Fusion Media's Posts (497)

PRO Supplier

ICL paves the way for more games at Pride Park Stadium

Nathan Scarff, Head Groundsman at Derby County FC, has revealed that a range of ICL products have helped him achieve his main target of hosting more games at Pride Park Stadium without compromising on the quality of the pitch.

Nathan is entering his third season with The Rams after a hugely successful start to his current role. He was crowned the Sky Bet Championship Groundsman of the Season for the 2015/16 campaign and was one of two Head Groundsmen who were highly commended last season.

However, with the pitch at the Pride Park Stadium in arguably the best condition it has ever been, Nathan and his team won’t be resting on their laurels.

"We are targeting getting more games in the stadium,” he says. “In my first year here we got an extra four games on and the following season we got an extra four games on top of that. This year we are hoping to get around six extra games without compromising on the quality of the playing surface.

“The new pitch construction, which was installed last season, combined with quality products, has enabled us to do just this, and I’m feeling confident for the upcoming season.”

Ever the perfectionist, when Nathan started his new role, he was determined to find a range of products that would be most beneficial to the pitch at Pride Park Stadium and there was only one way to find out.

“When I first started here we used four different fertilizer suppliers and monitored them based on the reaction of the plant, the longevity of the product, the value for money - in terms of the amount we needed to get the reaction and how much it was costing. We experimented for most of the year - which included trial boards in which we treated one area while leaving another un-treated, and we did half pitch treatments – we carried out a number of different trials. All of the results just led us down one road - ICL.”

After a season of rigorous testing, Nathan was ready to look ahead to a new season in which he would incorporate a range of ICL products into his turf maintenance programme.

“During the renovation period and immediately after seeding, I’ll use a tank-mix consisting of Qualibra and SeaMax – just to get the best possible germination and early establishment. Four weeks later we will verticut and overseed to get any little gaps that may have been missed, particularly in the areas where we struggle to get any sunlight, and then we’ll add another application of Qualibra and SeaMax,” he said.

The unique combination of SeaMax and Qualibra work together to give turf the best possible start. Qualibra – a wetting agent, creates ideal soil and turf rooting conditions to make better use of available moisture and irrigation. Particularly beneficial during the growing-in period, Qualibra achieves great results when applied to the seedbed to accelerate the germination and establishment of new seedlings. Complimenting Qualibra is Sportsmaster WSF SeaMax from ICL. Boasting over 75% of active seaweed content, SeaMax has been proven to significantly improve turf colour and quality.

Independent trials have revealed that SeaMax helps the plant produce longer roots, a greater root mass and improves the quality of growth.

“Following the growing-in period, when we get to the four or five week stage, we start to apply a tank-mix consisting of Primo Maxx, Vitalnova Blade, Sportsmaster WSF soluble fertiliser and SeaMax,” says Nathan.

“We will continue to apply this mix every three weeks until October or November depending on how the weather goes for us. We then pick it up again in February or March and continue until the end of the season.

“Towards the end of last season I applied ProTurf 20.0.7 , which I had never used before, and I remember calling Emma Kilby (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager) asking why she hadn’t pushed me harder to use it! She had previously recommended it before but for some reason I didn’t go ahead.

She always offers me superb advice and I guess it shows that she’s not a pushy salesperson but this product is the best fertilizer I have ever used. It was fantastic and the benefits of the Polyhalite with the calcium and the magnesium were amazing – especially on a pitch that is naturally going to leach those nutrients more quickly. The longevity we got out of it was excellent, the reaction was brilliant and the value for money was exceptional too.”

As Nathan looks to continue his successful start to life at Derby County FC, it appears that he has no regrets over his choice of products.

“I had pretty much a full season to try and figure out the correct products to use on this pitch and I’m there now.

“For me, I’m not going to jump head first into a full-on programme on a basis that data from somewhere else is really good. It’s got to be my research, my trials and my data showed me that ICL is the way forward for us.”

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

 

Read more…
PRO Supplier

After being selected as the official mower at the two most recent FIFA World Cup’s in South Africa and Brazil, Dennis Mowers will be the mower of choice for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

The Dennis G860 cylinder mower will have the task of preparing pitches for the world’s greatest football players when the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks-off in June 2018. Almost all of the stadiums used throughout the tournament will have their pitches maintained by the G860 and that includes the venues selected for the latter stages of the tournament.

The stadiums hosting the quarter finals, the semi-finals and the final itself have been confirmed as the Luzhniki Stadium, Saint Petersburg Stadium, Kazan Arena, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Samara Arena and the Fist Stadium Sochi – and all of these pitches will be prepared by a Dennis G860, while some will also utilise the Dennis Premier in conjunction with the G860 for matchday preparation.

Last year, these final games attracted worldwide audiences of up to 3.2 billion people, and it is for this reason, among others, that the G860 has been selected, according to Steven Rienks – managing director of Queens Grass, who are the official Dennis dealer in Russia.

“Quite simply, the main stadiums chose the G860 because of the quality and the presentation it offers. They all want that perfect stripe which the G860 provides because they know it will be watched by a worldwide audience,” says Steven.

“For the past ten years Russian clubs have been using turf maintenance equipment from Dennis and 70% of the Russian Premier League teams have either a G860 or Dennis Premier mower. Many groundsmen over here know of their quality and their robustness – they know that they can use them for a diverse range of maintenance tasks without ever having any issues.

“In Russia, the weather is not ideal – for instance, in one area we only have around 60 days of sunlight over the course of a year, and the interchangeable cassette system really helps with maintenance procedures in a difficult climate.”

As Steven says, the Dennis G860 features an interchangeable cassette system to assist with a wide range of tasks. With a simple one minute changeover, users have the option of fitting eleven different types of heads including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers, and slitters as well as six or eight bladed cutting cylinders.

Lightweight at just 166kg; it is easy to manoeuvre and comfortable to operate. The handlebar console houses the controls - throttle, park brake, switches and cutter clutch and only the forward drive handle needs to be held in by the operator which reduces operator fatigue. The mower also features a large diameter front roller with an adjustable scraper which has been designed for a precise height of cut control, giving an excellent finish on every occasion.

“In my opinion I’m always delighted to supply Dennis equipment to our clients because it guarantees the quality our clients expect from us,” said Steven.

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Sherriff Amenity Launch StimZyne

Sherriff Amenity has announced the launch of StimZyne – a new range of hydrocarbon encapsulators and plant growth promoters.

StimZyne joins Sherriff Amenity’s leading range of bio-stimulants which are renowned for generating a positive effect on plant health in support of normal maintenance and fertiliser programmes.

Designed to be applied on all amenity turf and approved for use on all soil types, StimZyne brings with it a number of unique benefits to the plant.

  • The unique hydrocarbon encapsulator helps to neutralise harmful gases in the soil and release beneficial nutrients making them more available to the plant.
  • The natural properties of StimZyne, supports the microbial population of the soil, imparting efficient nutrient uptake and strengthening grass against pests and disease.

