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Graden CSI Key At Bransford GC

Graden CSI Key At Bransford GC: With changes in pesticide legislation having an ever-deepening effect on Sportsturf quality, the drive for turf managers to shift their nutritional and mechanical maintenance to a proactive approach has never been more important. Graham Wallace, Golf Course Manager at the Bank House Hotel’s Bransford Golf Club, is doing just that and has recently invested in a Graden CSI from Charterhouse Turf Machinery to help them produce strong greens.

“The course has sand-based greens but, due to the poor quality of sand used during construction, are unfortunately susceptible to holding water” explains Graham, who is supported by a greenkeeping team of five. “With the upcoming changes in fungicide regulations it is becoming essential to keep the surfaces dry, and the plant healthy, as much as possible to prevent disease from taking hold.” To help improve drainage, Graham has conducted in-house drill ‘n’ fill across the 18 greens for many years, followed by passes with the Graden CSI to keep channels open.

Graden CSI Key At Bransford GC

“We were lucky enough to borrow a CSI from another course, but last year this was not possible, and we noticed a real difference on how wet the greens were compared to previous years.” Graham put a case to the owner and was successful in purchasing his own unit, from dealer Tallis Amos in February 2019. “Now we have our own machine, we can look to get out with the machine more frequently and can trial various depths and settings to achieve maximum impact with minimal surface disruption.”

Graham is hoping to employ the CSI at least twice a year, working at depths of up to 40mm to simultaneously scarify and backfill the grooves with better quality sand. “I made the decision last year to not spray any fungicides, with mixed results. I was hugely thankful that the members and club management understood it could be a challenging time to keep surfaces first-rate. These last few months certainly haven’t been easy however, by using our CSI in conjunction with overseeding and the correct fertiliser programme, we are in a great place to push ahead with our proactive approach and produce a strong plant in the on-going fight against disease.”

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INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon

INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon: As part of an on-going investment programme, Warwick Independent Schools Foundation have purchased two Cub Cadet INFINICUT® mowers, as well as a selection of TMSystem™ cassettes.  In a very short time Grounds Manager Duncan Toon says the vast improvement in the condition of the natural grass surfaces is down to these newest additions to his machinery fleet.

Four schools occupy the 8 hectare site of natural turf and sports facilities – Warwick School, Warwick Junior School, King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School. Duncan and his grounds team of 6 are required to deliver top-quality surfaces for all. “I joined the school in June 2018 whilst it was in the midst of a significant investment programme and started sourcing machinery to help improve the quality of the grounds. I’d had a demonstration of the INFINI’s in my previous role at Birmingham FC and they’d been on my
wish-list ever since. I knew these would be key to achieving the quality we were striving for.”

INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon

Duncan took delivery of an INFINICUT® 34” Fixed Head and an INFINICUT® 26” Floating Head mower, in quick succession. “Alongside the superior quality of cut, and striping ability, another big selling point for us working in a school environment is health and safety. With the INFINI’s being battery powered, we no longer have to spend time and money sourcing and safely storing fuel – and the noise emitted is all but eliminated meaning we can mow anytime including through the exam season. They’re also incredibly comfortable to operate, which is much more enjoyable for my guys while mowing large areas such as rugby pitches. In fact, they’re fighting to use them!”

The 34” unit, equipped with a 7 blade SmartCut reel, is predominately for use on the rugby pitch and cricket square, while the 26” floating head model will become their wicket mower. Duncan is also impressed with the cassettes from the TMSystem™ range that came with the machines – the PowerBrush™ and UltraGroomer™. “We’ve put the UltraGroomer™ across our cricket surface to thin out the sward and remove any unwanted Poa ingress and lateral growth. Compared to other
verti-cutters, this cassette is head and shoulders above anything I’ve ever used. When you think you’ve taken everything out, you go over again and it’s amazing how much more you get.”

“These machines have already made a noticeable difference to the health, presentation and quality of the swards” explains a delighted Duncan, who is looking forward to adding further units to his fleet in the not-too-distant future.

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Toro Key At Royal Cinque Ports

Toro Key At Royal Cinque Ports: Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club course manager James Bledge is on a mission to make the club a “bucket list destination”, choosing to invest in the complete Toro Total Solutions package to help it get there.

Regarded as one of the finest links courses in England, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Kent has been impressing members and tournament players for 126 years and key to that longevity is the club’s determination for continuous improvement and investment. Most recently that has involved the club signing its second five-year machinery agreement plan with Toro, as well as installing a new Toro irrigation system.

