Bath contractor Greensward supporting local clubs with additional aeration

Val Grahamin Contractor News

A southwest contractor is doing his part to help clubs at all levels come through turbulent times

Andy Boyce, Director of Greensward sports consultancy, based in Bath, says if pitches are playable for whatever part of the season that remains, then officials can more easily focus on business matters and financial survival.

"Every effort must be taken to ensure surfaces are optimal prior to Christmas. Effective deep aeration and recovery time will rejuvenate turf in preparation for the coldest and wettest part of winter that lies ahead.

"We're keeping our rates as keen as we can and supporting existing customers who are having it tough. When halted matches are able to resume, we want everyone to get back into their sport and start enjoying life again," he said.

A former greenkeeper for 15 years, nine of those as Course Manager at The Bath GC, Andy set up Greensward in 2008.

"A background in golf genuinely does prepare you for most turfing matters; all the H&S protocols transfer across and experience of dealing with committees comes in handy. I just fancied steering my career in a slightly different direction with more renovation and construction projects. Gradually we've built to a team of eight and we have a lot of repeat business.

"Aeration is probably the most significant intervention you can make to a turf surface to keep it healthy. I've been in the industry 30 years and I don't think anything has come along to surpass the effect of deep aeration. In the early days, as an apprentice greenkeeper, the contractor would come in once a year and spike your greens, but gradually more and more golf courses have access to their own machine.

"Regular aeration is vital for rugby, football and cricket outfields. Much of our work is for local clubs, we've probably aerated nearly 30 different sites across October, then there are maintenance contracts for schools and for Parish Councils.

"We use a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XF8 paired to New Holland T495 tractor which covers it out perfectly and has the right amount of power. We spike a full-size pitch to a depth of 220 mm in less than three hours, which suits us fine as much of the ground is bult on stone with fairly shallow rootzone.

"Across 2019 there was huge amounts of rainfall and lying water; when the rain started it never seemed to stop. But in this part of the world, the weather here has been kinder, so this season's winter maintenance on a firmer footing. But it's still a bit of a patience game doing spiking in the right conditions. When the prevailing conditions are right you need to take full advantage." said Andy Boyce.

GreenSward can be contacted on 07972 630518

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