On poorer soils or in areas which are prone to pest attack, StimZyne Plus is recommended as it contains a significantly higher percentage of hydrocarbon enscapulator. This will increase the plant’s ability to survive attacks from root feeding pests.

StimZyne has been designed to be used throughout the year and can be combined with other Sherriff Amenity products for maximum results.

For example, the addition of Nemaflo at 1L/ha will assist in the delivery of the product to targeted areas of the soil for maximum effect.

To further improve the resilience and colour of the turf, GoGreen Select – a complexed iron sulphate, can be added to the mix at a rate of 20L/ha.

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid impresses in STRI trials

Following extensive trials conducted by the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute), it has been concluded that the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator would be an essential tool within any integrated turf management programme.

Over a four month period, extensive STRI trials led by Dr Christian Spring were carried out at the world’s leading sports turf consultancy’s headquarters in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The research saw three trial plots set-up in which one area examined the effects of the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid with air injection, one with the Aer-Aid without air injection, while the other plot was left un-treated. In particular, Christian and his team of researchers were looking at how and if the Javelin Aer-Aid had an effect on the hardness of the turf, root depth, water infiltration and disease.

“The SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid was really effective in reducing compaction,” reported Christian. “In measuring the penetration depth, we ran the Aer-Aid over the surface and found that the probe was able to penetrate further into the soil profile, indicating that compaction throughout the entire trial site was significantly less than areas that were left un-treated.”

“It became obvious that the Aer-Aid improved maximum root and depth within the soil profile and also had the benefit of increasing the depth of the average rooting mass. The reason or the rationale for this improvement was likely to be a result of the increased air space in the soil profile created by the air injection and the fracturing that resulted from that.”

With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres (3cu.ft.) per minute at 120 PSI. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently at desired depth

It is common knowledge that well-aerated turf with good drainage and air circulation will experience fewer moisture problems, and during the trials, Christian reported that the plot which had been treated with the Javelin Aer-Aid had been extremely successful in keeping an all too common disease at bay.

“The use of the SISIS Javelin Air-Aid proved beneficial in helping to reduce the conditions in which Microdochium Patch occurred on the trial plots. Plots that were treated with the Aer-Aid, with the air injection switched on, appear to have significantly less disease than the un-treated plots during a period of disease pressure throughout autumn.”

The Aer-Aid can be used all year round on both fine and outfield turf, with its unique feature of moving air uniformly throughout the root zone – not just where the tines have penetrated.

“Overall, the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid, from the research work we carried out, proved to be a very effective tool in helping to manage the soil profile, creating better rooting, allowing water and air movement through the profile, keeping disease at bay and helping to reduce compaction.”

“My personal thoughts on the SISIS Javelin Air Aid, is that it is a very useful tool in any greenkeeper’s or groundsman’s arsenal, to help control and address key agronomic issues.”

A video of these results can be viewed by visiting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tiCea3MA5Y

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Sherriff’s Marathon Sport is King of the Jungle

Stuart Vause, head groundsman at Castleford Tigers RLFC, believes that Sherriff Amenity’s range of Marathon Sport fertilisers have signalled dramatic improvements on the pitch at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle Stadium.

It is safe to say that Stuart Vause has earned his stripes as the head groundsman for Super League side Castleford Tigers. For thirteen years, he worked for the club at every available opportunity while also juggling a full time position for a local authority. His dedication to the Tigers was rewarded three years ago when he was appointed as the head groundsman, and it is a foregone conclusion that the pitch has significantly improved during his tenure.

However, it hasn’t been plain sailing for Stuart - the pitch at the Jungle is over ninety years old and has no drainage or irrigation system and no undersoil heating. If that were not enough to keep Stuart busy, then there is the heavy usage to consider. The first team play approximately seventeen home games throughout the campaign and train on the pitch four times a week.  In addition, the pitch plays host to Castleford Tigers’ Under 19 and Under 16 teams. During peak periods the pitch can be used six times a week which can take its toll.

As well as his hard work and expertise, Stuart admits that having a good range of turf care products in place has been vital and none more so than Sherriff Amenity’s range of Marathon Sport fertilisers.

“I’ve tried lots of different approaches and products but three years ago I researched Marathon Sport,” says Stuart. “I trialled it and have been using it ever since because it really seems to suit the field. I’ve had excellent results from it and it holds incredibly well in this structure and soil – I can probably get a good three or four months out of each application, depending on rain.”

For a number of years, turf managers have reaped the benefits of Sherriff Amenity’s range of Marathon fertilisers. The Marathon Sport range of extended release fertilisers provide long-lasting, balanced growth on a number of surfaces such as golf greens fairways, tees, surrounds, ornamental lawns and of course sports fields.

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

Stuart’s maintenance programme sees him start the season with the Spring and Summer mixtures, which he applies at 35g per square metre on a double pass with his spreader. He’ll apply these mixtures approximately three times during the spring and summer months and when the colder months kick in he turns to Marathon Sport Autumn to ensure good grass coverage over winter.

“The Marathon Sport fertilisers have dramatically thickened the sward – it’s been unbelievable. When I first came here the field was fragile, it used to rip up and lumps would come out. Now however, we have a really strong root zone - obviously with Rugby League games it is rough and tough but the pitch just seems to hold up to it.

“I love the colour that it provides too. During the winter months this field used to lose a lot of colour but it is now a lush green all year round. Sometimes, if we are on TV I’ll just give it a light application to really bring the colour out. It also never leaves foot marks and has never scorched for as long as I’ve been using it – this is with minimal water too.

“Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that it doesn’t give you excessive growth. With it only being me here, it helps if I’m not chasing my tail having to cut it constantly. With some fertilisers, you apply it and if you leave it for a period of time you’ll be faced with an abundance of grass. The Marathon Sport just kicks on nicely at a steady pace and if I can’t get on to mow it for two or three days it is still manageable.”

Adding to the overall package from Sherriff Amenity, Stuart also revealed that the products are complimented by the technical advice he receives from his representative Robert Bone.

“I trust Robert completely - when he gives me advice I always take it on-board. If he thinks that a certain product isn’t working then he’ll let me know and we’ll try something else until we find one that does get results. He does my soil testing and when we come to sit down he’ll present me with charts and graphs detailing what I should be putting on the pitch at certain times of the year. Overall I couldn’t be happier with the service I receive from Sherriff Amenity.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Learning LIVE signals opportunity

The SALTEX 2017 free education programme is set to inspire visitors at the NEC on 1 and 2 November.

With the full Learning LIVE programme set to be revealed in the coming weeks, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has released a few teaser seminars. The programme looks set to provide limitless opportunities and inspire and educate visitors from a wide range of sectors within the turfcare industry.