Toro Key At Royal Cinque Ports

James explains: “Royal Cinque Ports has a lot of history and has been at the top of its game for over a century. Next we want to make this course a bucket list destination for golfers and to do that investing in our course maintenance is vital.”

This is the second Toro machinery package the club has invested in says James and when it came to investing again Toro easily came out on top in a series of demonstrations.

“With our first Toro fleet we saw a real improvement and you wonder if that could happen again. But it has,” says James. “Toro is an innovator and that never changes, the product just keeps getting better.”

Once the decision to go with Toro again had been made, the greenkeeping team and James put together their ‘dream package’ which includes four Greensmaster Flex 2120 pedestrian mowers, a Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder and three Greensmaster TriFlex 3420 mowers to name just a few, in addition to three Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mowers and a Groundsmaster 4500-D purchased from the club’s previous fleet.

“In particular the new Greensmaster Flex 2120s have been great. The course seems flat from afar but is incredibly undulating, especially the greens, which can be tricky to work with. But that’s not a problem for the Flex 2120 – the head of the mower follows the green closely and contours seamlessly, so we don’t get any scalping which is pretty special. We have seen instant improvements in appearance and so have the golfers which is even more important”

With the decision made on machinery next up was who to trust with irrigating the course. “The quality of the machines is fantastic, and we saw the same with the irrigation system,” says James. “It became clear that the Total Solutions package was the best way to get our course to where we want it to be. Plus, we’ve got a great relationship with Toro distributor Reesink and sales rep Richard Wood, which made the decision a lot easier. Whatever we need they’re always there, whether that’s backup service or general advice – Reesink really feel like a part of the team.

“There are some incredible courses nearby doing amazing work and we want to be at that level. Places like Royal St Georges and further afield at St Andrews Links who also use Toro, they invest a lot in their maintenance, and it shows.”

With Toro on board, the future is looking bright for the club, but when asked which machine is James’ favourite, the answer is unexpected: “To be honest, I like to take out the Multi Pro 5800-D sprayer, not only is it highly accurate in its application and easy to use, but best of all, it has room for my dog Stevie to come out for a ride!”

With the new Toro machines and the new Toro Irrigation system just installed, James is confident they’re on track to turn the club into a top golfing destination.

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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SISIS Key At Beaumont Park

SISIS Key At Beaumont Park: Cameron Flitten, head groundsman at De Montfort University at Beaumont Park in Leicester, believes that most of his maintenance programme can be achieved by using just two key pieces of SISIS equipment – the Multitiner and the Quadraplay.

Head groundsman Cameron Flitten has a number of strings to his bow when it comes to sports turf maintenance. After starting in the industry with an apprenticeship at a golf course, he went on to specialise in the maintenance of cricket squares, football pitches and rugby pitches in his previous position at Loughborough University.

SISIS Key At Beaumont Park

Cameron has now been in his current employment with De Montfort University for three years but revealed that it was in his former position where he first became acquainted with SISIS machinery.

“I used SISIS machinery at Loughborough so I already knew that they were brilliant pieces of kit. We never used to have any problems with the equipment; they were reliable, simple to use and did an excellent job every time. I tend to always go with what I know works so I was keen to get some SISIS equipment in here.”

In particular, Cameron uses the SISIS Multitiner 1.8m and the SISIS Quadraplay 1.8m at the impressive Beaumont Park which plays host to the university’s men’s and women’s football teams. The facilities are also used by the local community and with a high amount of recorded usage, regular pitch maintenance is essential.

One of today’s most useful pieces of kit in any groundsman’s armoury, the SISIS Quadraplay significantly speeds up maintenance tasks by carrying out more than one operation simultaneously – making it ideal for groundsmen like Cameron who have several sports pitches to maintain.

This single-pass maintenance system incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, slitters, rollers and brushes. The implements can be fitted to the mainframe in any order and can be independently adjusted to achieve the desired effect.

“Quite simply, the Quadraplay is essential for us. We’ve got the slitter, the rake wires, the brush and a roller for it and we tend to use it regularly throughout the year. I like the fact that you can carry out a number of tasks in just one sweep which saves so much time. It provides the pitch with aeration, removes organic matter, gives the surface a good clean and then leaves an excellent finish,” Cameron explains.

The SISIS Multitiner is a tractor mounted drum-type aerator which is ideally suited to a range of applications from sports field maintenance, lawns and amenities. It has three drums with independent rotation and its interchangeable tines with a maximum depth of 100mm ensure excellent turf care when the time comes to aerate.

