groundsmanship career and I don’t have any reason at all to change. Both MM50 and MM60 are very strong mixtures, we’ve never had any problems with them, the recovery is very good and they withstand a lot of wear.”

Both MM50 and MM60 are boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®. Developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience, Headstart GOLD® is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination and is perfect for enhancing performance on grass seed coatings for sports fields, golf courses, lawns and amenity turf.

“The seed is always quick to establish – it is strong and has good rooting. They are just great products which perform well and provide great colour all year round. The mixtures are always available and are easy to get hold of which is another benefit.

“I also have a good relationship with Matt Gresty who is always on the other end of the phone if I need him. He is also quick to offer technical advice as and when it’s required.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

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

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