Now in its third year, SALTEX’s free-to-attend education programme has gone from strength to strength. Last year, Learning LIVE saw 53 unique seminars, 99 high-profile speakers and many key topical issues explored. For 2017, the programme will follow the same successful format developed over the past two years situated within four purpose-built seminar theatres on the show floor with state-of-the-art sound systems and screens.

Within the theatres a number of influential speakers will be on hand to provide updates and key advice. Mark Pover, facilities investment strategy manager at The Football Association (FA), will be participating in a panel debate entitled ‘Funding the future of natural turf.’ With so much money being invested into artificial turf, SALTEX visitors will have an opportunity to ask the funders if there is a danger of natural turf being left behind.

Commenting on the panel debate, Mark said: "We haven't forgotten the fact that the majority of football matches in this country are played on natural grass. We have just shy of 800 artificial pitches on our 3G register suitable for affiliated matches and we are continuing to invest in these but there are approximately 23,000 natural grass pitches. Clearly these are very important, as is the quality, so we will continue to improve and use natural turf pitches to keep people playing and also attract new players.

"We are currently spending two million pounds a year on natural turf pitch improvements and I believe that SALTEX is the ideal place to update the industry so that visitors understand exactly what we are doing and the targets we have set. It is also a good opportunity to address some of the negative rumours that are circulated annually and reinforce our commitment to natural turf."

For those visitors that are looking to progress their career, the ‘Career development’ seminar presented by Steve Chappell, head greenkeeper at the PGA Centenary Golf Course at The Gleneagles Hotel, should not be missed. Steve will be primarily focusing on how volunteering can significantly help improve job prospects.

“The thought process behind the session is to provide a little bit more of an understanding of how volunteering can help improve and embellish your CV,” says Steve. “It can help you stand out from the crowd and be more employable to a prospective employer.

“The seminar would be beneficial for younger people in the industry, and also maybe for those who feel they have become stuck in a rut. The message behind it all, is to use the opportunities that are out there to develop yourself because it can help you take that next step which will give you that career fulfilment you are looking for.”

Additionally, the seminar ‘Making your move’ will be beneficial in helping a visitor along their career path. Wayne Billing, head groundsman at Northampton Saints RFC; Stuart Kerrison, head groundsman at Essex CCC and Danny Beckley, head of estates and grounds at Harrow School, will all be on hand to reveal the secrets behind making it to the top within their respective fields.

For further inspiration, John Ledwidge will be documenting his rise from starting in an apprentice position through to being the current grounds manager at Leicester City FC in ‘From apprentice to grounds manager’. In a separate seminar John will also be joined by the rest of his grounds team in a session entitled ‘Building a team for success.’

By attending any of these seminars within the programme, SALTEX visitors have the opportunity to enhance their CV as IOG and Basis CPD points are available for all Learning LIVE sessions. Attendance at the seminars can be recorded by picking up a CPD form from the IOG Hub (Stand C180) and can contribute towards the minimum requirement of 35 hours in 12 months in order to qualify for the IOG’s Certificate of CPD Achievement.

After being motivated by the Learning LIVE seminars, visitors can visit SALTEX 2017’s new feature - the Job Clinic. Located on the IOG Hub, industry expert Frank Newberry will be hosting 15-minute one-to-one sessions covering CV writing to interview techniques. To book an appointment with Frank, visitors are advised to go to the IOG information desk on the IOG Hub as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Located in the centre of the UK, whether you are travelling from overseas or within the UK, the NEC is incredibly easy to get to by car, rail or air. No matter what route you take, one thing is certain - opportunity awaits on November 1 and 2 at SALTEX 2017.

The full programme of SALTEX events will be regularly updated via www.iogsaltex.com.

Visitor registration to SALTEX 2017 is free. To confirm your attendance visit www.iogsaltex.com

Read more…
PRO Supplier

ICL Announce New Technical Area Sales Manager

ICL has announced the appointment of Matt Nutter as the new Technical Area Sales Manager operating in South East England, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and North London. 

Matt joins the company with a wealth of experience in the turf industry. Having initially completed an ND in Turf Science and Sports Ground Management at Myerscough College, Matt enrolled on the Ohio State Program which provided him with an opportunity to work at the Pelican Marsh Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Upon his return to the UK, Matt landed a position as Greenkeeper at the Wisley Golf Club before progressing through the ranks to Deputy Head Greenkeeper and Spray Technician. With a significant amount of experience in a Deputy Head Greenkeeper position, he embarked on a new challenge in the same role at East Berkshire Golf Club before eventually being promoted to Course Manager.

Matt, who lives with his partner Juliet and their two daughters Ezra and Shiloh, is relishing the new opportunity with ICL.

“I am excited to be joining such a high profile company and market leader in ICL and happy to still be involved in the industry I love. I look forward to meeting new customers and relish the opportunities that this role offers.” he said.

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

New addition to ICL’s Greenmaster Pro-Lite range

ICL has announced the launch of an upgrade to its autumn/winter fine turf fertilizer range. Greenmaster Pro-Lite Invigorator Plus 4-0-14 +8Fe +2MgO is a new formulation to fit within the autumn/winter turf range with higher iron and potassium content than the original Invigorator.

Over recent years, ICL’s Greenmaster Pro-Lite fertilizers have gained a reputation as an outstanding micro-granular fertilizer range, for high quality, fine turf nutrition. With eleven various formulations within the range, Greenmaster Pro-Lite offers a solution for every requirement in every season.

The new formulation Invigorator Plus has been developed to give an improved colour response and greater longevity,” says Henry Bechelet, Technical Sales Manager for ICL Turf & Landscape in the UK & Ireland. “It is designed to sustain turf health through autumn, winter and spring and help reduce the risk of disease and moss invasion into high quality turf. We are excited about this new formulation because it contains the mineral polyhalite, which we have found can bring enhanced turf colour and quality responses.”

Polyhalite is an organic multi-fertilizer which contains sulphur, potassium, magnesium and calcium which are all fully available to the plant. Deposited over 200 million years ago, it is a complex crystal product which has been discovered at a depth of 1300 metres below the earth’s surface under the North Sea and is mined at ICL’s own mine in Cleveland.

With polyhalite now included in a number of ICL fertilizers, turf managers have been quick to report excellent results and Henry believes that this trend is set to continue with the launch of Invigorator Plus.

“This new analysis was tested against various alternatives and proved to be the best in terms of turf colour, quality and longevity. We know that the original Greenmaster Invigorator already has a loyal following and so we are running the Invigorator Plus alongside its sister formulation. We hope that everyone using Invigorator Plus this autumn and winter will see the added benefits of this new formulation.”

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

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Dennis G34D gives the Red Bulls a boost

Dan Shemesh, Director of Stadium and Training Grounds for the New York Red Bulls has reported excellent results since purchasing a Dennis G34D cylinder mower.

In 2009, after seven years at the Philadelphia Eagles Dan Shemesh landed the role of Director of Grounds at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey home of the New York Red Bulls MLS team.

