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Toro stands the test of time

Toro stands the test of time: Toro is well known in the industry for its durability and reliability, and nowhere has Toro’s longevity been put to the test quite like the machines at Westridge Golf Centre in the Isle of Wight. Several machines have been in use for over 20 years – and are still going strong – which is why the club has recently purchased another two Toro machines. 

Course manager Paul Jenkins explains: “Toro machines are so well made and are by far the most durable brand. In our experience with Toro, if you look after it, it will last. That’s why we have our own mechanic and service each machine after every 50 hours of use. In fact, our oldest machine is a Toro Groundsmaster 3000-D which we’ve had for 30 years and is still being used!”

Toro stands the test of time

Toro stands the test of time

But it’s not just the machines themselves that have lasted so long. With 44 years in the industry, Paul’s faith in the brand has also stood the test of time, and continues, as he invests in another two Toro machines.

“The first club I worked at bought one of the first Toro GM3 machines in 1975, and from then I’ve been hooked,” explains Paul. “At every club I’ve worked at, I have always strived to ensure there is at least 70 percent Toro machinery in the fleet to ensure the best possible course maintenance, and Westridge is no different.

“When I joined around 17 years ago there was a limited amount of turfcare equipment,” he continues. “Over the years we’ve invested so that we have a majority of Toro machinery, and that continues with our latest purchase of a Toro Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder and Reelmaster 5610-D.”

Having worked at 19 major tournaments around the world including The Open, US Open, US PGA and the Ryder Cup, all of which were Toro venues, Paul knows a thing or two about excellent presentation. And with Westridge Golf Centre in the process of expanding from a 9 hole to an 18 hole course, there was no better time to invest in more Toro to keep standards at the course high. Something which the club’s owner, Mark Wright, fully supports says Paul: “We’re fortunate to have someone like Mark who recognises the value in investing in quality equipment. He’s a pro by trade and he understands that to play on the best surfaces you need the best equipment.”

“We really pride ourselves on our presentation here, so both the new machines will be put to good use on the course, and even more so once it has been extended,” says Paul. “The new Reelmaster 5610-D is great as it’s slightly smaller and provides a finer cut than the Reelmaster 6500-D we had been using for the fairways. Despite the 6500-D being 16 years old, it’s still a good solid machine so we will keep using it on the driving range.

“The Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder is also brilliant,” he continues. “Every few years there always comes along an innovation that really stands out, and for me, the Sidewinder technology is one of those innovations. It’s so unique to have a machine that can slide the cutting units from side to side and cut hard to reach areas safely. As a dual purpose machine, it’s also reducing manual labour which is a great bonus.”

As the only pay-as-you-play course available on the island, with a growing membership and an expansion underway, Westridge Golf Centre certainly has an exciting future ahead, with the course set to be enjoyed by the whole community for years to come.

“It’s a very exciting time for Westridge and it’s great to have Toro on board to help with the course maintenance now and in the future,” says Paul. “Put simply, Toro machines are just designed well with durability in mind. I’ve visited the Toro factory in Minneapolis before, and I’ve seen for myself that what Toro is doing is head and shoulders above everyone else.”

To find out more about the Toro range or the finance options available, call Reesink Turfcare on 01480 226800, email info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk or visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Kubota is top of the class

Kubota is top of the class: Taking grasscutting in-house has allowed site manager Ed Crawford to have better control of the mowing cycle at Horncastle Primary School, and a Kubota Z122R is just the machine for the job.

The Lincolnshire school accommodates 580 pupils from nursery-age to year six, and the four-acre site includes grass playing fields and lawns, from small areas around car parks to a one acre field.

Kubota is top of the class

Kubota is top of the class

“We have used a contractor in the past, but last year decided to do the pedestrian mowing ourselves. It then made sense to have a ride-on for larger areas, as we were paying £2500 a year just for grass cutting.”

A discussion with local Kubota dealer Irelands Farm Machinery, which opened its groundcare division last October, suggested that a Z122R zero turn would be the ideal solution.

