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Limagrain changes fortunes in Looe

Limagrain changes fortunes in Looe: Mat Edwards, Head Greenkeeper at Looe Golf Club in Cornwall, has praised a range of Limagrain products for helping him to transform the course into one of the most respected in the county.

Mat, who had no previous greenkeeping experience, has been working at Looe Golf Club for the past six years. The former pub landlord started working at the golf club after returning from travelling and has shown an unbelievable amount of hard work and dedication.

Limagrain changes fortunes in Looe

Limagrain changes fortunes in Looe

“Hearing the great comments from members and visitors about how much the course has improved in the last few years has been fantastic – it has been a real highlight for me,” he said,

With no experience Mat certainly has exceeded all expectations but last year he faced his biggest challenge yet.

“The greens got absolutely annihilated by leatherjackets and we nearly had total loss of cover on a few of them,” he said. “I conferred with David Bevan from Agrovista Amenity and Matt Gresty from Limarain UK and they were both of the opinion that we should reseed the greens with Limagrain’s MM50 grass seed.”

Limagrain’s MM50 is one of the UK’s biggest selling grass mixtures. The hard-wearing ryegrass mix is very fine leaved, has high shoot density, is tolerant to close mowing down to 4-5mm and produces a great colour all year round. It also has quick recovery from damage and play. Furthermore, this mixture is treated with Headstart® GOLD – a revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination.

“I applied MM50 very heavily to the greens in early March just before the first lockdown and put grow sheets over the top,” continued Mat. “It was cold, the soil temperature was low, and we had some wintery showers. I think the grow sheets helped but it was not long before the seed flew up.

“I’ve been incredibly happy with the results from MM50 – it’s a strong seed and the greens are not only looking better but they are a lot healthier now too. The seed has also helped with disease; historically, we suffer from a bit of fusarium and anthracnose towards the end of summer, but we have seen a lot less. The greens are definitely more resistant to disease since applying the MM50.”

Mat is now preparing to overseed the greens with MM50 for a second time, but it is not the only Limagrain product he is focusing on.

“This will be our third year of using Limagrain’s Colour Splash mixtures – and they have helped us create a lovely area which has improved the aesthetics of the course.”

Over the past few years, Limagrain UK’s range of Colour Splash 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.

“There was an area between the 8th and the 10th hole about the size of a football pitch,” said Mat. “It was just sitting there and so we decided to make use of it. The main reason was to add some colour and it is in a perfect position where people can stop halfway round the course. When we have tournaments, a beer tent is placed right next to the Colour Splash area which makes it nice for people to socialise too.”

“Ultimately, I’m very pleased because it is fair to say that a few years ago the course didn’t have a glowing reputation,” said Mat. “Everything is heading in the right direction now – the greens are back and healthy and some people are claiming that they are now some of the best in the county.”

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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New Limagrain UK brochures

New Limagrain UK brochures: Limagrain UK, the UK’s leading plant breeder and seed producer, has announced the launch of its new collection of product brochures for 2021/2022.

The new range of Limagrain UK 2021/2022 brochures are now available to download on the Limagrain website or from a company representative. Existing and new prospective customers can look forward to the following brochures:

New Limagrain UK brochures

New Limagrain UK brochures

MM seed

The professional’s choice

Limagrain’s MM range of grass seed is one of the most respected brands in the UK turf industry and is relied upon at some of the most prestigious sporting venues in the UK and beyond. Quite simply it is the premium grass seed for sports and amenity professionals.

The MM range has mixtures to suit every sporting situation and at this time of year, readers of the brochure will be particularly drawn to the MM60 and MM Tetrasport mixtures; which are perfect for winter sports.

Also featured in the brochure is Limagrain’s MM50 which is one of the UK’s biggest selling grass mixtures. Ideal for cricket squares and tennis courts the hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, high shoot density, is tolerant to close mowing and produces a great colour all year round.

All of the mixtures in the MM range are treated with Limagrain’s HEADSTART® GOLD – a revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination. Readers of the brochure will be able to find out more about this biological germination accelerator which is enhancing grass seed coatings at many of the UK’s leading sporting venues.

