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GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry

GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry: GKB Machines are known for their robust and reliable groundskeeping machines, and at the heart of their wide range of products fits the GKB Sandspreaders.

Thought of as the premier choice in the top dresser market, the SP series distributes different materials evenly over a field with precision and efficiency, and are available in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of sports grounds and courses.

GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry

GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry

The latest delivery saw the arrival of the SP400 – the largest Top Dresser in the GKB arsenal – to Lakeside Ground Maintenance in Coventry. Director of the Coventry firm, Gareth Fowler-Simons commented: “I was after a bigger spreader that was also suitable to travel on the road between sites. I’ve only heard good things about GKB, and with up to 95 per cent of the work we do being top dressing and renovations related, this really was the obvious choice for us.”

Being only the second SP400 to reach the UK – the first arrived in Scotland some months ago – it has naturally drawn a lot of attention among ground staff already. As effective sanding is crucial for the long-term preservation of sports fields, GKB expect these to be the first of many SP400s delivered to UK grounds and courses.

Tom Shinkins, GKB Machines UK Operations Director admitted: “The Sandspreader offers more than a traditional top dresser, giving workers the ability to control how much material gets spread and where, evenly with no fuss. We are delighted have an SP400 now in operation in England, and are sure that Lakeside Ground Maintenance will have many fantastic years using it.”

GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry

GKB bring the Sandspreader 400 to Coventry

GKB Sandspreader main features:

  • Sturdy wheelbase for perfect stability and weight dispersion
  • Adjustable conveyor belt speed
  • Double hydraulically driven, precisely adjustable spreading discs
  • Road legal
  • Uniquely shaped bunker for good visibility and efficient sand discharge

The SP400 is available to order from your local GKB Machines dealer, find them online local via the GKB website now.

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Air-Rops designed to save lives

Air-Rops designed to save lives: BOSS ORV is delighted to announce they have been appointed as the sole UK and Ireland distributor for all Air-Rops products. Air-Rops offer a range of rollover solutions for the outdoor power equipment industry.

ROPs on ATVs has always been a contentious issue but BOSS believe that in certain applications, and after a thorough risk assessment, they do offer additional protection for the operator. Air-Rops have the advantage over traditional ROPs of not raising the centre of gravity of the machine as it sits lower than the operator when not deployed. The first Air-Rops product BOSS ORV has introduced is the AR Quad safety bar, for ATVs and agricultural machinery.

Air-Rops designed to save lives

Air-Rops designed to save lives

The AR Quad uses Air-Rops technology in a fully automatic Roll Over Protection System. They base the technology on state-of-the-art automotive components, including safety electronics and proven and reliable airbag gas inflators. The AR Quad electronic control unit continuously monitors the behaviour of the quad and warns the rider with acoustic and visual signals when the vehicle is about to reach a state where stability is compromised. The system automatically evaluates the rollover condition until a tilting state is reached and, only when the tilt takes place, activates the rollover bar. The electronic control unit operates the inflator, and the gas is fully released, extending the bar and the mechanism locks. The system only operates when the rider enters and cannot avoid the full tilt. The final position after deployment of the ROPS is limited to a maximum 90°, preventing full rollover which not only helps minimise personal injury it also reduces damage to the quad.

The universal AR Quad design fits most ATVs with independent suspension using bolts on the luggage carrier and towbar. Installation is easy as the system comes fully assembled and only requires the ATV dealer to perform simple electrical and mechanical actions. It requires no scheduled maintenance and is reusable after a rollover. It just needs inspection and approval by an ATV technician, and the gas generator can be replaced to return the bar to its original condition. Because it sits low behind the rider and is compact, you don’t notice the AR Quad when you are driving, only when it is needed. The system is SGS Certified and CE marked, adhering to the strictest environmental and regulatory standards. Anyone using a quad should seriously consider having an AR Quad fitted, it could one day save your life.