Powered by a 19hp petrol engine, the mower packs a punch with a 1.07m (42in) cutting deck to tackle larger areas with ease, but features a clever zero turn steering system. This uses a pair of levers for precise control of forward and reverse and steering, allowing it to manoeuvre in its own length for effortless work in tight or tricky areas such as around flowerbeds or street furniture.

“It’s very manoeuvrable,” comments Mr Crawford, who is the main driver, “But can really move on and cover the ground on a longer run. The levers took a little getting used to but I was soon up and running; it’s very easy to operate.”

He notes that the twin blade rotary deck produces a high quality cut, and says: “The grass has always been cut with a cylinder mower, but I actually think the rotary is doing a better job. We’ve also got the flexibility to mow when the grass needs it, rather than on a contractor’s fixed schedule, and at a time and in conditions that suit us.”

Cut height will mainly be kept fairly consistent, but he praises the ease of adjustment allowing a taller sward to be left in spring and autumn.

“The Kubota has a good, comfortable operator platform and there’s a clear view over the deck,” Mr Crawford notes. “The deck lifts up and there’s a hose slot for easy cleaning out, and on our use so far, fuel consumption looks low,” he says.

Irelands Farm Machinery will offer servicing as needed, but Mr Crawford expects the Z122R to have low running costs.

“It’s a really well-built machine, much more robust than others that we looked at, so I think it will stand up well to the work and will last. We’re very pleased with our choice.”

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Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate: A unique new docuseries telling the remarkable story of one woman’s mission to turnaround a rundown golf club and make it a friendly, accessible and inclusive community venue is now streaming on syngentagolf.com

In a first for the golf industry, the fly-on-the-wall documentary, Changing the Business of Golf, follows former Ladies European Tour professional Fame Tate as she breaks with tradition and aims to transform the course and customer experience at Stanedge Golf Club, Derbyshire.

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

In the first episode, Fame recalls the life-changing decision to acquire the golf course and how she is turning the club into an open, friendly venue at the heart of her local community.

Meanwhile, as the team prepares for a new season, they are faced with the prospect of preparing the golf course for reopening without their head greenkeeper.

“If you’d said to me one day you’ll own a golf club, I’d have probably sat there are laughed,” says Fame, whose playing career was cut short by injury. “My vision from day one was to break away from the traditional golf club model. It’s about making a place that’s welcoming, affordable, accessible, inclusive.”

Working closely with her greenkeeping team – and revealing how she rolled up her sleeves to get stuck in to groundwork – Fame is investing in a major course upgrade to improve playing conditions.

The series documents day-to-day happenings, including course management work led by head greenkeeper Christian ‘CJ’ Johnson.

“It was a tough task for Fame and everybody involved to get the course back to where it was,” says CJ. “But since then we have really tried to improve it as a team and get it moving forwards.”

Just one year after acquiring the club, Fame faced the potentially catastrophic challenge of the Covid pandemic and enforced lockdown, forcing her and the team to call on their inner reserves of strength and resilience to keep the business afloat.

Will she realise her vision and succeed? The series will follow Fame and her team as she reopens Stanedge Golf Club and takes on the business of golf.

Watch the first episode now on Syngenta Golf: https://www.syngentagolf.com/changing-business-golf

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55 years of dedication

55 years of dedication: Mick Oldfield turned 80 in March and for the last 55 of those years he has been a cornerstone of one cricket club.

Read the full article from The Daily Mail here

55 years of dedication

55 years of dedication

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GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo: The GGM Group is delighted to announce they have signed a new distribution agreement with Swiss manufacturer Ronovatec to promote an innovative new robotic mower for sports grounds maintenance throughout the UK.

GGM Group plan to arrange the first public demonstration of the all new RoviMo, as soon as government restrictions allow. RoiMo’s intelligent design allows for the autonomous mowing of professional Sports turf saving potentially thousands of man hours in the maintenance of sports fields and stadiums.