Colour Splash

Beautiful and wildlife friendly

Limagrain UK’s range of Colour Splash flower mixtures have been used in a broad range of landscape and amenity areas throughout the UK.

The Colour Splash mixtures are particularly popular with those who not only enjoy a delightful array of colourful flowers but also highly appreciate the effect they have on the landscape. Readers of the new Colour Splash brochure will see how the flowers provide a welcome refuge for wildlife; offering a rich and varied source of food.

Designer amenity grass seed and wildflower

A solution for every requirement

The Designer range from Limagrain is one of the leading brands in the UK turf industry. With an extensive range of amenity grass mixtures which meet the exact requirements of varied end users, the popular brand is used by the likes of landscapers, local authorities and sports clubs throughout the country.

The success of the Designer range is built upon a wealth of technical and practical experience within this specialised area. Limagrain’s rigorous trialling system ensures that every single grass variety will perform, whether sown alone or part of a well-balanced formulation.

Not only do the new Limagrain brochures contain detailed information about the products but they also include valuable technical advice, information on mixture composition and some extremely useful facts and figures including a pitch size and quantity guide and a sowing rate conversion chart.

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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Ben Hastie, Head Groundsman at Cheltenham Racecourse has reported fantastic results after embarking on a long-term strategy of scarifying and overseeding with Limagrain UK’s MM60 grass seed.

MM60 the top tip at Cheltenham

MM60 the top tip at Cheltenham : Ben Hastie, Head Groundsman at Cheltenham Racecourse has reported fantastic results after embarking on a long-term strategy of scarifying and overseeding with Limagrain UK’s MM60 grass seed. 

MM60 the top tip at Cheltenham :
Ben started in the industry as a greenkeeper but from a young age his passion was always horse racing. It was for this reason that while working at a golf club, he volunteered his services to Warwick and Stratford racecourses.

Ben Hastie, Head Groundsman at Cheltenham Racecourse has reported fantastic results after embarking on a long-term strategy of scarifying and overseeding with Limagrain UK’s MM60 grass seed.

Ben Hastie, Head Groundsman at Cheltenham Racecourse has reported fantastic results after embarking on a long-term strategy of scarifying and overseeding with Limagrain UK’s MM60 grass seed.

His persistence paid off and in 2006 he was rewarded with a full-time job at Cheltenham Racecourse. Thirteen years later and Ben is the Head Groundsman overseeing eleven full-time members of staff.

Throughout this time, Limagrain’s MM60 has always been the seed of choice for the course. In fact, MM60 has been relied on at Cheltenham for over 25 years and Ben recalls a rigorous seed trial early in his tenure when MM60 proved exactly why it has been the number one choice for so long.

“I remember when I first started in 2006, we did a trial on the highest part of the track,” said Ben. “In this trial we tried to work out the best seed for us because the climate at Cheltenham can be a little bit different to everywhere else – the highest point of the track gets very windy and it can get incredibly cold.

“We trialled 8-10 different mixtures in which we did lots of various tests in numerous conditions. We found that the MM60 was by far the best for what we needed, and we haven’t looked back since then.”

Limagrain’s leading MM60 winter sport mixture is a 100% ryegrass formula which is perfect in Ben’s quest to achieve consistency throughout the whole course. A strict regime of scarifying and overseeding during renovations has been key according to Ben.

“The one thing I want from the racecourse is consistency and my ultimate goal is to see a blend of ryegrass all the way through the course without any fescues or bents. Obviously, annual meadow-grasses are particularly hard to control but we now have a racecourse that has approximately 95% of pure ryegrass. This has been largely thanks to scarifying and overseeding at the right times.

“Doing this consistently over the years has resulted in the ryegrass holding up more than it ever has, it is helping with disease, helping to keep moisture in there where it is needed, helping the recovery rate and it is also providing a better coverage which makes the course look so much better.”

Photo of Cheltenham Racecourse from above.

Ben and his team start this process immediately after the last race meeting in May and they carry out the same programme across all three racecourses – the Old Course, the New Course and the Cross-Country Steeplechase Course. After the rails and hurdles have been removed, the turf will be cut from its racing height of 4.5 inches down to 2 inches. It is at this point that the scarifying begins, and this can take approximately a month.

