Delivering the strongest coverage, density and recovery Head Groundsman Andy Ellett has seen in his 13 seasons at the club, J Nitro Premier Wicket is taking the quality of Exeter's County Ground to new levels. Having switched to the Johnsons Sports Seed mixture two seasons ago, Andy says the improvements in surface quality have delivered a wicket that now resembles a bowling green!
Andy Ellett (right) with volunteer groundsman Steve Hinde (left)
Cricket has been played at the County Ground for over 130 years, with the club investing in a brand-new pavilion, opened in 2016. "The developments in other areas of the Ground made me review elements of our maintenance programme and it was our local distributor who recommended the J Premier Wicket seed mix. From our very first pass, the improvements in sward quality were evident and when Ian Barnett from DLF Seeds came in to look at the results, he suggested the next step would be to give the ProNitro® coated option a try."
The ProNitro® coating on J Premier Wicket ensures the germinating and developing seedling receives the full benefit of the additional nutrients. Combining both fast acting and slow release sources of nitrogen, ProNitro® encourages faster, more uniform establishment and rapid, strong growth. "We applied the J Nitro Premier Wicket at the end of the 2019 season, and then used it for repairs on the bowling and batting ends. In the past it would have taken us two months to get these high-wear areas back but with the coated seed, we saw germination in a week, and we achieved full coverage in under a month."
"Sward density and appearance have all improved, as has root growth meaning the wicket is now looking, playing and wearing much better." After closing the gates during the pandemic, the club is gradually re-opening and Andy looks forward to hosting play once again over the coming weeks and months. He concludes, "I can confidently say that as it stands, the wicket has never been better."
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