“At this time of year, we tend to use the chisel tines on the Multitiner because it ‘cracks’ the soil incredibly well and we find that it gives us a bit more depth. It’s great to be able to open the surface up especially when it is cold and wet.

“We rely on the Multitiner for drainage and aeration – to ensure that air gets into the surface and to keep the pitches draining freely. I would say that we try and use the Multitiner every couple of weeks and when the weather gets warmer, we switch to the solid tines. It only takes an hour to go over the whole pitch, so it’s incredibly quick compared to other machines on the market.”

“For me, these two machines help me carry out a huge part of our maintenance programme and we use them in tandem. They are well built, reliable and are key pieces of turf maintenance machinery for us here.”

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

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

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Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB: ICL’s Riptide, the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass, has been a key player in the development of the greens at the stunning JCB Golf and Country Club.

Set amid the lush green rolling countryside of Staffordshire lies one of the most exciting new golf courses to be built in the UK over the last decade. No stone has been left unturned in the creation of this remarkable 18-hole course designed by British architect Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design.

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

“This is a high end facility that people might only visit once a year or even just once in their lifetime. The whole experience has to be there and it is down to us to deliver that on the golf course,” said Callum Wark, Golf Course Manager.

No doubt those who play the course will be fully immersed in the experience and will marvel at the imaginative design concepts of the course. It is also inevitable that the course will provide the backdrop for compelling drama to unfold – history will be made and the finest players in the world will steal the limelight but the unsung heroes responsible for this magnificent course deserve every bit of credit.

The story that will not be told, is that throughout this four year journey, the greenkeeping team at the JCB Golf and Country Club have been involved in the whole construction process from start to finish.

“Myself and four senior greenkeepers were equally involved in all aspects of construction,” said Euan Grant, General Manager. “We had all been around constructions in the past but none of us had ever had direct construction experience. For greenkeepers to jump on excavators and dumpers, and to be ploughing and turning soils over is really quite remarkable. We have been fully engrossed in the project working seven days a week making the best of the weather when we can.

“It is a heavy clay site so we had to work when it was dry. If we got two days of rain then we couldn’t work for ten days and if that meant working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night then we were working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night.”

It is no wonder that Euan, Callum and the team speak about their involvement with an overwhelming sense of pride. After all, they have helped to create a world-class golf complex that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best. However, these modest greenkeepers are not allowing themselves to get that far ahead…yet.

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

“The tournaments will happen but first of all we need to achieve agronomic excellence,” said Euan.

“In order to achieve that, and in order to host tournaments, you have to be in that top percentile of golf course reputation and quality,” added Callum.

With the construction coming to an end, their attentions quickly turned to ensuring that they had the correct suppliers and products in place which would indeed help them to reach that top tier – and the greens were the first port of call.

In order to select the ideal grass seed for the greens, Euan created a trial area and split a nursery into five different rootzone amendments which consisted of a profile product – which was porous ceramic, a green waste product, two zeolite products and a straight sand. Six different grasses from six different suppliers were then applied to the rootzone plots.

“We monitored the germination rates, density, colour and disease to find out which product would be the best for our site,” said Euan. “We didn’t put any fungicides on them throughout winter because we wanted to know which diseases would be more prevalent. Based on all of the results, and also by looking closely at which was the strongest grass coming out of winter, we decided that we would go with ICL’s Riptide on a green waste compost / sand mix as per USGA specification.”

Exclusive to ICL, Riptide is the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass variety, it is ideal for seeding new areas or when used for interseeding as part of a course renovation programme. This fine-leaved, densely-shooting, creeping bentgrass establishes quickly, especially in spring, growing upright but low to the ground with high tiller shoot density and keeping its bright mid-green colour right through autumn and winter.

Riptide responds very well to lower nutritional inputs and less frequent watering, potentially significantly reducing costs involved in a higher maintenance programme and offering a more sustainable approach; less fertilizer, fungicide, scarification and verti-cutting.

Furthermore, Riptide was given top rankings for quality of appearance and disease resistance by the The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and the United States based National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

Sowing at an application rate of between 6-8g/m², the team at the JCB Golf and Country Club used Riptide to seed and grow-in eleven greens in the first year and then nine the following year.

“We were germinating in five days and mowing in ten days,” said Euan. “Because it was our first year and it was a soft opening, we were under no pressure whatsoever to cut the grass down to achieve fast speeds. However, we were still getting 10.5ft without significantly chasing that. It is an incredibly fine grass.”