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

The RoviMo is the world’s first intelligent electric vehicle capable of mowing patterns autonomously according to the guidelines of national football associations, UEFA, or FIFA, precisely and over the shortest distance, horizontally, vertically and with chessboard pattern, at the touch of a button. Supervision of the mowing process by an employee is not necessary.

Operated simply and efficiently remotely via an app, RoviMo® can also be used for mowing other large green areas, such as company premises or parks, and will be developed to be utilised by golf courses. RoviMo® is a multifunctional equipment carrier, which will be able to carry out other work processes such as maintenance of artificial turf, line marking and various other labour-intensive tasks.

RoviMo is currently in it’s final stages of development and field testing with the first machine installations in July 2021.  GGM are planning to arrange several demonstration events over the coming months, current restrictions permitting.

The GGM Group, based in Colne, Lancashire, has a rich heritage and proactively seeks new solutions on an ongoing basis. The new deal with Ronovatec marries perfectly with its strong values of professionalism, innovation, and providing progressive solutions that support its commitment to work towards cardon neutrality.

GGM Group Managing Director Chris Gibson explains more:

“RoviMo is something completely different, and it’s extremely exciting to be working with Ronovatec on what we believe will be a game changer in professional turfcare. RoviMo adds state of art technology to our portfolio allowing us to offer customers the next generation of intelligent mowers.  We are thrilled to have been involved from the early stages of development of these new innovative machines; they are the perfect addition to our product range as we continue to grow in the sports ground sectors”.

Chris Gibson continued:

“Over recent years there has been a trend for turfcare professionals to increase their green credentials and RoviMo not only offers this but achieves reduced cost and increased efficiency simultaneously. A fully charged RoviMo will mow circa 16’000 m2 in 5-6 hours depending on pattern and terrain, all without employee supervision of the mowing process, saving many man hours and employment costs. In addition, RoviMo® is fully electric, CO2-free, and autonomous with low noise pollution and is therefore ecologically sustainable and economically unbeatable. It’s a win-win for the customer.”

Chris Gibson concluded:

“It’s fantastic to be involved with this innovation at its development stage. While final machinery specifications are yet to be confirmed, we are very much looking forward to arranging the first public showing just as soon as we are allowed. Signing this deal is just the start, forging the path for things to come – the future of sports turf maintenance looks exciting”.

To register your interest and find out how the RoviMo can benefit your operations please register your interest at https://promo.ggmgroundscare.com/RoviMo or contact the project lead at GGM; Andy Melville; Tel: 07973 454001; Email: andy@ggmgroundscare.co.uk

Key benefits of the RoviMo include:

  • Fully Autonomous Intelligent Mowing
  • Fully Electric
  • Zero Co2
  • Reduced labour costs
  • Low noise
  • fuel cost savings
  • No hydraulics
  • Lower weight
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Optional: Autonomous grass collector/dumper

About GGM

The GGM Group consists of two businesses across two depots. PSD Groundscare is the national distributor of specialist landscaping equipment, including AS Motor, Eliet, Koppl and TS Industries. GGM Groundscare is a specialist supplier of tractors and high-quality professional land-based equipment for commercial and domestic use. Servicing the North West and Yorkshire, it supplies a range of products from leading franchises including Kubota, Baroness and Dennis / Sisis and Amazone.

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Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees: Senior Parliamentarian, Clive Betts MP, has joined green space charity Fields in Trust as a new Trustee and will take on the volunteer role with immediate effect.

Clive Betts MP has served his home-town of Sheffield as an elected representative since 1976, first as a City Councillor and, since 1993, as a Member of Parliament.  His longstanding Chairmanship of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, in particular the oversight of the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into public parks, puts him in a unique position to advance the work of Fields in Trust, protecting parks and green spaces for future generations. Clive Betts MP was one of the first MPs to sign up to Fields in Trust’s Parks Protector Pledge during the 2019 election campaign.

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Following the landmark decision of Liverpool City Council to legally protect their whole portfolio of parks and green space with Fields in Trust, Clive Betts will support the charity’s work to encourage other local authorities across the country to replicate Liverpool’s civic leadership, ensuring the benefits of green space access can be extended to more communities.