As the Director of Grounds, Dan’s responsibilities include overseeing the pitches at the 25,000 seat stadium and training grounds, as well as maintaining the surrounding landscape. Now in his eighth season with the New York Red Bulls, the pitch has significantly improved and Dan feels that it has reached another level since trading his ride-on mower for a Dennis G34D cylinder mower.

“I had heard a lot about the Dennis G34D,” says Dan. “So we talked to other groundsmen who were using them and after glowing reports we decided to try one for ourselves. A demonstration was arranged through CS Trading LLC (local dealer) and off the back of that we decided it would be extremely beneficial to have one.”

The Dennis G34D has been designed and built following the same concept as the popular Dennis G860 machine – which is relied upon in stadium environments all over the globe. Available in three different cutting sizes – 26”, 30” and 34” – the mowers incorporate a large-diameter eight bladed cutting cylinder to cater for a wide range of uses to leave a precision cut. The handlebar design makes maneuvering easy and the wide adjustment makes it comfortable for all cutting heights.

“We like using the machine because of the superior presentation it offers us,” says Dan. “It is simple, easy to adjust, and can be set-up in minutes – it is also comfortable, lightweight and smooth to operate. The controls are easily accessible which makes using the machine easy to control and quick to learn.”

“Dennis is a good reliable company that makes durable machines for high quality pitches around the world.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Quadraplay perfect for multi-tasking groundsman

Kevin Sturmey - chairman, chief executive AND head groundsman of Taunton Town FC, believes that the multi-functional SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system has been a ‘god-send’ in helping him to maintain the pitch at the Viridor Stadium.

As a former Taunton Town Reserves player and previous club sponsor – Kevin Sturmey is Taunton Town through and through. When Kevin was appointed chief executive in late 2010, after being elected Chairman at the AGM in July 2010, he was determined to get his beloved club back on track and was willing do everything he could to help The Peacock’s rise through the English football leagues.

What started as a part-time CEO role soon became a full-time commitment and with the club experiencing financial difficulties for a number of years, Kevin took it upon himself to voluntarily become the head groundsman.

Seven years later, and while Kevin is paid for 27 hours a week in his role as chief executive, he is still undertaking all three positions with a working week consisting of over 80 hours.

Also renowned for being a multi-tasker is Kevin’s new SISIS Quadraplay, which was recommended to him by two Premier League groundsmen. Having been nominated for four successive Groundsman of the Year awards, winning the National Step 3 & 4 award in 2014 and runner-up in 2015, and twice being awarded the Southern League Groundsman of the Year, Kevin has had ample opportunity to rub shoulders with, and seek advice, from many of the country’s top groundsmen.

“The SISIS Quadraplay was actually recommended to me by Dougie Robertson (head groundsman at West Ham Utd FC) and Darren Baldwin (head of playing surfaces & estates at Tottenham Hotspur) who have been to the Viridor Stadium each year of the awards to assess the pitch. Year after year they would ask me if we have had any changes to the equipment and year after year it would be the same answer – which was no. They both spoke highly of the Quadraplay and felt that it would be perfect for us at Taunton. “We have never really had a lot of money to invest in equipment, so the small amount we do have occasionally we have to invest wisely.”

The SISIS Quadraplay multiple-purpose, single-pass maintenance incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, spikers, slitters, rollers and brushes. The implements can be fitted to the mainframe in any order and can be independently adjusted to achieve the desired effect. Compact, robust, versatile and with the ability to carry out up to four operations simultaneously – the Quadraplay makes life a lot easier for many groundsmen as Kevin explains.

“If you have got a very small time window, being able to brush, role, slit, and rake - all in one pass, is a god send. It’s the best investment we have ever made.

“The first time I had it on trial, someone actually said to me afterwards that it looked like I had cut it and that’s the beauty of it. In the winter you won’t need to cut when the grass is not really growing – however with the Quadraplay you are grooming it and also getting some air into it – so it is doing everything you need it to do all in one pass.

“Everybody expects to see stripes these days because they see them on TV but anybody can stripe a pitch – it is what underneath that counts and that is why the Quadraplay is vital. When the weather is bad, that is the real test, and it successfully helps me prepare a good pitch no matter what the conditions.”

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

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

 The countdown to Europe’s largest annual turf management event has officially begun, marked by the opening of online visitor registration.

SALTEX 2017 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 1-2 November, and has already attracted over 250 exhibitors - a number that’s set to grow further in the weeks leading up to the event. Confirmed to return are a number of leading brand names spanning the whole turf management industry including manufacturers and suppliers of world-class products and services for the maintenance of pitches, grounds, landscaping, parks and estates.

 SALTEX will also once again boast unique show features such as:

  • Learning LIVE - an all-encompassing free-to-attend education programme offering grounds and open space practitioners across all disciplines, volunteer as well as professional, the chance to increase their CPD points.
  • Outdoor demonstrations - providing an opportunity to see a number of products in action directly outside the SALTEX halls 6, 7 and 8.
  • The SALTEX College Cup - a national student-led sports-turf challenge sponsored by Ransomes.
  • Pathology & Soil Science LIVE - allowing visitors to look in detail at the symptoms of some common turfgrass fungal disease problems.
  • The Young Groundsmen’s Conference, sponsored by Rigby Taylor and Top Green - an ideal opportunity for young people looking to advance their career in the groundscare industry
  • Ask the Expert – free pitchcare advice from the IOG’s team of regional pitch advisors based on the IOG Hub
  • The IOG Industry Awards - the UK’s biggest celebration in groundsmanship held on the evening of the first day (1 November) at the National Motorcycle Museum.
  • NEW for 2017! Careers advice area – the chance to receive one-to-one advice from industry expert Frank Newberry on how to progress your career, write a compelling CV and perform well in an interview situation.

Visitors can register to attend SALTEX via the website – www.iogsaltex.com. Visitors will receive a confirmation email with their badge to print and take along to the show in November, to gain free entry.

“The registration process is simple and takes a couple of minutes to complete, saving you time on the day and giving you longer to enjoy the show,” says Matthew Knight, event director.

He continues: “We’ve already got a fantastic range of exhibitors – the world’s best manufacturers and suppliers - lined up for SALTEX 2017, all of which use the show to present their latest products and innovations, offers and promotions. Combined with the show’s unique features, there truly is opportunity at every turn for anyone involved or working in the turf management industry.”

Located in the centre of the UK, whether you are travelling from overseas or within the UK, the NEC is incredibly easy to get to by car, rail or air.

SALTEX 2017 is free to attend. To register your attendance and beat the queues visit www.iogsaltex.com

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Dennis and SISIS recently hosted their first ever Cricket Pitch Renovation Day which has been hailed a huge success.

Over the past few years Dennis and SISIS have held pre-season indoor seminars for anyone responsible for the maintenance of a cricket pitch. The seminars, which have taken place at various venues across the country, have brought together over 1100 cricket groundsmen from grass roots, local and county clubs, international test venues, local authorities and schools and colleges.

