Sound product advice and selection boosts establishment

Ellie Parryin Industry News

Pitches at Pembroke College low resApplying Sierrablen Plus Stress Control controlled-release fertilizer last autumn to eight totally renovated and reseeded grass tennis courts has resulted in first-class establishment of all newly-sown surfaces, according to Trevor Munns, Sports Ground Manager at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

The use of Sierrablen Plus Stress Control as the sole post-seeding fertilizer for the renovated grass courts followed recommendations made by Scotts' Technical Area Sales Manager, Lewis Blois, as Trevor explained.

"I spoke with Lewis prior to lifting, re-laying, levelling and reseeding the eight tennis courts in early September 2010," he said. "The two key requirements were to obtain good establishment of the new, fine-leaved perennial ryegrass mix ahead of the winter while also helping the sward tick-over until the spring."

Trevor's specific requirements led to Lewis recommending Sierrablen Plus Stress Control 4-5 Months, an advanced, controlled-release mini-granular fertilizer with a 15+5+22+2%MgO formulation suitable for use on turf cut above 6mm and designed to give the best possible preparation for winter and a full, green sward in the spring.

Of particular importance to Trevor was the fertilizer's four to five month longevity following application thanks to its advanced Poly-S coating that provides optimum controlled-release of nutrients in line with the plant's growth stage. The high proportion of potassium within the formulation helps develop tougher cell walls, resulting in strong grass plants better able to endure low temperatures and adverse weather conditions.

Applied by pedestrian spreader at a rate of 35gm/sq m approximately four weeks after seeding, the mini granules gave excellent distribution during spreading, followed by rapid dispersal into the sward.

"I had been a little concerned about the thinnish grass cover following sowing, but the controlled feeding action of the Scotts fertilizer soon dispelled any worries," points out Trevor. "The new grasses really perked up prior to the outset of the colder weather and then sat there ticking over just as I had wanted during the harsh conditions from late November through to January."

By the first week of February, the longer daylight hours and warmer weather saw the sward thickening up and putting on growth, enabling Trevor to take a high cut and carry out a light aeration of the surface to relieve capping caused by frost and snow.

Following an application of Scotts' Sierraform GT Spring Start (16+0+16+Fe+Mn) in mid-March, Trevor will return to using Sierrablen Plus in April, using Spring Starter 4-5 Months (24+5+8+2%MgO) to feed the eight tennis courts through the summer months.

"Although I haven't used Scotts products extensively in the past, the future will be different thanks to the results achieved using Sierrablen Plus and the excellent advice and technical support provided by Lewis," commented Trevor. "The company has a very good reputation and I am now in a position to see why."

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