Posts

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60: Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football and you would be hard pressed to find anyone as dedicated to the cause than Ian Pilkington. In fact, he spends most of his free time tending to the pitch at Stourbridge FC’s War Memorial Ground, which he says has been hugely benefited by Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed.

Stourbridge through and through, Ian’s involvement with his beloved club, who are also known as the Glassboys, goes back a long way. When he attended his first game as a seven-year old boy, little did he know that one day he would become a director and a groundsman.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“My dad started taking me to watch the matches at Stourbridge when I seven years old and I’ve followed them ever since,” said Ian. “After the club got relegated in the year 2000 a number of us were invited to run the committee and then we evolved into a limited company and became directors.

“I started helping to run the club in a number of areas and was lending a hand to the groundsman. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and there was no one to do the work, so I thought I’d better have a go myself.”

That was 16 years ago, and Ian has tended to the pitch ever since. Without fail, he is at the ground every Sunday morning and every spare moment he has during the week, preparing, repairing, and treating every inch of the pitch to keep it in superb condition.

“I’m a keen amateur,” he says. “I’ve found that you never stop gaining knowledge in the groundcare industry. There are always people that I can ask for help and advice and that is how I have managed to do this job for so long.

“To be honest, I could probably do with retiring, but I enjoy spending time at the club. I love being outside and working on the pitch. However, I have found that you can never do enough in this game, and I am always thinking about what else I can do to improve the pitch.”

Ian claims that he saw a remarkable development in the pitch ever since he started using Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed ten years ago after it was recommended to him by trusted supplier Agrovista Amenity.

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing 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 – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

“We use MM60 for our renovation at the start of May. We share the ground with a cricket club so as soon as we finish the football season there is change over to cricket. Therefore, we need something which is very quick in establishment and we’ve found that the MM60 is ideal for that – it gives us great coverage.”

“I also tend to overseed in autumn – so I will use the MM60 on areas which need a bit of a boost, or where the fox has been or where the birds have been pecking at the surface.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“The colour is also very strong throughout the year – it’s always a vibrant green and is healthy.”

MM60 also includes Limagrain’s Ryegrass cultivar Annecy which has outstanding disease resistance particularly against Leaf Spot. The mixture’s high disease resistance coupled with its hard-wearing sward makes MM60 a seed that Ian can rely on.

“We never suffer from any disease here and I’ve found that the MM60 provides great recovery – even in bad weather conditions. Ultimately, we have consistently good results year in year out.

“I’ve been working with Mark Allen from Agrovista Amenity for more than 10 years and have been using the MM60 throughout that whole time. It’s been a fruitful partnership, which combined with use of the Limagrain seed, only benefits the club and will continue to so in the future.”

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

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

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

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

MM60 Superior For Stoke City

MM60 Superior For Stoke City: When Andy Jackson, grounds manager at Stoke City FC, trialled a number of different seed mixtures eight years ago, he felt that there was one in particular which was far superior and that was Limagrain UK’s MM60.

From apprentice to grounds manager, Andy Jackson has been at Stoke City FC throughout his entire career. Arguably there is not one person who knows the stadium and training ground better and there is certainly no-one better placed to know what the pitches need in order to thrive.

MM60 Superior For Stoke City

“We like to think of the pitches like athletes so they need the correct nutrients to perform,” he said. “I like to think that it is a case of our pitches going to see the doctor or the nutritionist every day.”

Andy oversees the maintenance of the pitch at the bet365 Stadium and all of the facilities at Clayton Wood, Stoke City FC’s Training Ground and Academy, which includes a further eleven natural pitches. The facility hosts club players from the first team all the way down to Under 9’s and sees approximately 120 players through the door every day.

It is safe to say that the pitches experience a lot of usage and eight years ago Andy decided to trial a number of new grass seed mixtures.

“We trialled MM60 eight years ago at the training ground and were very happy with what we saw,” he said. “I felt that the MM seed was far superior to the other brands we were using and since then we have been 100% MM60 over both sites and that’s from renovation to overseeding throughout the winter.”

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing 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 – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

“I believe that the MM range really excels because of the products they use on the seed such as Headstart GOLD®. It is particularly suited to where the industry is heading in the future – so it is not a case of putting lots of nitrogen onto the seed and flushing it up, it is more a case of the seed being nurtured gradually and healthy and I think that is where we do really well in the summer months. I’ve noticed that Headstart also helps with disease resistance and provides good plant protection too.”

MM60 now includes Limagrain’s new Ryegrass cultivar Annecy which has outstanding disease resistance particularly against Leaf Spot, something which particularly struck a chord with Andy.

“We used to have quite a lot of Leaf Spot which is quite common in Ryegrass situations in stadiums and training grounds,” he continued. “I believe that the MM60 seed has helped us to cut that out by at least 60%.”

At the Academy, Andy and his team will start renovations around mid-April and at the stadium they will typically start in June. After sowing MM60 during renovations Andy claims that the first cut will be carried out normally eleven days after the seed has been applied. When it comes to overseeding in winter, Andy will apply three to four bags of MM60 after every home game.

“We still get great germination from the seed throughout the winter,” said Andy. “I’m also very impressed with the fineness of the leaf. The leaf is finer than any of the other products we have used in the past which means we can get more plants per square metre. So, what we find is that after a match we are getting less damage to the pitch, and if there is a scar or a divot then it actually recovers faster. It can fill the space back in very quickly and for me that is a huge benefit.