Air-Rops will only be available through specialist approved dealers and regional distributors and unlike other ROPs will not be available by mail order or directly online. This is to ensure that every unit is correctly installed and able to be monitored by the supplying dealer. For all enquiries, you can contact sales@bossorv.co.uk and visit www.bossorv.co.uk

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Toro to exhibit at SAGE

Toro to exhibit at SAGE: Toro, a global leader in turf and landscape maintenance solutions, will be showcasing its extensive range of landscape contractor and siteworks equipment at this year’s brand-new summer grounds maintenance exhibition, SAGE.

Held at The Three Counties Showground in Malvern, from 27th – 29th July 2021, SAGE is set to be the UK’s biggest outdoor show for the sports and grounds maintenance industry. Across the three days, the event will welcome an abundance of visitors from across the sector, including green-keeping, grounds maintenance, landscaping, colleges, local authorities and premiership grounds.

Toro to exhibit at SAGE

Toro to exhibit at SAGE

Together with its long-standing customer Revill Mowers, Toro will be showcasing the lithium ion battery-powered e-Dingo® 500 wheeled compact utility loader, which allows contractors and construction professionals to enjoy all the benefits and power of a standard compact utility loader with no fuel costs and zero engine exhaust emissions.

A host of robust and reliable commercial lawn mowers will also be showcased, such as the productivity-saving Zero Turn mowers which offer stability, with their low centre of gravity, as well as enhanced comfort thanks to the MyRide® suspension system. Professional stand-on mowers, which offer exceptional operator visibility, a smaller footprint – saving valuable trailer space – multi-season flexibility and a foldable operator platform that converts to a walk-behind, will complete the line-up.

Toro’s Sales Manager Matthew Coleman, comments: “We are excited to be exhibiting at this year’s first-ever SAGE expo as this is a welcome and important opportunity for us to get our products directly into the hands of our customers so they can experience the quality and excellence of our range for themselves.

“With such a vast space at The Three Counties Showground, we will be able to offer visitors the chance to try out our mowers, with live demonstrations and experiences which are designed to showcase exactly why we are market leaders in such a competitive field. Anyone thinking of coming to see us at SAGE should register their interest as soon as possible.”

Attendees to the show will be able to find Toro on stands 13 & 13D.

Anyone wanting to attend SAGE 2021 should register now at: https://eventdata.uk/Forms/Default.aspx?FormRef=SAG70Visitor

Following registration, a bar coded name entry badge will be issued.

For more information, visit toro.com.

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France awards medal to Masatoshi Kimata

France awards medal to Masatoshi Kimata: Kubota recently announced that its Chairman and Representative Director, Masatoshi Kimata, has been awarded the prestigious National Order of Merit Medal by the Republic of France, an award which is usually reserved for French citizens.

The Kubota Group established in France in 1974 , at the same time that Kubota Europe S.A.S. was founded to export its tractors to European countries. More recently, in 2014, in an attempt to make a full-scale entry into the European upland farming market, Kubota established a manufacturing plant for upland farming tractors in France. Today, about 1,000 employees are working at five local subsidiaries, which are responsible for research and development, production, sales, and after-sales services.

France awards medal to Masatoshi Kimata

France awards medal to Masatoshi Kimata

So, in recognition of Kubota’s long-standing services to economic development and the creation of jobs in the country, and on behalf of the company, its Chairman, Masatoshi Kimata, has been honored by the Republic of France.

The National Order of Merit was founded in 1963 and is usually awarded to people who have made remarkable contributions to France in the areas of cultural and economic activities, and this year Kubota had the honour of receiving this prestigious award.

During the award ceremony, which took place on June 30th at the French Embassy in Tokyo (Japan), Mr. Kimata dedicated a few words of gratitude: “It is a wonderful honour to be awarded this decoration, which would not have come about without the dedicated efforts of everyone concerned. Ever since 1974, when Kubota first made inroads there, France has hosted our core operations in Europe, allowing us to increase our presence in the region by distributing tractors, construction machineries, and industrial engines. For us, France is, and shall remain a vital location for the Kubota Group.”

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Cobra gives back to community

Cobra gives back to community: Garden machinery specialist, Cobra, has donated a range of lawncare equipment to East Midlands based charity, Rainbows, to help with the maintenance of its grounds and outdoor spaces.

