Johnson’s J 4Turf 25 delivers strength at Stratford Racecourse for a busy summer season

Louise Challissin Equestrian

J 4Turf 25 from the Johnsons Sports Seed range is ticking the boxes of wear tolerance, quick establishment and fast recovery for the team at Stratford Racecourse - as the track finds itself in the midst of a packed eight-month summer race season. Head Groundsman Sam Linley has been relying on the tetraploid blend for the last two years, with the deeper rooting and harder wearing perennial ryegrasses providing outstanding strength to the highest areas of wear and tear around the track.

Racing has taken place at the Warwickshire venue since 1755, with the summer jumps track hosting a meet on average every two weeks between the months of March and October. While seasonal breaks present an opportunity for Sam and his team to conduct some remedial works in late spring and early autumn, the batches of fixtures leave little time in the remainder of the season for recovery. "Stratford isn't the biggest of tracks in terms of width and total ground" Sam explains, "so quick recovery is absolutely critical - especially in the summer where meets come thick and fast!"

"We've been using J 4Turf 25 for two years now after struggling to find a mixture that could withstand the high impact around the fences. Our Regional Technical Manager from DLF Ian Barnett together with Adam Moss from Aitkens recommended the tetraploids for their deeper rooting and we honestly can't fault the results we've had with it, particularly on the bends and the landing and take-off areas."

The blend of highly-rated diploid perennial ryegrass, along with Fabian and Tetragame 4Turf tetraploids makes J 4Turf 25 an ideal choice for equestrian use. The sward strength, outstanding visual merit and ultra-fast establishment delivered by the tetraploid cultivars have proven their worth as both a post and in-season renovation mix.

"The sooner we can get recovery post-race, the quicker we can crack on with the other maintenance tasks we need to get done, sometimes in very limited windows between fixtures. That's been brilliant with the Johnsons mix."

This year, Sam has also introduced further visual appeal to the site through the introduction of a wildflower area sown with the Chameleon mixture from DLF's ColourBoost collection. "We had a banked area in one of the enclosures which was maintained but looked a little run down. Ian and Adam suggested some high-impact wildflowers and this has transformed the space… great effect with very little effort! Not only have we had lovely comments from people admiring the display but it's been great to see more bees, butterflies and moths around." He adds, "It's been a great to compliment the work we do on the track with a real array of colour along the walkway to enhance the overall visitor experience. That's what it's all about."

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