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees Jo Barnett says “Parks were one of the unsung heroes of the pandemic and they should be an important part of the green recovery plans. We believe this is a pivotal moment for the UK’s parks and green spaces and Clive Betts joining the team will help us achieve a better outcome for our communities, now and for generations to come “.

As he joins as a Trustee, Clive Betts MP said:” I’m really looking forward to working with Fields in Trust. Over the past year our parks have been valued more than ever, particularly by those people without access to private gardens, and yet the future funding and long-term access to these spaces is at risk. I look forward to working with Fields in Trust to champion, support and protect green spaces and secure the health and wellbeing benefits they provide.”

Over many years Clive has made use of public parks and green spaces personally as a keen cricketer, a former captain of the Parliamentary Football Team and training runs for his participation in the Sheffield Marathon.

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New versions of L1 & L2 Series available

New versions of L1 & L2 Series available: Kubota continues working tirelessly to provide the best solutions to meet every need. It is in this spirit that the Japanese manufacturer has launched two brand new ranges of compact tractors, building on the success achieved in the past by the L1 and L2 Series.

Both new series are now equipped with Kubota Stage V engines and the exterior and interior design have been entirely renewed for a stylish new look.

New versions of L1 & L2 Series available

New versions of L1 & L2 Series available

The new Kubota L1 Series compact tractors have been designed to be highly durable and easy to operate and maintain.

There is a choice of three-range HST hydrostatic transmission or a synchronised manual gearbox featuring eight forward and  eight reverse gears, and they are powered by four-cylinder 45, 51 and 55hp Kubota Stage V diesel engines, which make them exceptionally clean-running.

One of the main advantages of Kubota’s tractors is the spacious, comfortable design of their platform, and the L1 Series is no exception with its folding rear ROPS frame and height-adjustable steering wheel. The L1 series also features generous rear lifting capacity at a maximum of 1750kg.

Compact tractors in the L2 series feature an unprecedented combination of comfort and efficiency, which makes them ideal for demanding professionals.

The L2 range allows users to choose between three different engine outputs from 45-61hp, spacious and well-equipped cabin or ROPS versions, 16F+16R mechanical or three-range hydrostatic transmission. Rear linkage lift capacity is 1750kg, allowing a wide range of implements to be handled with ease.

Another advantage of the L2 range is its user-focused design, and an example of that is the one-piece engine cowling that can be fully opened, giving operators effortless access to all important service points in the engine compartment.

In addition, the front axle with bevel gear drive and the integrated power steering guarantee excellent manoeuvrability.

Both tractors can be specified with Kubota front loaders offering even more versatility and expanding the range of tasks that can be performed.

The new L1 and L2 ranges constitute an example of the great performance and adaptability of Kubota’s products, and show the company’s commitment to meet the operator’s needs, whatever they may be.

Model hp Transmission Cab/ROPS
Kubota L1452 45 HST three-range ROPS
Kubota L1522 51 Mech 8×8 ROPS
Kubota L1552 55 HST three-range ROPS
Kubota L2452 45 Mech 16×16 ROPS
Kubota L2452 45 HST three-range Cab
Kubota L2452 45 Mech 16×16 Cab
Kubota L2522 51 Mech 16×16 Cab
Kubota L2622 61 HST three-range Cab

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Comic Relief: demonstration of support

Comic Relief: demonstration of support: Fleet Line Markers Ltd is well known across the industry as the market leader in the manufacture of sports line marking paint and machines.

However, over the past 12 months Fleet have launched several projects using their expertise in the field to show a spectacular display of support for the NHS, Key Workers, VE Day and last November the giant Poppy to mark Remembrance Day. Staff voluntarily gave their time to show their support for the community and wider causes.

Comic Relief: demonstration of support

Comic Relief: demonstration of support

This month, a new challenge was set. Red Nose Day, in support of Comic Relief benefits so many and Fleet decided to go BIG! The project would take up the whole of the 1st XV Pitch at Malvern Rugby Club. Businesses sponsored a red nose and in return they had their company name displayed underneath a large red painted nose (scale shown below). If you look closely, you can see the goal posts at each end of the pitch. The results and feedback have been remarkable, you really do have to see it to believe it.