Rainbows is the only hospice in the East Midlands providing care and support for children, young people and families impacted by life-limiting conditions. Opening in 1994, the charity provides end of life care, symptom management, short breaks and respite care bringing support and happiness to their lives. It also provides bereavement support for parents and siblings.

Cobra gives back to community

Cobra gives back to community

The hospice has faced difficulty maintaining its outdoor spaces over the past year with COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting any volunteers from entering the site, and maintenance staff being limited to just one.

Cobra understands how important outdoor spaces can be to people, so wanted to do something to help support this very special charity.

Following a site visit by Cobra Machine Specialist Roger Lawson, it was determined that the MX5645PB 22 inch Briggs & Stratton powered lawn mower and the Kawasaki powered multi-tool MT270K kit, which includes a long reach hedge trimmer, pruner and brush cutter, would be most suitable for the Rainbows site and would provide the greatest benefit. The donation, which took place on 22nd June, will make it easier for the charity to look after its grounds and outdoor spaces, helping to create a beautiful, restorative space for patients, visitors, and staff.

Kate Golding, Head of Organisational Giving at Rainbows, commented, “We would like to thank Cobra for their donations, which will help us to keep our gardens in a fantastic condition. Our outdoor space is such an important part of the hospice and is enjoyed by the children, young people and their families – often at a time of reflection. The support of companies like Cobra is pivotal to our work.”.

Cobra Managing Director, Peter Chaloner, said: “We’re delighted to be donating a range of our lawncare tools to Rainbows. Its work provides vital support to those suffering with life limiting illnesses and their families, so we wanted to help them maintain their outdoor spaces, as we know how a well-kept garden can offer a host of benefits. We are honoured to be a part of making a great space for the staff and families at Rainbows.”

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Greenkeepers to the fore

Greenkeepers to the fore: Episode three of Syngenta Golf’s new docuseries Changing the Business of Golf is streaming now – and follows the greenkeeping team as they transform Stanedge Golf Club.

‘On Course for Change’ features Head Greenkeeper Christian ‘CJ’ Johnson as he oversees a major course upgrade while coping with new parenthood; Greenkeeper David Morgan renovates an overgrown par-three; and we meet new recruit James Wyatt, a pilot grounded by the pandemic, as he swaps runways for fairways.

Greenkeepers to the fore

Greenkeepers to the fore

Watch now: syngentagolf.com/changing-business-golf

“Nobody really notices the role of the greenkeeper,” says James, who is seeing golf from the greenkeeper’s perspective for the first time. “Everybody comes along, they play their golf, they expect the greens to be tidy, they expect the grass to be in good condition, but you don’t tend to see all of this as a player.”

But it’s not just customers who have high expectations. New course owner and PGA Professional Fame Tate believes course conditions are critically important to the customer experience – and the long-term success of her business.

“The golf course was my number one priority for change,” explains Fame. “If we were going to get people back, it was the golf course that was going to have to change.

“I want it to look absolutely immaculate. And as much as I wanted to wave my magic wand, make grass grow and make the greens perfect and do all these things instantly, I very quickly realised things take time.”

Join Fame, CJ, James and David as the turf team transform the Stanedge course to meet the demands of a growing membership.

And catch previous episodes following Fame’s remarkable one-woman mission to change golf, transform the customer experience and make her club a friendly and inclusive community venue.

Watch all episodes, streaming now, on Syngenta Golf: syngentagolf.com/changing-business-golf

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BAGMA sold to the AEA

BAGMA sold to the AEA: The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), has transferred the ownership of BAGMA, the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association, to the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) with effect from the July 1, 2021.

After a long relationship between Bira and BAGMA, this has been a difficult decision. However, it is in the best interests of both BAGMA and Bira. The AEA is more aligned to the industry sector BAGMA operates in and this will enable BAGMA to offer more support relevant to its members’ business needs.

BAGMA sold to the AEA

BAGMA sold to the AEA

Bira will maintain a working relationship with BAGMA and the AEA for at least the next 12 months, with members of BAGMA still having access to the services available from Bira, including legal advice and Bira Direct.