When it comes to overseeding, Ben admits that it is a question of judgement and can depend on the climate and identifying the areas which need it most. As you would expect, the take-offs and landings experience the most amount of damage and these areas are constantly repaired throughout the race season.

“We have a team of 40 ‘treaders’ on a race day,” said Ben. “They will apply a mixture of soil and MM60 seed which will be put down with a trowel. This ensures that every single horse hoof print is filled in, levelled and that the germination process starts early.”

Germination is something that the MM60 excels in thanks to the inclusion of Headstart GOLD® – a revolutionary grass seed coating that ensures rapid germination and catalyses incredible growth speeds. The seed also has a high disease resistance and fantastic aesthetic qualities – all of which have impressed Ben.

“You know with MM60 that you are going to get great growth and the colour is brilliant. Because we are predominantly a winter sport, we need germination at low temperatures and I know that the MM60 will still be growing even if soil temperatures are 5 or 6 degrees when we are racing in December or January.

“It is a great product and the health of the turf it produces is better than anything I have seen before.”

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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Limagrain A Success At Glamorgan

Limagrain A Success At Glamorgan: Glamorgan County Cricket Club head groundsman Robin Saxton believes that a range of Limagrain UK grass seed is helping the venue stand up to the demands of modern day sport and the constant scrutiny that pitches are under.

Sophia Gardens Cardiff, a 16,000-seater stadium, is the home of Glamorgan Cricket and an established venue for international cricket. In an average season, the venue will host four day championship games, T20 games, international and domestic fixtures and a mixture of local and corporate games. Robin estimates that there are approximately between 45-50 days of cricket played at the venue each year and this is in addition to pre-season concerts and events.

Limagrain A Success At Glamorgan

It is safe to say that Robin, who has been at Sophia Gardens since 2013, has his work cut out and that is without the increasing pressure grounds personnel are under, as he explains.

“Due to the demands of modern day sport and because of the TV cameras, pitches are always under scrutiny and it needs to be at its best at all times.

“Even the outfields used to be the square’s poor cousin not so long ago but that has all changed now. What you don’t want is a square that looks great and an outfield that looks patchy because it will be quickly noticed.”

For his outfields, Robin overseeded with Limagrain’s Action Replay which is a 100% Ryegrass hard-wearing mixture.

“The Action Replay is a winter sports mix, designed for the likes of football and rugby so we thought that this mixture would be ideal for the outfield,” he said. “It is wear and disease tolerant because it is a broad, robust seed.

“We first applied it last year and we had a fantastic take with it which excelled during a particularly hot summer. Since using Action Replay we have seen a lot less burn off and a lot less dry out on the outfield.”

When it comes to the 15 wickets and practice pitches on the square, MM50 has stood the test of time and has been used at Sophia Gardens for as long as Robin can remember.

“I’ve been here since 2013 and even before I arrived MM50 was being used,” he said. “It shows that myself and others before me have always had faith in the seed and deservedly so because we have tried other seeds against it in side-by-side trials. MM50 has always come up better, nothing has ever beaten it.”

MM50 is the ideal seed for cricket squares. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, a 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. It is also widely praised for its rapid recovery – something which Robin quickly noticed.

“MM50 is by far the best seed in terms of recovery. When trialled against the others, it has proven to be stronger, it has come through thicker and it is more wear tolerant. It has consistently outperformed other seeds we have trailed.

“You are left with a stronger plant that is going to take the activity across the square better than a slightly finer plant – which with a full calendar of cricket is a big bonus. With MM50 you just have the confidence in knowing that it will handle the stresses of four-day cricket where we can’t really water the square as much as we would like to.

“There has never been any reason to change the seed,” continued Robin. “In fact it has probably been the one constant product we have stuck with over the years – we may have changed the fertilisers, the chemistry and the biology but not the actual grass plant because it has always been a great base to work from.