Fleet have been overwhelmed by the support for last year’s projects, which received a large amount of Media coverage with the VE Day Rainbow reaching National News and internationally as far as New Zealand and Japan. The Comic Relief challenge was no different, the response has been huge. A massive thank you should go out to all those involved.

Watch this space the challenges only get bigger! Here at Fleet we are all looking forward to what this summer will bring, with competitive sports now returning at all levels it looks to be a busy time. Headlining as official sponsor at The Sports & Grounds Expo (SAGE) is a key event in our calendar, the all new totally outdoor trade show for the grounds maintenance industry. With many key exhibitors signed already, SAGE looks to fall at an ideal time this summer.

There might be a few projects of our own to be released over the three-day event at The Three Counties Showground! Don’t miss it 27 – 29 July 2021, we’ll see you there! To find out more visit; www.sportsandgrounds.co.uk.

To find out more about what we can do for you at Fleet call 01684 573535 today or go online to find out more; www.fleetlinemarkers.co.uk

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New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval

New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval: Scott Brooks, Grounds Manager at OGC Nice in France, believes that when it comes to battery-powered cylinder mowers, there is nothing that compares to the new Dennis ES-860.

After an illustrious start to his career in the UK, which included positions at Tottenham Hotspur FC, Arsenal FC and St George’s Park, Scott is now carrying out the upkeep and the development of OGC Nice’s training pitches in the South of France.

New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval

New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval

He was specifically head hunted for the role after the French club visited the Football Association’s national training centre for a pre-season summer tour and were impressed with Scott’s unique philosophy on keeping players injury-free. That was over a year ago now and it is evident that he is making some vast improvements to the pitches in Nice.

Scott first started introducing battery-powered products into the operations at St George’s Park and claims that he was keen to continue embracing this technology in his new role. It was towards the end of his spell at St George’s Park that he first heard that Dennis was launching a range of environmentally friendly mowers called the E-Series.

“I never got the opportunity to get one at St George’s Park,” said Scott. “I had every faith that it would be a good machine because I saw the prototype at SALTEX and I could see the benefits of it straight away.”

For many years, turf professionals have been choosing Dennis Mowers for their superb cut quality and reliability, and anticipation quickly started building when the company announced its new battery-powered range.

Leaving no stone unturned, Dennis Mowers spent three years working with carefully selected partners to develop a range of quality battery-powered equipment befitting of the Dennis badge. The aim was to provide a reliable and long-lasting solution with the ultimate performance that helps professionals meet sustainability and environmental initiatives, reduce carbon footprint, emissions, running costs and noise without any range anxiety.

Ever the perfectionist, Scott first insisted on putting the Dennis ES-860 to the test against other battery-powered cylinder mowers.

“I had other mowers on trial for a few weeks and this enabled me to assess them side-by-side,” said Scott. “For me, there was no comparison and there was only one winner – the Dennis ES-860 was the machine I wanted.”

Users of the Dennis G860 cylinder mower will no doubt see familiarities in the new ES-860.

New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval

New Dennis ES-860 gets Nice seal of approval

This 34” battery powered turf management system delivers maximum versatility and the range of 13 interchangeable cassette options provide a solution to many day-to-day maintenance tasks such as cutting, scarifying, brushing, slitting and verticutting. Furthermore, traditional G860 cassettes will also fit the ES-860, meaning that customers will not have to purchase additional cassettes.

A robust LCD keypad screen is an integral feature of the handlebar console providing the operator with a multitude of information options including speed, clip rate, service checks, lifetime running reports and battery information.

“The battery life on the Dennis ES-860 is excellent,” continued Scott. “We were able to cut two pitches on one single charge, whereas we were struggling to complete one pitch with others.