BAGMA Director Keith Christian and his team, Kari Hearn and Richard Jenkins, will be transferring with BAGMA, ensuring the all-important continuity in the running and operations of BAGMA.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said: “I, and my colleagues in Bira, are very proud to have worked closely with the BAGMA team and BAGMA members over the past 25 years. There is a strong identity among BAGMA members that is to be admired.”

Ruth Bailey, CEO of the AEA, said: “The AEA is absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to be working with BAGMA and feel extremely positive about future developments and advantages that could be brought by the two organisations joining forces.

“For many years, there has been a clear working relationship between the two Associations but in more recent times the links and directional cooperation have become closer and closer and more aligned. As a collaborative voice to government and business, there is huge potential in adding impact and in bringing a difference to the sector.

“While the AEA sees a great amount of synergy between the two organisations, it fully respects the need, however, for the continuity of membership services from BAGMA to its members and to recognise the inherent strength that the BAGMA membership brings. It is for this reason that it is very important that the highly valued and distinct identity of BAGMA is maintained and supported independently.

“We look forward to providing a clear voice to industry yet maintaining the rich heritage of each of the Associations and the value of services to their respective members.

Peter Arrand, BAGMA President, said: “The BAGMA Council of Representatives unanimously supported the purchase of BAGMA by the AEA. “The acquisition will secure a future home within industry and allow the heritage and strong brand built up over 100 years as a dealer trade association to continue. There are many synergies between the two organisations which will enable a stronger representation for the industry we operate in whilst not losing sight of the individual needs of BAGMA members.

“The advantages of being a BAGMA member have been retained and we can look forward to a bright and collaborative future.”

Keith Christian, Director of BAGMA, added: “Having been a part of the former British Hardware Federation (BHF) now the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) for the past 25 years It may be a surprise to some for BAGMA to be moving to new home.

“BAGMA’s 103-year history has always been intertwined with the AEA and whilst we represent different factions within the industry, we share a common goal in supporting the industry through both dealerships, suppliers and manufacturers.

“Whilst BAGMA will remain as an independent dealer’s association within its new home, it is expected that there will be new working relationships that will benefit BAGMA members in the future to come.”

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Wildflower havens to protect hedgehogs

Wildflower havens to protect hedgehogs: Non-profit wildflower specialist, Seedball, has teamed up with People’s Trust for Endangered Species to create a specially developed wildflower seed mix with the aim of growing hedgehog friendly habitats to support the struggling population.

There were an estimated 36.5 million hedgehogs in Britain in the 1950s, which plummeted to around 1.5 million in 1995, and numbers have continued to decline severely. Hedgehogs are classed as an indicator species which means a decline in their species indicates a decline in the quality of the environment and the health of the natural world.

Wildflower havens to protect hedgehogs

Wildflower havens to protect hedgehogs

Anyone with a garden can help make a difference to the plight of hedgehogs by being aware of the obstacles they face such as impermeable garden borders like walls and fencing, busy roads, and minimalistic garden designs with little space to forage. Gardeners can help hedgehogs by leaving small holes in fences and borders so they can move around, 3cm is the perfect hedgehog-sized hole. Also, providing water for them to drink will help keep them hydrated, and leaving an area for them to hide in such as a log pile will help to attract beetles, which hedgehogs love to eat.

A wildflower patch can make a beautiful hedgehog friendly addition to a garden as it provides essential shelter and attracts insects such as beetles and worms for them to feed on.

The experts at Seedball have made it easy to create a wildflower patch at home by creating a range of unique, peat-free balls containing wildflower seeds that transform outdoor spaces – from meadows to plant pots – into seas of beautiful flowers that not only look good but do good too. There is a selection of mixes to choose from that all benefit native species including bees, beetles, birds, bats, butterflies and hedgehogs.

The hedgehog mix has been specially developed to create hedgehog havens by attracting them, and the insects they feed on. Each tin of Hedgehog Mix contains 20 seed balls, enough to cover 1 metre square in a garden bed or 3-5 medium-sized pots. Each of the seed balls contain approximately 30 seeds each with a mix of yellow rattle, wild carrot, birdsfoot trefoil, tufted vetch, self heal and poppy. This combination of colourful wildflowers will create an area irresistible to hedgehogs and their prey, and proceeds from the hedgehog mix go to People’s Trust for Endangered Species to support their ongoing conservation work.