“For me, the consistency of MM50 is the best feature. I don’t remember one year where we have had a batch that has not performed how we would like it to. It has got to the point that if something isn’t right then we look at things we might have done incorrectly because it is no doubt a mistake on our part rather than the seed because we know how good the MM50 is.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm. You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Limagrain UK Appoint Sam Horner

Limagrain UK Appoint Sam Horner: Sam Horner has been appointed as Limagrain UK’s new amenity seed specialist covering the south of England, the company has announced.

Sam has been involved in the sports turf industry for over twenty years and brings with him a wealth of experience.

Limagrain UK Appoint Sam Horner

It all started at his beloved Gloucester Rugby where he first became familiar with sports turf maintenance. He then went onto study sports turf at college and after graduating he landed a job at Tewkesbury Park Golf Club. Sam quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to deputy course manager before accepting the position of golf course manager at Gloucester Golf Club.

Five years ago he moved into a sales and marketing role within the amenity industry but continues to ‘work on the tools’ by offering match-day support for the grounds staff at Gloucester Rugby.

Commenting on his new position at Limagrain UK, Sam said that the opportunity was just too good to turn down.

“It was a very easy decision – all the way through the process I knew that if I was offered the job then I was absolutely going to take it. Limagrain is an outstanding company, in terms of its product portfolio and its reputation – the way it conducts itself is very professional. Limagrain has always been a leading company in the industry working at the very high end of sports turf and opportunities like this do not come along very often – I was always going to take it.”

With immediate effect Sam will now be offering technical advice and full support on products such as Limagrain’s leading brands of MM and Designer grass seeds and Colour Splash amenity flower mixtures.

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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Limagrain Stays In The Family

Limagrain Stays In The Family: Alex Exton, head groundsman at Witham Hall in Lincolnshire, claims he has not looked back since using a range of MM grass seed from Limagrain UK, having had the mixture recommended by his father Keith.

Keith Exton has enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the turf industry and Alex, long inspired by his dad, is now carving his own successful path in the industry. However, he admits that he would be foolish to not soak up some of the wisdom Keith has accumulated over the years.

Limagrain Stays In The Family

“I first heard about Limagrain through my father who is a big fan of them,” said Alex. “He’s been quite successful within the industry and I suppose I have just tried to follow in his footsteps.

“I know he used Limagrain when he was at Oakham School for 16 years or so and then continued to use them when he went to Glamorgan County Cricket Club.  ​He is now at Grantham CC and is still using MM50 and Action Replay to this day”.

Alex is entering his ninth year at the prestigious Witham Hall which is a thriving boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 4-13 years. The school is committed to providing a first-class education both in and beyond the classroom and sport is a fundamental part of the curriculum – which is where Alex comes in.

The children can enjoy the major team sports of rugby, football, hockey, cricket, netball and rounders, and Alex alongside two other members of staff, maintain the fabulous sports pitches, grounds and facilities all year round.

Alex has a busy schedule which sees a tight turnaround in transforming the pitches for the relevant sports in between terms. As you can imagine, the playing fields experience an incredibly high amount of usage all year round but Alex claims that his use of Limagrain grass seed helps the turf to withstand such high wear.

Throughout his tenure at Witham Hall, he has relied on Limagrain’s MM50 for the cricket squares and Action Replay for all of the outfields which includes the rugby, hockey and football pitches.

MM is one of the most respected brands in the UK sportsturf and amenity industries and is relied upon at top sports grounds throughout the UK and beyond. In particular, MM50 is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. 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

Limagrain’s Action Replay belongs to the company’s Designer range of amenity grass seed and is an excellent mixture to use when renovating winter sports pitches. It will establish very quickly producing a dense, hard wearing sward for all heavy-duty sports areas.

According to Alex, both of these products provide him with everything he is looking for in a grass seed.

Limagrain Stays In The Family

“We try to put Action Replay down in the spring and autumn as part of our renovations. I have just recently purchased a disc seeder so I tend to put it down between 20-25g/m2.

“On the cricket square it all depends on what I’m doing. If I have cleaned a track out in the playing season and want to reuse it, I will groove out and apply the product with the pedestrian push spreader. When I’m over-seeding the whole square, as part of our end of season renovations, I must admit that I put plenty on. I will normally apply two bags with the pedestrian spreader, to fall into the grooves made by the scarifier and then I will go over it in four directions with our SISIS Variseeder, again with another two bags.