“For me, the back-up offered by the companies I work with is essential and I believe the customer service from Limagrain fantastic. We even involve them in some of the conversations we have about other products, not just seed, because we are always looking at new way’s we can improve the pitch and I trust and value their input.”

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

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

MM60 A Success At George Heriots

MM60 A Success At George Heriots: Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed mix has been delivering excellent results at George Heriots School in Edinburgh, reports head groundsman Simon Theurer.

Originally founded in the early 17th century to provide an education to ‘fatherless bairns’ in the city of Edinburgh, George Heriots School now flourishes as an independent co-educational day school for children aged between 3 and 18.

MM60 A Success At George Heriots

The school provides an exceptional academic education for all pupils, as well as superb extra-curricular activities – which is where Simon comes in.

Simon, who has been at George Heriots for an incredible 23 years, is the man tasked with maintaining the school’s grounds which includes 3 full size rugby pitches, 3 junior rugby pitches, 5 grass hockey pitches, 2 cricket squares as well as facilities for athletics and tennis. The school has a long history of successful sporting activity and currently boasts some of the strongest sporting sides in Scotland’s education system.

“We have top quality sports teams hence the reason we only use top quality products such as Limagrain’s,” says Simon. “Whenever I have been looking for grass seed Limagrain has always been highly recommended. Therefore, I chose MM60 for the rugby pitches and I’ve had a lot of success from using it towards the end of July.”

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing excellent playing surfaces and is ideal for 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, it 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

“I’ve noticed that MM60 germinates very quickly at that time of year and I get good growth and good coverage,” says Simon. “It fills in the areas that were not really taken in the spring, so for quickness of cover I think it is very good. I can’t get an awful lot of water to the pitches but I would say that MM60 is one of the better, more drought resistant species for that time of year.”

Simon applies MM60 at anywhere between 30g – 35g per square metre and says that it gives him full confidence in his rugby pitches over the winter period.

“We have such a high footfall here and we need tough grasses that are proven – Limagrain’s MM60 has certainly passed the test.

“Over the winter it keeps its colour very well and is very disease resistant. At the back end of the summer it’s good to have that peace of mind that you know you have a grass seed that is going to grow fast and well.

“I would certainly recommend it.”

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

MM60 Integral For Leeds Rhinos

MM60 Integral For Leeds Rhinos: Ryan Golding, head groundsman at Leeds Rhino’s and Yorkshire Carnegie’s Emerald Headingley Stadium, believes that Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed has been integral to the success of the pitch.

Ryan has been working at the stadium for fifteen years and has occupied the position of head groundsman for the last four. With two deputy’s underneath him – Dan Connor and Leon Pearson – Ryan and his team tend to the stadium pitch, two first team pitches, four academy pitches, a 3G pitch and the Stanningley rugby league club – where the Rhino’s academy teams play.

MM60 Integral For Leeds Rhinos

“On average with both first teams and academy games we host around 50 – 60 games,” says Ryan. “In addition to that we also have under 19 games, community games, disabled rugby games, and also events. This year when in mid-season the pitch was transformed into a Bollywood film set as a 1930`s hockey pitch. It is a very intense work place and it never stops but it’s interesting, challenging and enjoyable.”

With such a heavy fixture list, renovations largely depend on available windows but Ryan tends to aim for June each year. However, where many groundsmen may have extended periods throughout pre-season, Ryan has as little as 26 days to get the pitch up and running again.

“Getting the right seed is key and that is why I use Limagrain’s MM60,” he says. “We had been with another seed supplier for a number of years but I felt we needed a change to keep on improving. I looked into it and spoke with other groundsmen who use Limagrain and received nothing but excellent feedback.

“As a groundsman I’m very open to what I use and I don’t mind taking a risk but I’ll do my research first. Before I did anything I got some samples of MM60. We trialled it in a tough area in the North East corner which is consistently in the shade and we saw great recovery rates.”

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface in a stadium environment. 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, it 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.

MM60 Integral For Leeds Rhinos

“The germination is incredibly fast and I’ve noticed a particular improvement in the centre spot,” says Ryan. “You would not believe the hammering that area gets. A lot of the time you find that kick off’s go straight out which means that there are scrums straight over the centre spot. It was always a problematic area in the past but MM60 has made a noticeable improvement especially when combined with sheets and lighting rigs.

“I’ve also noticed that it doesn’t fray the leaf edge when compared to our previous seed so we tend not to get as much disease – we hardly encounter any leaf spot as a result from stress and there is no yellowing of the leaf either.

“I think my priorities have changed as I’ve got older and wiser. It’s all very well wanting the pitch bright green throughout the year but you are stressing the pitch in doing so and is it really needed for a game that isn’t televised? I’m not so sure. For me, aesthetics isn’t my priority sometimes, it’s all about the recovery and germination and MM60 provides me with this.”

Furthermore, Ryan was quick to praise the customer service he receives from Limagrain.

“Suppliers have to understand the needs of the pitch and the Limagrain team know the standards here which certainly helps – the back-up is great. I can call them whenever I want and we will normally start with a general discussion about rugby before going into the technical side of things. Personally, I think that Limagrain treats each and every customer the same – and that is a fine art if you ask me.”

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

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

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.