Dr. Emily Lambert, co-founder of Seedball commented: “Hedgehogs are such well-loved and wonderful creatures, we simply cannot let their numbers dwindle any further. Working closely with People’s Trust for Endangered Species means we can help people to grow beautiful wildflower habitats for hedgehogs and other wildlife to roam but also support their essential conservation work.”

Seedball is passionate about curating vibrant flourishes of flowers easier for everyone, whilst giving a home to depleting wildlife and pollinators.

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Polaris to attend The Game Fair

Polaris to attend The Game Fair: Polaris Off Road Vehicles has confirmed its attendance at The Game Fair 2021 alongside the prestigious gunmaker and top UK shooting ground, E.J. Churchill, on Gunmaker’s Row.

Entering its seventh decade, The Game Fair is a premium festival celebrating the great British countryside and is set to return to Ragley Hall, Warwickshire from 23-25 July this year. Bringing together over 800 leading brands linked to countryside living, this year Polaris will showcase its newest line-up of off-road vehicles with specially selected UTV and ATV models suitable for utility use and outdoor pursuits.

Polaris to attend The Game Fair

Polaris to attend The Game Fair

“Partnering with E.J. Churchill for The Game Fair is a superb fit – we’ve got a longstanding history together as they have exclusively run Polaris vehicles across their shooting grounds for over ten years now,” said Polaris UK National Sales Manager, Richard Coleby. “We’re very excited to be working in collaboration with the experienced team at E.J. Churchill at The Game Fair this year: Gunmaker’s Row is at the heart of the event and we can’t wait to engage with customers from all around the country and showcase just how versatile our vehicles really are, with applications in everything from field sports like hunting, shooting, and fishing, to land management, equine, dogs and garden maintenance.”

Polaris will be displaying the new 2021/2022 line-up at The Game Fair, including the all-new Hunter Editions specially designed for hunting and outdoor pursuits and complete with a special edition camouflage design – available for the 2021 Sportsman 570 EPS, Ranger XP 1000 EPS Deluxe, Ranger 570 and Ranger EV models – alongside the bestselling and class-leading Ranger Diesel UTV.

Not only that, but Polaris will also have the range of its next-generation ATV model for 2021 – the Sportsman 570 – on display, featuring a bold, modern design with new features and product improvements, all while featuring the same legendary ride and handling, unrivalled versatility and reliable performance that the Polaris Sportsman is renowned for. Available to view on the Polaris stand will be the base Sage Green option, premium SP model as well as two special editions; the Agri Pro Edition with Geofencing technology and the Hunter Edition.

Polaris enhances its utility line-up with a wide range of new parts and accessories available to customise the vehicle for the job at hand. Choose from the Lock & Ride Pro-Fit cab system for ultimate weather protection, cargo boxes and clever storage options, as well as speciality products like gun and chainsaw mounts.

E.J. Churchill Managing Director, Rob Fenwick commented, “Having Polaris as a neighbouring partner with E.J. Churchill at The Game Fair is an exciting concept as it adds a new flavour to what we’re all about – delivering an all-round premium experience for our clients with the best possible tools available, and that extends to the utility vehicles that we operate across the shooting grounds and estates that we run.”

With both stands combined with an exclusive hospitality area, Polaris and E.J. Churchill will be hosting VIPs on the stand with a selection of typically British food and drink.

Press are welcome to join Polaris at The Game Fair on stand J657.

For a VIP experience, journalists can RSVP for an exclusive hospitality lunch from 23rd to 25th July, for the opportunity to learn and talk about the full vehicle line-up, as well as an early opportunity to book test units for 2022: RSVP here.

For more information on The Game Fair 2021, please visit https://thegamefair.org/

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Turf diseases to be aware of

Turf diseases to be aware of: Summer is here and with it are several turf diseases to be aware of.  Here’s a guide to dealing with a few of them.