“We haven’t looked back,” added Callum. “The rooting has been amazing – we are 300mm of rootzone over 100mm gravel and even now, a year on from opening, the roots are way down into the gravel. They are incredibly strong roots.”

Commenting on the use of Riptide at the JCB Golf and Country Club, Emma Kilby, Technical Area Sales Manager for ICL, said: “I’m really proud that Riptide has played a big part in the greens here and the development of our seeds is growing all of the time – you just have to look at the new cultivars we’ve got which have a very high rating within the STRI.

“It has been incredible to be involved from the very start. From coming in here and just seeing clay to where they are now is a fantastic achievement. JCB is a great company to work with, in terms of their history, their ethos and their direction.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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Reesink Key For Brookfield Groundcare

Reesink Key For Brookfield Groundcare: Cambridge based groundscare company Brookfield Groundcare has recently invested in a Toro LT3340 triple cylinder mower because of the “excellent back up service provided by Reesink Turfcare” says company owner, Danny Wright.

With 15 years in the business maintaining everything from small gardens to huge country estates for private and commercial clients across Cambridgeshire, Newmarket and Suffolk, having a reliable backup service is vital.

Reesink Key For Brookfield Groundcare

“Reesink is known for providing really good customer support particularly when it comes to its backup service,” says Danny. “I know that if there was ever a problem with our machine, they would get a replacement out to me immediately. When you’re a relatively small business with a wide client base, that’s vital. I’d actually say that the backup is just as important, if not more than, the quality of the machine itself.”

In fact, it was this reputation that led to Danny going straight to Reesink when the need for more equipment arose. After recently securing more school and council clients, the company needed a new machine to help cope with the increase in work.

“When I was looking for a new machine, I went directly to Reesink to organise a demonstration,” says Danny. “Toro really is leading the market at the moment, so it made sense to go to them first. The LT3340 impressed me so much I didn’t see the need to test out any other brands. I decided pretty much there and then to get it.”

The LT3340 heavy-duty triple cylinder mower, with its sheer durability and strength makes for a perfect addition to a groundscare fleet. With such a powerful and versatile machine, it’s no wonder Danny is already seeing an improvement.

“It’s a lot quicker in operation,” he says. “And the controls are better situated compared to other brands so it’s more user-friendly and comfortable. Based on the performance of the machine, and the service that Reesink provides, it’s likely that as the company continues to grow there’ll be more investment in Toro.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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John Deere Key At Dumbarnie Links

John Deere Key At Dumbarnie Links: A brand new 18-hole golf course development on the south coast of Fife is coming, with Dumbarnie Links set to be open for play by spring 2020. The 165ha development reflects the historical location of a links course and sports club at Dumbarnie dating back to the 1830s.

Luke Beardmore of OB Sports Golf Management – the US firm hired to manage Dumbarnie – and John Deere dealer Sandy Armit of Double A signed a partnership deal last year for the supply of grow-in and maintenance equipment for this exciting £11 million project, which is supported by the local landowner Lord Balniel of Balcarres.

John Deere Key At Dumbarnie Links

Designed by former Walker Cup and Ryder Cup player Clive Clark, Dumbarnie Links is notable for featuring sea views on all 18 holes. The course manager is local man Grahame Taylor, who grew up in Leven and came from the Old Course at nearby St Andrews.

“The vision for Dumbarnie Links has been to provide a first class, true links style golf experience of international quality for all to enjoy,” said Luke Beardmore. “The golf course will be operated as a pay-and-play facility, with no members’ club or fees, and will be open to the public for a daily green fee. It has been designed and laid out to the highest standard while also respecting the coastal setting and environmental designations within the vicinity.”

Largo Bay to the south of the site forms part of a wider designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR Site). The Fife Coastal Path and Dumbarnie Links Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve are also adjacent to the site boundaries.

“Due to extremely favourable weather conditions last year the golf course construction work took just six months to complete, which is extremely fast,” said Luke. “The contractor, Landscapes Unlimited from the US, assembled a team of first class sub-contractors to build the course so quickly. The course will still need to mature throughout 2019, but so far the project has truly exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

John Deere Key At Dumbarnie Links

Luke Beardmore feels that John Deere has been at the forefront of the project’s success so far, adding: “Our initial success has largely been based on our strong working relationship with John Deere, and specifically the dealer Double A. The ability for Dumbarnie to work with the dealership team allowed us to keep the preliminary costs down while still focusing on the highest quality standards every day. This partnership has truly been a win-win for everyone.”