“The charging capacity on them is incredible. For example, if we have a big day ahead and everything is getting hand cut, then we know that we can bring the Dennis ES-860’s in at lunch-time and charge each of them for just twenty minutes. In this short amount time, we know that we will get enough recharge in them to go back out and finish the job.

“Aside from battery power, I felt the Dennis ES-860 was a robust and solid unit that was ideal for continuously using on the training ground – it is an excellent piece of engineering.”

“The Dennis ES-860 is also so much easier to operate and the interchangeable cassette system is so simple to change cassettes.”

After the side-by-side trial, Scott purchased four Dennis ES-860 mowers and uses them regularly throughout the week as part of his maintenance programme.

Typically, Scott relies on the brushing cassette to brush the debris off the pitches after every use; the verticutting cassette to remove any organic material and the 8-bladed cutting cassette to provide a quality cut before a match or a training session.

Scott and his team have been using the Dennis ES-860’s for a prolonged period of time now and he certainly has no regrets.

“There were quite a few reasons for going down the battery route,” he said. “Firstly because of the environmentally friendly benefits, but also from a noise pollution perspective. Prior to having the Dennis ES-860’s we kept getting asked to stop mowing because the noise was disrupting the training sessions. However, now with the ES-860 mowers we can be on the pitch next to the players while they are training, and they are so quiet that they do not stop us. It is a vast improvement in productivity.

“I also wanted the team to be more comfortable and with these mowers you do not have any fumes, there are less vibrations and also less noise.

“Battery-powered technology is developing and progressing all the time, but it is important to be an early adopter because if people don’t take it up then no one else will. It certainly seems to be the future.

“The club’s owners encourage the sourcing and implementation of more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the way we operate which this purchase obviously supports.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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

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Headland’s range of specialist fertilisers

Headland’s range of specialist fertilisers: With thoughts beginning to turn to the application of early season nutrition, Headland Amenity have a wide range of fertiliser products to get growth going this spring.

Multigreen® CRF is a popular choice with golf and sports clubs alike, to overcome the efficacy issues associated with some granular feeds in high moisture situations, as nutrient release is governed solely by soil temperature.

Headland’s range of specialist fertilisers

Headland’s range of specialist fertilisers

Multigreen® features urea or potassium nitrate prills within a permeable polymer-resin coating which start to release their solubilised nutrients once soil temperatures rise above 6oc – in line with grass growth. Nutrient availability is gentle and controlled by temperature alone, avoiding ‘flush’ growth and producing a strong, healthy sward that is sustained for up to six months depending on the analysis. This field longevity makes Multigreen® ideal for use on winter sports pitches and racecourses with lighter, free-draining soils.

For areas featuring heavier soil types, Headland’s XTEND® range of slow release granular and soluble fertilisers are another effective option – providing two to three months of consistent nutrient release from a single application. Each urea prill in XTEND® granular features two components to enhance the slow-release nature of the nitrogen; NBPT which prevents the loss of ammonia nitrogen to the atmosphere by volatilisation and DCD nitrification inhibitor to slow down the conversion of ammonium to nitrate in the soil, allowing the ammonium nitrogen to be held in the soil more efficiently. In liquid form, XTEND® is an ideal tank mix partner to Clipless NT® and Elevate Fe®, creating a cost-effective spring/summer feed without excessive clippings generation.

Designed to fill the gap between traditional outfield and fine turf products, the H-Cote™ range of mini-granular controlled-release fertilisers are suitable for use in all coarse and close mown turf situations including golf tees and fairways, sports pitches and racecourses. H-Cote™ offers field longevity of three to four months thanks to the high levels (70-91%) of controlled release nitrogen, surrounded by dual-coat technology which allows for a high specific nitrogen analysis per prill while reducing the risk of nitrogen lock-off.

Specifically for fine turf, Greentec® Mosskiller Pro is an ideal spring starter or low temperature hardener on amenity turf where prolonged colour, but not too much growth, is required. In addition to its low NK analysis, providing a consistent response in cool conditions, it is an approved mosskiller, providing rapid control of moss in managed amenity turf.

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