Building on the success of these seminars, Dennis and SISIS working in conjunction with Chris Wood (ECB Pitch Consultant) and Ian Smith (St Albans School Turf Consultant) decided to introduce a Cricket Pitch Renovation Day, which combines a mixture of thought-provoking indoor presentations with outside practical demonstrations. This exciting new chapter in the “For the Groundsmen by the Groundsmen” series began at St Albans School Woollam Trust, where over 160 delegates made their way to see the new concept.

The event, which was supported by Boughton Loam, CricketWorld.com, Durrant Cricket, Limagrain UK, RT Machinery, Ecosol Turfcare, Poweroll and Headland Amenity was started by a warm welcome from Robert Jack (Dennis and SISIS) and Mark Illott (St Albans School Cricket Professional and former Essex and England Cricketer). The introduction provided a fascinating insight into the school’s prestigious sporting history and the standards that they adhere to which ensures that the school boasts some of the finest sporting facilities in the UK.

Renowned Turf Consultant Alex Vickers, then took to the stage to deliver a presentation entitled Principles of decision making for autumn renovations & profile reading. Alex demonstrated his vast amount of knowledge as he proceeded to offer valuable tips and advice through a series of visual slides.

Following a refreshment break, Rob Kendle from ATB Sports Solutions offered his expertise on End of season renovations before an innovative new feature took place called Soil Core Clinic. Prior to the seminar, attendees were encouraged to bring with them core samples from their respective facilities. The samples were projected onto the huge screen and examined in detail by Sussex County Cricket Club's Head Groundsman Andy Mackay and Keith Exton from Perfect Pitches (UK) Ltd. It was particularly useful for visitors who may have had any soil profiles that were causing problems or concerns, as Keith and Andy discussed a number of ways in how it could be improved.

A complimentary lunch signalled the half-way point, before delegates made their way outside for the outdoor demonstrations. Divided into three groups, visitors spent 40 minutes at three different cricket squares where specific renovation work was being carried out.

Square 1 saw Andy Clarke (IOG Regional Pitch Advisor) and Ian Smith (St Albans School Turf Consultant) demonstrating a number of methods that would be valuable for cricket groundsman working on a tight budget. Elsewhere, Rob Kendle showcased a number of scarification techniques on Square 2 while Keith Exton and Darren Matthews (Ecosol Turfcare) focused on aeration on Square 3.

Commenting on the day, Eric Woodmason – a Contractor and Clubs and Programmes Officer for Gloucestershire Cricket Board said: “As a contractor doing autumn renovations I have learned a lot today. From the first speaker talking about cores and looking at the square, and then moving outside and seeing all of the machinery and going into great detail about all the renovation work – it’s just been fantastic. There are things that I’ve heard and seen today that will ultimately improve the quality of my work and improve the quality of the squares.”

Likewise, Lee Marshallsay, Grounds Manager at Charterhouse School said: “It’s been very beneficial for my team and I like the fact that it is aimed at everyone – it’s not just for those in the top positions. To get everyone together from grass roots upwards works really well. I think the indoor seminars and the outdoor practical demonstrations have provided a good mix. You get to see the machines in action and many people here wouldn’t have seen that before so for them to have more of an idea of what equipment is out there is ideal.”

Angus Lindsay, Group Head of Assets and Fleet for idverde UK, was also present on the day and believes that events like these can only benefit the groundscare industry. “Days like these for what we do are absolutely brilliant. Three of us came today and it’s been very informative. I have a new starter from the company with me today who knows very little about this but he has come out absolutely enthused by it.

“I think we’ve got the best groundsmen and greenkeepers in the world in the UK and that is why a lot of them go abroad because they can make a huge difference wherever they go. However, if we don’t look after the home pitches – whether it be through lack of budget or lack of knowledge then we’ll encounter problems. The more days like these and the more people get to see what can be done – the better. 

Further information about the range of cricket maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com.

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Groundsmen bowled over by seminar

Fifty groundsmen from independent schools throughout southern England and the Midlands were presented with a wealth of useful advice and information at the latest ICL seminar, which was held at Edgbaston Stadium – home to Warwickshire CCC and the Birmingham Bears.

Aimed specifically at turf professionals working in the independent schools sector, the popular ICL Independent School Seminar is now in its fifth year.

Emma Kilby, ICL Area Sales Manager for the Midlands and West, who organised and ran the event welcomed delegates to the event with an outline of what they could expect from the day before handing over to Edgbaston Stadium Head Groundsman Gary Barwell to give an overview of the facilities which includes a total of 24 pitches – 17 of them being first class before giving delegates an insight into pitch preparation and their trials of an SIS hybrid pitch.

Henry Bechelet, ICL’s Technical Sales Manager was next, giving an informative and entertaining presentation on ‘Root Development Technologies’. Areas discussed included what affects turf rooting, the relationship between rooting and nitrogen and what products can help turf managers improve rooting before also speaking about the company's commissioning of independent STRI trials where he revealed that the results conclusively showed that the use of Sierraform GT consistently increases root development.

Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta’s Business Manager, was next to the stage to give an illustrated talk and demonstration of the company’s Greencast turf app and a fungicide update including the new regulations.

This was followed by Robert Jack from Dennis and SISIS who gave a presentation on the range of British manufactured turf maintenance machinery the company has to offer. Robert also discussed the recent STRI trials of the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid, where it proved to be a very effective tool in helping to manage the soil profile, creating better rooting, allowing water and air movement through the profile, keeping disease at bay and helping to reduce compaction.

Concluding the session, Daniel Lightfoot returned to give delegates a greater insight into Instrata Elite fungicide. Daniel explained that when Instrata Elite is applied, it quickly spreads and locks onto the wax layer of the plant surface which provides a protective barrier to the leaf and destroys any disease spores which are present at the time of application.

After the presentations, delegates were given a tour of the stadium by Gary Barwell. As well as getting a close look at the cricket wicket which would be played on later that evening, they were also shown some of the turf maintenance machinery which Gary and his team use on a daily basis.

Emma Kilby, who organised the event, believes that the day's varied content had been what delegates were looking for and was delighted that the event had been so well supported.

"Today has been a fantastic event and it was good to get so many groundsmen attending," she said. "These are professional groundsmen that produce surfaces for so many different sports. They come along to the event to learn and to network. It’s not just for the head groundsmen – it’s for all their staff who got an insight into the integrated turf management and agronomic support available.”

Mike Kemmett, Grounds Manager at Harrow School, said the seminar had proved extremely worthwhile and a great opportunity to network with other groundsmen from schools: “I’ve been for the last three events, and actually hosted last year’s event when I was at Haberdashers. It’s a great event to network and meet other people. I particularly found Daniel Lightfoot’s presentation on fungicides interesting as I now have a golf course to manage.”