Sandy Armit of Double A added: “This is a very exciting project and we are very pleased to have been chosen to be involved with the initial loan and supply of John Deere equipment, including hire tractors and a ProGator utility vehicle with mounted sprayer and spreader. We look forward to phasing in a full fleet of course maintenance equipment through the grow-in period this year, in preparation for the course’s official opening in 2020.”

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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Versatility Key At Sitwell Park

Versatility Key At Sitwell Park: Sitwell Park Golf Club in Rotherham has taken delivery of a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and two attachments from Russell Group’s Groundcare Division. And versatility was a key reason for the purchase according to Course Manager Martin Hayward.

“It’s an incredible machine,” he said, “so versatile and it can do what other machines can’t do. We’ve purchased it with a Contour deck and a blower, which basically means we have two machines in one; three if you count the stump grinder attachment we have on loan from Russells.

Versatility Key At Sitwell Park

“We’re a parkland course situated in a valley with some severe undulations, so maintaining some of the slopes are an issue. Previously we’ve used strimmers in these high maintenance areas, but with a small team it takes a lot of man-hours and anything we can do to reduce that drain on resource is good and the Ventrac does just that.”

Sitwell Park Golf Club opened in 1913 with the support from local landowner, Sir George Sitwell, who offered part of his estate and agreed to bear the cost of building the course providing that a minimum of 100 members could be guaranteed by the time nine temporary holes were built. The club was a great success with over 100 members enrolling within a week and in May 1913 the club formally opened with over 200 members. With open countryside to the North, South and East, this was the first course Dr Alister MacKenzie built for a private client rather than for a committee.

Martin Hayward is a career greenkeeper, who has worked in Yorkshire for over 22 years. He entered the profession at Town Moor in Doncaster, moved on to Bawtry Golf Club after seven years and then to Hessle Golf Club. He joined Sitwell Park as Course Manager in April 2018 and leads a team of four dedicated greenkeepers.

“When I came here I identified a problem with shade on some of the greens, the 5th having the biggest issue, so we’re currently working on a programme of extensive tree removal to allow more light and increase airflow into these areas. Glen Sawyer at Russell’s kindly loaned us the stump grinder attachment and it has certainly impressed the lads. The Ventrac is certified to work on slopes up to 30 degrees and this has enabled us to get into areas that were previously not maintained. This will certainly help with the presentation of the course and I’ve already had positive comments from some of the members.

“I’m very lucky here having a supportive committee who have agreed to a planned replacement programme for our equipment. When we were looking at the Ventrac, all of my team were part of the decision-making process. To a man, they were all impressed and then it was just about making a business case for the committee to agree. It wasn’t that difficult as they quickly saw the versatility of the machine and how, in the long-term, we can add attachments at a fraction of the cost of buying a dedicated machine.”

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Sherriff’s Marathon Key For Trojans

Sherriff’s Marathon Key For Trojans: With sports pitches facing heavy usage at the Trojan Club in Eastleigh, Hampshire, head groundsman Dave Edwards needs to ensure the turf stands up to the rigours of winter sports. It is for this reason he chooses Sherriff Amenity’s Marathon Sport extended release fertilisers.

The Trojan Sports Club is a community-based amateur sports club which is run by the members, for the members and is open to all. The club receives no ongoing support from local or national sports authorities, and is totally reliant on member subscriptions, bar takings and fund-raising for its continued survival; and in a true case of Trojan by name, Trojan by nature – survive it certainly does.

Sherriff’s Marathon Key For Trojans

Trojan is one of the largest amateur sports clubs in Hampshire and has a long history of playing sport at a high level including rugby, hockey, squash, cricket and football. Tasked with ensuring the quality and safety of the sports pitches is Dave Edwards, who aside from the help of volunteers two days a week, tends to the large site alone.

Dave has been in the turf industry for the entirety of his career and after a nine year spell as a groundsman at AFC Bournemouth, he went onto positions at Iford Golf Club, Christchurch F.C and Meyrick Park Golf Club before accepting the role of head groundsman at Trojan two and a half years ago.

It was in his previous employment that he first became acquainted with Sherriff Amenity’s Marathon Sport extended release fertilisers.

“I had previous experience of using the Marathon range and especially when I was at the football grounds – I didn’t really use anything else. I thought they were good slow release products which lasted an incredibly long time. In my opinion there are a lot of slow release products out there which are hit and miss and it can be a bit of a lottery but I was impressed with the Marathon range. In summer, the pitches used to really kick on when using them for the end of season renovations, so when I started here I thought it made sense to start using them again.”