Anthracnose is a stress disease, so combining any 2 or 3 of several potential stresses can encourage the disease.  Common stresses include lowering of height of cut, low N inputs, heat, extremes of soil moisture, high thatch, aggressive verticutting, high wear, etc.

Turf diseases to be aware of

Turf diseases to be aware of

Symptoms within a sward are patches of irregular, yellow/brown/bronze-coloured patches and a loss of turf density. Foliar blight-affected leaves lose colour to become a yellow colour and black spots containing fruiting bodies (acervuli) can be seen on the leaves.

The three biggest factors in anthracnose development are mowing height, deficiencies of N or K (mainly N) and poor control over soil moisture.  Avoid these three and your chances of avoiding anthracnose are greatly increased.  Keep green speeds up by applying slow-release N to maintain turf health without excess growth.  I recommend high potassium liquids in nearly all my golf green recommendations throughout summer to help keep anthracnose at bay as higher levels of K in the leaf reduce anthracnose.  It’s also a good idea to add in phosphite and salicylic acid with your foliar mixes.  Both work in a similar fashion by ‘tricking’ the plant into thinking it’s under attack from a pathogen and increasing its defences.

Consistent moisture levels across the whole surface are important in preventing Localised Dry Spots and anthracnose, so use of a soil moisture meter and hand watering is crucial.  Maintain a good wetting agent programme to maintain consistent soil moisture across your site.

Take-All Patch affects golf greens and you probably won’t see symptoms until later in the summer, but you can prevent it now.  For those on Take-All prone sites:  get a good programme of biostimulants in place employing seaweeds, amino acids and humic acids.

Light straw-coloured circular patches become visible that have a well-defined edge between healthy and infected turf.  They may have a bronze tinge around the edge when the disease is active.  These may be slightly depressed and contain unaffected species or weeds in the centre

Low soil manganese levels are often associated with this disease as the pathogen oxidizes available Mn2+ to Mn3+ or Mn4+, making it unavailable to the plant; extra manganese inputs have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms.  High pH soils are also more vulnerable.

On sites who traditionally suffer badly, two applications of azoxystrobin 2 weeks apart in early summer, and then again in late August will help.  Combine applications of azoxystrobin with a wetting agent to get the active ingredient down into the soil where it’s needed.

Be aware of Waitea Patch during a hot spell.  Hydrophobic layers are a factor with this disease, therefore moisture and thatch management are key.  With modern moisture meters you can really track soil moisture levels very accurately and watch the VMC% drop and then treating with a hand water and surfactant hose end pellets to keep moisture consistent.

With a Poa annua sward, turf shows symptoms of coalescing yellow rings around 20-40cm in diameter.  There is often (but not always) darker green turf in the centre of the ring.  The disease affects the leaves, stem, crown and upper roots and if it gets to advanced stages will turn leaves a brown/red colour and kill plants.  Very similar in appearance to Superficial Fairy Rings, but Waitea does not have the mushroom smell or mycelium below the surface associated with Superficial Fairy Rings.  Waitea Patch can develop mycelium on the leaves, crown and soil surface, but not sub-surface.

The big difference between Waitea and Superficial Fairy Ring is smell: fairy rings give off a distinct mushroom smell when you take out a core and have good sniff.  Waitea Patch does not smell anywhere close as strong of mushrooms, if at all.  Mycelium can develop on the surface with Waitea Patch, but below the surface with Superficial Fairy Rings and is usually reasonably easy to spot with Fairy Rings (take a core and put it into a ziplocked, soil sampling bag to incubate for 24 hours to see where mycelium develops if uncertain).

Superficial Fairy Ring always have some element of hydrophobic soil associated with them – Waitea CAN have hydrophobic soil too, but it will be likely be completely unrelated to the disease.

With Waitea Patch you need to try to reduce surface moisture (i.e. don’t hand water it!) and with Superficial Fairy Rings you’ll need to break that hydrophobicity with a wetter and get moisture back into the soil (i.e. hand water it with a hose and wetting agent pellet!).

Geoff Fenn BSc (Hons)

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