James Pope, Grounds Manager at St Paul’s School in London commented: “I brought my assistant groundsman Tom Martin with me today. Today’s event was great to speak to other colleagues that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to speak to throughout the year and compare notes with. It was good to find out how Gary (Barwell) prepares his wicket. There are definitely a few notes that we’ve made and will take back with us and try to implement. It was particularly impressive how he logs all of his data.”

Summing up the general enthusiasm from the day, Cheltenham College Head of Grounds Christian Brain said: "This is the first ICL seminar that I’ve attended. I brought another member of staff with me and its’ been good to attend a first-class venue to see what Gary and his team do on a daily basis, which we’ve learnt a lot from to take back with us. It’s nice to hear about what is going on in the industry, the different products which are coming out and the different techniques to apply those products.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Fifty groundsmen from independent schools throughout southern England and the Midlands were presented with a wealth of useful advice and information at the latest ICL seminar, which was held at Edgbaston Stadium – home to Warwickshire CCC and the Birmingham Bears.

Aimed specifically at turf professionals working in the independent schools sector, the popular ICL Independent School Seminar is now in its fifth year.

Emma Kilby, ICL Area Sales Manager for the Midlands and West, who organised and ran the event welcomed delegates to the event with an outline of what they could expect from the day before handing over to Edgbaston Stadium Head Groundsman Gary Barwell to give an overview of the facilities which includes a total of 24 pitches – 17 of them being first class before giving delegates an insight into pitch preparation and their trials of an SIS hybrid pitch.

Henry Bechelet, ICL’s Technical Sales Manager was next, giving an informative and entertaining presentation on ‘Root Development Technologies’. Areas discussed included what affects turf rooting, the relationship between rooting and nitrogen and what products can help turf managers improve rooting before also speaking about the company's commissioning of independent STRI trials where he revealed that the results conclusively showed that the use of Sierraform GT consistently increases root development.

Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta’s Business Manager, was next to the stage to give an illustrated talk and demonstration of the company’s Greencast turf app and a fungicide update including the new regulations.

This was followed by Robert Jack from Dennis and SISIS who gave a presentation on the range of British manufactured turf maintenance machinery the company has to offer. Robert also discussed the recent STRI trials of the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid, where it proved to be a very effective tool in helping to manage the soil profile, creating better rooting, allowing water and air movement through the profile, keeping disease at bay and helping to reduce compaction.

Concluding the session, Daniel Lightfoot returned to give delegates a greater insight into Instrata Elite fungicide. Daniel explained that when Instrata Elite is applied, it quickly spreads and locks onto the wax layer of the plant surface which provides a protective barrier to the leaf and destroys any disease spores which are present at the time of application.

After the presentations, delegates were given a tour of the stadium by Gary Barwell. As well as getting a close look at the cricket wicket which would be played on later that evening, they were also shown some of the turf maintenance machinery which Gary and his team use on a daily basis.

Emma Kilby, who organised the event, believes that the day's varied content had been what delegates were looking for and was delighted that the event had been so well supported.

"Today has been a fantastic event and it was good to get so many groundsmen attending," she said. "These are professional groundsmen that produce surfaces for so many different sports. They come along to the event to learn and to network. It’s not just for the head groundsmen – it’s for all their staff who got an insight into the integrated turf management and agronomic support available.”

Mike Kemmett, Grounds Manager at Harrow School, said the seminar had proved extremely worthwhile and a great opportunity to network with other groundsmen from schools: “I’ve been for the last three events, and actually hosted last year’s event when I was at Haberdashers. It’s a great event to network and meet other people. I particularly found Daniel Lightfoot’s presentation on fungicides interesting as I now have a golf course to manage.”

James Pope, Grounds Manager at St Paul’s School in London commented: “I brought my assistant groundsman Tom Martin with me today. Today’s event was great to speak to other colleagues that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to speak to throughout the year and compare notes with. It was good to find out how Gary (Barwell) prepares his wicket. There are definitely a few notes that we’ve made and will take back with us and try to implement. It was particularly impressive how he logs all of his data.”

Summing up the general enthusiasm from the day, Cheltenham College Head of Grounds Christian Brain said: "This is the first ICL seminar that I’ve attended. I brought another member of staff with me and its’ been good to attend a first-class venue to see what Gary and his team do on a daily basis, which we’ve learnt a lot from to take back with us. It’s nice to hear about what is going on in the industry, the different products which are coming out and the different techniques to apply those products.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Dennis Mowers integral for Stoke City FC

Both the Dennis G860 and the Dennis Premier play an integral role in maintaining Stoke City FC’s bet365 Stadium pitch and training ground, according to grounds manager Andy Jackson.

Having joined the club as an apprentice on a YTS scheme, Andy Jackson now oversees all of Stoke City FC’s grounds maintenance – which includes the pitch at the bet365 Stadium and the multitude of facilities at the Clayton Wood training ground. Andy has twelve members of staff across the two sites and they work together as one team. He insists that no-one should be dedicated to one specific site, claiming that it enables them to deal with every situation and ensures that not one person is limited to having knowledge of just one site.

“Personally I think this method works for us,” says Andy. “It provides the opportunity to work in different environments which improves their skill set and it also takes out the mundane task of just looking at one site all the time.”

“Obviously it is important that we’ve got the correct staff in place but it is absolutely essential that we have the right machinery and that everything is reliable.”

Andy has a fleet of Dennis mowers which sees four Premier’s and three G860’s based at the training ground, while the stadium has two G860’s.

“I feel that the Premier’s do a very good job on the soil based pitches,” he says. “We also use them on the Desso Grassmaster pitches if we need to firm them up a little bit - especially when we’ve been growing pitches in. We use the Premier in conjunction with the G860 and the two machines give us plenty of options.” 

Fitted with either a powerful Honda Petrol or Kubota diesel engine, the Dennis Premier is available in 30” and 36” cutting widths. A three section rear roller and steering brakes make it easy to manoeuvre giving an excellent stripe pattern and rolling characteristics. Complete with a large diameter front roller with adjustable scraper, for precise height of cut control, the machine is easy to adjust on both sides with the use of a single spanner.

Equally impressive is the G860 which features an interchangeable cassette system, giving options to fit a variety of heads including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers, and slitters as well as 6, 8 or 11 bladed cutter cassettes. The operator can use the mower for a number of tasks with a simple one-minute changeover of cassettes.

“We have the Verti-Cutter cassette and the Brush as well as the cutting cassette,” says Andy. “We use the Verti-Cutter cassette at the stadium and at the training ground and use it quite intensively in April, May and then again in September or October. It’s a very effective tool and I find that we get really good results from using it after a match.”

“We also have the 6 blade and the 8 blade cutting cylinders – and which one we use purely depends on the density of the grass. So we might use the 6 bladed option in winter and for the first couple of cuts after we’ve grown a pitch in. If the density goes up then we might switch to the 8 bladed option so we have more cuts per square inch.”