“I know it sounds a lot but our square is on a slope, so when watering, the water can run and take a fair bit of seed with it. I just think that doing it this way works really well for our site and I get a fantastic take and coverage.

“The MM50 is excellent for the cricket – it stands the sort mowing, the heavy rolling and recovers incredibly well. In fact, both products perform consistently well and I never have any bad results or problems. It’s as simple as that really – they are good solid products.

“If I’m ever asked what seed I use, I only ever say Limagrain and I would recommend MM50 and Action Replay to anyone.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm. You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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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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Improve Your Golf Course With Limagrain

Improve Your Golf Course With Limagrain: Visitors to the Limagrain UK stand (140), situated in the Blue Zone at BTME 2019, can expect to see a range of market leading products that can significantly improve both the quality and aesthetics of a golf course.

The demand and pressure placed on the modern day greenkeeper to produce a consistent playing surface continually grows at a pace. Seed quality, purity and vigour are the essential ingredients of a first-class golf course and Limagrain’s MM range of seed mixture provides exactly these.

Improve Your Golf Course With Limagrain

For a number of years, greenkeepers and course managers have been reaping the benefits by choosing the MM brand. All the varieties in the MM mixtures are thoroughly tested at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) – ensuring that the finished product will meet your requirements for play, appearance and maintenance.

For greens, the traditional Chewings Fescue / Browntop bent mix, MM11, remains a popular choice in many cases and can be used from spring to autumn. It is ideal for new constructions and overseeding existing swards. A slight variation of which is MM10; both mixes are fine leaved, disease resistant and make good, dense putting surfaces. Where it is difficult to maintain fescue in the sward or where levels of wear are greater, many choose to use MM9 – a three way Browntop bent mixture – in late summer/early autumn for best results. For links style courses, sustainable golf or for early season overseeding, MM8 may well be the solution – a three way fescue mix with excellent disease resistance, drought tolerance and minimal fertiliser requirements.

If you are looking for a mixture ideal for tees then the all ryegrass MM50 should be considered. It is capable of rapid establishment and fast recovery from divot scarring. For large tees where play is less intense, MM22 is a viable option. Where damage and wear are minimal, use MM12 or MM13, both are suited to ‘Links style’ courses, are drought tolerant and have low maintenance requirements.

For fairways, adaptability is the key attribute because soil conditions, light and shade, contouring and wear will vary markedly in different areas of the course. Choose low maintenance, drought tolerant mixtures with creeping varieties where wear levels are low, such as MM12 or MM13 and select ryegrass mixes, such as MM22, on high divot or intense wear areas.

Visitors to the stand can also find out how Limagrain’s Wild Flower and Colour Splash mixtures have been benefitting countless golf courses throughout the UK and beyond. The mixtures are ideal for those wanting to bring a splash of colour to their golf course as well as attracting some fantastic wildlife.

With a wide range of mixtures available, both the Wild Flower and Colour Splash mixtures are extremely easy to sow and the resulting flowers are vigorous plants which 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.

Limagrain’s amenity seed specialists will all be on hand at BTME to discuss the products in more detail and will also be available to offer their expertise on any queries you may have.

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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Successful Limagrain Event At AELTC

Successful Limagrain Event At AELTC: The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, recently played host to an event by Limagrain UK, where groundsmen from several independent schools were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s most famous sporting venues.

The access-all-areas tour was conducted by Neil Stubley (head of courts & horticulture) and Grant Cantin (head groundsman), in which the attendees were taken to the exclusive players-only area, the media centre and the legendary centre court. Delegates also got to see first-hand some of the exciting developments which are currently underway.

Successful Limagrain Event At AELTC

The club is now in its final year of the Court 1 retractable roof project and is set to be completed in time for 2019 Championships. Other works include a new office building for staff, a complete refurbishment of the player dressing rooms and a brand new members’ brasserie – which will no doubt provide yet another world-class dining establishment.

Commenting on the developments, Grant said: “This is the norm here to be honest because we are always trying to be better and provide a better venue – not just for the players but for the public and everyone who comes here.”