The Marathon range is characterised by a balance of nutrients, the analyses of each product being geared to a specific growth stage or season. With five existing products in the Marathon Sport range – Autumn, Pre-Seed, Spring, Summer, Lawn Mini Pack– there truly is a solution for every requirement, no matter what the time of year.

Across the four rugby pitches, Dave’s maintenance programme sees him start the season with the Summer mixture 10.0.15, which he applies at 35g/m2 before turning to the Marathon Sport Autumn 7.0.21 to ensure good grass coverage over winter. Just through these two applications, Dave believes that it is all he needs to ensure the turf stays strong and healthy all year round.

“The products are very good in respect of providing the turf with a lovely colour and they are extremely hard wearing – it keeps the grass looking healthy but toughens it up as well which is what we need for the amount of usage. The pitches are used approximately 6-7 days a week through the winter and the slow release gives us great longevity, it doesn’t tail off after a few weeks.

“Overall, I would say that the Marathon Sport fertilisers are great value for money without a shadow of a doubt. The customer service I receive from Sherriff Amenity is also fantastic; I always get products on time and my representative David Evans is full of advice and very supportive.”

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

For more news and insightful views, you can follow Sherriff Amenity on Twitter @SherriffAmenity

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Limagrain Key At York Racecourse

Limagrain Key At York Racecourse: Having been a long-term user of Limagrain grass seed, Adrian Kay, head groundsman at York Racecourse, believes that an improvised MM25 mixture gives him the confidence to keep the course to an exceptionally high standard all year long.

Adrian, the man in charge of keeping York Racecourse ahead of the pack, has been the head groundsman for twelve years. He joined York from Aintree Racecourse in 2006 and two years later was instrumental in a huge £2.6 million track development project.

Limagrain Key At York Racecourse

As part of the project, significant drainage works were carried out in order to remove and keep water at bay from the surface, which is situated on an old river bed and flood plain. Although that project was undertaken over nine years ago, Adrian and his team still continue to focus their attention on maintaining and improving the surface and primary drainage.

It could be argued that Adrian is somewhat of an industry pioneer as he continues to adopt new methods, particularly in his decision to embrace the Koro process in order to strip the top of the surface and remove all vegetation and rootzone – something which is practically unheard of in horse racing turf maintenance. As a result, Adrian admits that whichever grass seed he uses, he must have full confidence that it is going to provide him with exceptional results and guarantee a fast return to usability.

“I’ve been using Limagrain seed for about 16 years now and I’ve got every confidence in the seed. I used MM25 when I was at Aintree and then we played around with the mixture here at York to suit our renovations.

“The mixture we use consists of 50% Tetraploid Perennial Rye, 30% Diploid and 20% Slender Creeping Red Fescue – and it’s treated with HEADSTART® GOLD. It’s a perfect mixture here for what we are trying to achieve and occasionally we use 100% Tetraploid when we are carrying out our renovations.”

With the race season at York finishing in mid-October, Adrian typically uses this period to start his renovations. Although renovating this late in the year can present certain challenges, Adrian believes that his Limagrain mixture ensures a smooth process.

Limagrain Key At York Racecourse

“We normally begin our renovations in October after the race season, which is sometimes not ideal, but we have full confidence in the Limagrain mixture that it will begin to germinate.

“This year renovations were very late with the seed being sown in early November. Unfortunately for us, we then had an extreme winter with Beast from the East followed by a very wet start to the spring.  However, the track couldn’t have looked better with a very good coverage of new grass ready for the first meeting of the on the 16th May – this really is testament to the quality of the seed.”

Racecourses have to withstand a high degree of damage from horses over a whole season which means that selecting the right mixture for renovation and divot repair is vitally important. Adrian’s tailored mixture provides him with a dense hard wearing surface which offers quick germination and provides cushioning in the bottom of the sward.

Adrian says, the mixture which is treated with HEADSTART® GOLD – Limagrain’s unique seaweed based seed treatment helps to ensure rapid and even germination. This tried and tested grass seed treatment helps the seed get off to the best possible start – something which Adrian has been quick to notice.

“I use Limagrain because of the attributes of germination, establishment and the quality of leaf. If I put the seed down two weeks before we are racing, I absolutely know that in ideal conditions we are going to get the germination and establishment that is required.

“For me, it’s a year round product that I use. We use the same mix for repairs on the track as well which we apply after every race meeting. It really is the full package.”

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

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