The G860, weighing in at just 166kg, is renowned for its ease of use and groundsmen from grass roots to professional level have praised the machine for not only providing first-class results but also for its comfort.

“They are so easy to use – I like the fact they’ve got an open box at the front so I’m in control of everything I’m doing. We string cut so I can see the string, I can see the roller, I can see the blade, I can see the box in front of me - everything is visible at all times. The other thing for me is the setting - the adjustment of the height of cut is very simple yet effective. They also have low vibration levels which is great if you are using them for a long time like we do.”

“Each G860 probably does a distance each week from Stoke to Manchester and back. For a mower that is some mileage – they just keep going and going and reliability is key for me.”

“The most important thing is that the players have a good surface to play on every week - that the pitch is cut at the right height and that it is nice and flat. They just want the pitch to be 100% for every game and Dennis help us massively in doing that.”

“To be honest I don’t think I’d even look at a machine other than a Dennis. I get tremendous back-up from them and they are forward thinking. Personally I think they are the world’s best company in supplying mowers for groundsmen.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

iTurf improves 9 hole Cruit Island GC

Despite working with a small budget, Brian McMonagle, Head Greenkeeper at Cruit Island Golf Club in Donegal, Ireland, has still managed to significantly improve the course through a tailor-made ICL iTurf programme.

Situated on the edge of the Atlantic coast with breath-taking panoramic views, Cruit Island Golf Club is a natural 9 hole, par 68, links course. Set over 2,809 yards with seven par fours and two par threes, the course also boasts a signature 150 yard 6th hole - which is played along the rocky cliff edge.

If you were to sail westwards from Cruit Island, across the vast Atlantic Ocean, the first land you would see is North America and it’s dedicated golfers from those shores that add to the 140 plus members already at Cruit Island. The course is generally run on the back of the green fees received throughout the year.

Brian has been at the club since 2000 and has worked with his assistant Donal Timoney since 2005.

They can both be highly commended on maintaining the course to an excellent standard. However, with budget restraints and unfavourable weather conditions, Brian contacted Colman Warde, ICL Ireland Country Manager, to see if there were any products that could potentially take the course to another level.

Together, Brian and Colman designed a tailored iTurf programme which was put together based on the specific nutritional requirements of the course, aligned with the budget he had.

The programme sees Brian start the year with an application of Greenmaster Pro-Lite Cold Start to the greens in order to get the growth up and running.

During the summer months when Cruit Island experiences most of its play, Brian uses SierraformGT All Season as a base feed, which aids recovery from heavy wear. This is supplemented with a monthly tank-mix of Sportsmaster WSF Spring & Summer, Seaweed, Greenmaster Liquid Effect Iron Fe, Primo Maxx and Seaweed from May to September – which is an excellent hardening mix for the links environment.

SierraformGT K-Step is applied in October as a turf hardener prior to the harsh winter weather the Atlantic brings to the course. When faced with these unfavourable conditions Brian also applies Sportsmaster High K, Seaweed and Greenmaster Liquid Effect Iron Fe as a tank-mix to provide a light feed to the plant during the colder months.

Commenting on the success of his ICL iTurf programme, Brian said: “If I’m honest, I initially thought that ICL products would be beyond my financial reach but I thought that I’d have a chat with Colman anyway. We sat down and spoke at length about the course and its nutritional requirements and we devised a programme within my budget which we felt would benefit us.

“The programme has massively improved the course and our members and regular guests have noticed the difference as well. It just goes to show that there is an ICL programme out there for anyone – whether it’s for a top level golf course which hosts major tournaments or for a local 9 hole course in Ireland that sits on the edge of the Atlantic ocean!”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Adrian Davis, head groundsman at King’s Bruton School in Somerset, has reported remarkable germination speed and recovery rates from Limagrain’s leading MM range of grass seed mixtures.

In 1519, three eminent people born in Bruton, Richard Fitzjames - Bishop of London, Sir John Fitzjames, later to become Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, and Dr John Edmundes - Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, established a new school in the town. Nearly five hundred years later, and still on the same site, the school is soon set to celebrate its quincentenary.

This unique school, which hosts 347 pupils, may be small in size but is big on education - in which every individual pupil is given an opportunity to flourish.

Sport plays a huge part in the life of all pupils at King’s Bruton. The school’s hockey teams have reached ten National Finals in the last five years with the Under 16 girls winning the English Schools National Indoor Hockey Championships in 2017, while the rugby 1st XV were unbeaten throughout the season.

Overseeing the safety and the quality of the school’s sporting facilities is head groundsman Adrian Davies, who has been in his role for nineteen years. Adrian works in a team of five, with two team members tending to the school’s impressive gardens while three manage the sports fields.

Cricket and rugby are the two sports that dominate the playing time on the school’s sports fields and throughout the year fifty-four home cricket matches are played over the summer while up to seventy rugby games take place throughout the winter period.

“Switching from rugby to cricket and then back from cricket to rugby can be challenging,” admits Adrian. “We start around mid-April for cricket and that runs through until the start of August – at which time gives us a window to start preparing for rugby – that’s normally about four weeks of growth.

“I have always used Limagrain’s MM seed. I have tried others but MM just seems to suit my type of soils here and I think it is the best out there.”

Limagrain UK’s MM range of grass seed mixtures is one of the most respected brands in the UK amenity industry and its mixtures are relied upon at many leading sporting venues in the UK and Europe. Adrian relies on MM50 for his cricket squares and MM60 for his rugby pitches. He also uses MM60 on his cricket outfields and MM16 on the school’s ornamental lawns.

“I do an overseeding programme in early April, prior to the cricket season, and obviously your governed by weather but it gives me great results every time - I’m known to have outfields like carpets.

“After overseeding all the outfields, we will be up and ready for September, and then we do another seeding programme in late March. I’ve always got a really established sward by September which takes me through a really busy fourteen week rugby period - where they are played on four or five times a week.

“I get good, quick germination with the MM seed and the recovery is excellent – especially with MM50. The seed seems very disease resistant as well and I’ve noticed that it actually holds back some of the diseases. I would also say that the inclusion of Headstart® GOLD in the mixtures gives the products the kick-start that you really need.”

As Adrian says, the MM mixtures have the added bonus of being treated with Headstart® GOLD. This user friendly, non-toxic treatment can help your grass get off to a great start and is perfect for enhancing performance on grass seed coatings for sports fields, golf courses, lawns and amenity turf.

Adrian also believes that the service he receives from Limagrain simply adds to the overall package.

“I like the fact that the company are not pushy whatsoever in trying to sell me products and I have built up a great relationship with them. They are always around when I need them and I get excellent back-up. This is of course fantastic but ultimately I buy Limagrain seed because it is a good product and it works for me.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Andy Jackson, grounds manager at Stoke City FC, has reported ‘phenomenal’ results since incorporating the SISIS Osca tractor mounted oscillating brush into his synthetic surface maintenance programme.