The tour offered a fabulous insight into the meticulous planning that is required to successfully host the greatest tennis championships in the world. Grant revealed that while they face many sleepless nights during the Championships, there is still no let off when the games come to a close.

“In terms of grounds staff, there are eighteen of us here full-time and that includes two full-time mechanics and two irrigation engineers. Every year from March until October we bring in another twelve or thirteen people just to get the numbers for the busy times. The Championships are obviously busy but after that it is actually our busiest time with the renovations. Every grass court is renovated and most of them are stripped off back to soil and then re-grown. All this work needs to be completed before the weather starts turning in October or November, so it is a very busy time for us.”

For the renovations, the grounds staff choose to use Limagrain grass seed for the grass courts – as Grant explains:

“We have been using Limagrain seed for quite a long time now and we are very happy with the product. The mixture is very similar to MM50 with two of the three cultivars being the same. The STRI actually do all of the research for us and they, along with Limagrain, recommend which cultivars to use.

“Every year we are confident that the seed is the very best it can be and the results are great,” he said.

After a complimentary lunch, and as the event came to a close, attendees were left reflecting on the revealing tour and James Pope, grounds manager at St Paul’s School, was certainly pleased to be a part of it.

“This place is just unbelievable and I didn’t realise how much of a big scale they are working on every day. The standards that they work to when the courts are closed is incredible; everything is just immaculate all the way through to the pathways, gardens, courts and renovations. Then there is the preparation that goes into the tournaments – I’ve never seen anything like it.

“For me personally, I don’t get to see my fellow colleagues too often so to come to a place like this, which is very different, and to see and talk about something that we haven’t all seen together is huge. We were able to bounce ideas of one another and I was able to exchange ideas with other groundsmen that I look up to and speak to those who have more experience than me. To talk about the products and techniques used here, and to network with other school groundsmen, has been invaluable.”

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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Limagrain Praised At Peterborough

Limagrain Praised At Peterborough: Rob Bradshaw, currently operating as head groundsman at his beloved Peterborough United FC’s Mick George Training Academy, has spoken of his satisfaction at both the product and the service he receives from Limagrain UK.

Rob has admitted that he is currently ‘living the dream’. As a lifelong Posh fan, not only is he working for the club that he loves but he is also doing a job that he loves. After starting his career working for Huntingdon District Council he accepted the head groundsman position at One Leisure sports centre in St Ives and during his time here he picked up two Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) national awards.

Limagrain Praised At Peterborough

In between his current full-time role at the Mick George Training Academy, Rob is a pitch advisor for the Huntingdonshire FA and also runs a Sport England funded grounds association in the areas of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. So passionate about providing the best surfaces he can, he even admits to sleeping in his car after tending to the pitches through the night.

“Yes, I’ve had nights out in the car park but you have to do it sometimes,” he said. “I take pride in my work and I want what is best – for the players and for the club.”

Rob has been at Peterborough United FC for two years now and after a season of settling in he soon decided it was time to make his mark.

“It got to February time when I really wanted to start planning, make some improvements and finalise where we were going to go with our end of season renovations. Firstly, I needed to choose a good grass seed because I only want to use the best products here. I did my homework on various products and gave a number of companies the opportunity to come in.

“The Limagrain MM60 seed seemed to be the number one choice in my opinion. I know that a lot of other professional clubs use it and I have used various Limagrain products in the past – it has always been a proven package.”

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface on a number of winter sports pitches. 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 – which is 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.

“We had good germination within 10-12 days and we had excellent coverage,” said Rob. “It’s important that I have a seed like MM60 which recovers quickly from damage and wear because of the amount of usage we have here. Last year, as well as training, we had 260 games on the two pitches so to have that dense, hard wearing sward which the MM60 provides is ideal.

Limagrain Praised At Peterborough

“I’d also like to add that, aside from the success of the products, I have been really impressed by the service, the back-up and the advice I receive from Limagrain UK. When I was deciding on what seed to use Richard Sheppard (amenity seed specialist for Limagrain UK) came in and was very helpful. In my experience you don’t always get that level of professional back-up and I just can’t fault the company in any kind of way.”

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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