It is safe to say that Andy Jackson is a one-club-man. Having started as an apprentice at Stoke City FC in 1994, he has since worked his way up the ladder and now sits in the hot seat as grounds manager in which he oversees the maintenance of the pitch at the bet365 Stadium and all of the facilities at Clayton Wood training ground.

Clayton Wood boasts a multitude of state of the art facilities including two and a half Desso Grassmaster pitches, five soil based pitches and two full size synthetic surfaces.

“Getting the right equipment for all the different textured pitches we have here is big task, and it’s key to how we go about our business,” says Andy. “The use on our synthetic pitches has become incredibly high so I needed to look at something which would combat that. I wanted a machine that was going to be effective and quick but to get a machine to do those two things I felt would be a hard task.”

Fortunately, Andy came across the SISIS Osca while attending the STMA Conference and Exhibition in San Diego last year and arranged for a demonstration to be undertaken as soon as he returned to home soil. The demonstration quickly revealed that Andy had found the machine he had been looking for.

The SISIS Osca is a tractor mounted powered oscillating brush with a 1.9 meter working width and is equally effective when used on synthetic turf with sand or rubber infill. The two oscillating brushes stand the carpet fibres up and redistributes the infill evenly, minimising compaction on the surface and improving its performance – giving consistent playing characteristics while preventing pile damage caused by reduced infill levels.

A contributory factor to the reduction of compaction is that the Osca’s working width will use fewer passes than other more conventional drag brushes to complete a pitch. Its aggressive brushing action agitates the upper infill level of the surface from side to side as well as brushing forward, helping reduce surface compaction and encourage the fibres to stand up straight which reduces the risk of contamination, drainage problems and leaves a consistent playing surface across the whole pitch.

“The Ocsa had everything we were looking for and the beauty is that it is extremely versatile. You can go deep into the pile or just take it lightly over the top - everything is adjustable to enable the machine to do exactly what is required.”

“The Oscillating brushes are the best feature for me because they get rid of any compaction problems and they provide a fantastic finish. Players at all levels, from seven year olds up to the first team, play on these pitches, so for me it is just important to have the synthetic surfaces as well presented as the natural pitches.”

Andy sets an hour aside each day to use the Osca and designates a fortnightly three hour time slot to carry out a more intensive clean. Since using the Osca he has noticed a significant improvement and he is not the only one.

“The Osca has brought our synthetic pitch to a new level and the feedback we’ve had from the staff, the coaches and the players has been really positive.”

“The results have been phenomenal and personally I think the Osca ticks all the boxes in getting synthetic turf to a level where it needs to be.”

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

Read more…
PRO Supplier

After successfully completing a huge bunker renovation project at the prestigious West Kilbride Golf Club in Ayrshire, Souters Sports have been widely praised by both the club’s secretary and architect.

The West Kilbride Golf Club, established in 1893, is situated on the Ayrshire coast, with spectacular views across the Firth of Clyde to the beautiful island of Arran. As host to regular national events, West Kilbride is the most northerly of Ayrshire’s true links courses and the entire course is exposed to even the slightest breeze.

With the strongest of winds coming from the South West and North West, the 6523 yard course offers players the experience of links golf at its most demanding. West Kilbride has a committed membership base and its motto is "Gaudio Cedat Cura" - which translates to “Care gives way to joy,” which is perhaps testament to the club’s recent decision to rejuvenate over 30 bunkers. “We essentially wanted to make them look and play a lot better,” says managing secretary Graham MacKenzie.

“On some of the older bunkers the drainage had suffered and over time had developed a poor shape. We also wanted natural looking bunkers - to give the course more of a links feel and after a few members had commented on them we decided to go ahead with the project.”

The club called upon Scottish Golf Course Architects Rennie Design Ltd to undertake an analytical study of the facilities and following an in-depth report, plans for the renovation works were soon put in place.

“The next step was to put the job to tender, and myself and Stuart Rennie (managing director of Rennie Design) invited three different contractors to come in and pitch. It was at this point that we chose Souters Sports because we were most impressed with what they had done at other courses and with their overall portfolio. They came across incredibly well and we also thought that their proposal offered good value for money,” said Graham. With the architect’s vision in place and the Souters team briefed, construction commenced in late October and was complete by the end of February allowing time for establishment in advance of the season ahead.

The works incorporated the strategic repositioning of bunkers, building bunkers in similar positions, shaping support mounding and landform, drainage installation, irrigation alterations and finishing. The final piece of works was carried out on the 18th hole where the entire hole was re-bunkered to create improved strategy and deliver a visually impressive finishing hole.

“Between the architect and the club, we had a few different ideas throughout the project which changed the process but Souters were very accommodating,” says Graham.

“The feedback has been extremely good, not only from members but also from visitors who come to play on open days. The appearance is most notable and they look a lot tidier than they previously did and they also play a lot better. “I’m very happy with the work and would absolutely recommend Souters Sports and Rennie Design.

We built up a good relationship throughout the project and I would absolutely work with them again in the future.”

With such a potential complex project, Stuart was pleased that Souters were able to flawlessly bring his vision to life. “Souters Sports worked tirelessly throughout and carried out all aspects of the works in a professional manner. They were a joy to work with and Scott Maclaren and his site team pulled out all the stops to deliver the architects vision to the satisfaction of the client,” he said.

For further information, please contact Souters Sports Limited on 01236 453030 or visit www.souterssports.co.uk. Souters Sports are also on Twitter @SoutersSports.

For further information about Rennie Design please call 07977715 382 or visit www.renniedesign.co.uk / email stuart@renniedesign.co.uk

Read more…
PRO Supplier

Sherriff Amenity, the fine turf and landscaping division of Agrovista UK Limited, one of the UK’s leading agronomy firms today announces the acquisition of Terra Firma (Scotland) Ltd, one of Scotland’s largest specialist suppliers to the amenity and local authority markets.

The purchase will allow the two businesses to combine existing technical expertise and broad product ranges to provide land managers, local authorities, contractors, groundsmen and greenkeepers in Scotland with a full agronomy service, research driven advice, new product innovation and access to an extensive local distribution network.

Commenting on the announcement Simon Gough, founder of Terra Firma (Scotland) said: “Terra Firma joining with Sherriff Amenity is a really exciting prospect. The combination of both companies’ industry knowledge, experience and customer service ethos will form a strong, sustainable and service focused business model moving forward.”

Chris Clayton, Managing Director of Agrovista commented: “We are delighted to welcome Simon and his team from Terra Firma into Sherriff Amenity. The acquisition will strengthen the business in Scotland and provide synergies across the business which will ultimately benefit our customers. This combined with further product developments will generate exciting opportunities from the combined business”.

The new structure will retain all existing staff and the combined team will be led by Simon Gough.

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

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

Read more…