Started thinking about rejuvenating hard worked winter pitches yet? 'Don't delay - act now' is the message from British Seed Houses.
Spring is such a busy time that groundsmen should plan ahead, suggests BSH's Richard Brown. "Think about your grass seed mixture selection well ahead of when you want to reseed, "he says. "Look at the STRI list - check the qualities of each cultivar."
A little research can help pinpoint the exact mixture for your needs - does a packed year round programme mean that you need good recovery after matches? Are shading, drought or cold weather important issues for your pitch? By working your way down the lists you can select cultivars to improve your sward and gain better performance from sportsturf.
British Seed Houses' A20 Ryesport, for example, is a mixture of perennial ryegrasses Vesuvius, Lucius, Cadix and Carnac, offering outstanding cultivar performance. Benefits include an attractive dark green colour summer and winter, excellent recovery after matches and a high shoot density for quick establishment and strong growth.
Richard also advises groundsmen to take time to consider their fertiliser programme. "Don't sit tight until the grass desperately needs the fertiliser - why not put some down now?
" Standard fertilisers can give a 'flush' of growth at the wrong moment, leaving the plant vulnerable to disease, while nitrates not used by the plant can leach into watercourses which is costly to the environment and the finances, so groundsmen are understandably reluctant to apply fertiliser until the growing season.
But Floranid fertilisers use slow release Isodur technology, converting nitrogen into ammonium and nitrates which can be used by the plant only when conditions are right for growth. The range includes formulations for all types of sports surfaces, including Floranid Turf, designed for medium to high intensity use such as on pitches.
"Floranid Turf (IBDU fertiliser) works in tune with the plant," Richard explains. "It's 100 per cent environmentally safe and won't get leached away with the rain. When there's enough warmth and moisture it will release the nutrients."
"So, put it down before the grass is growing. As soon as the grass wants the nutrients, they will be there. Put it down early in the season - that is now, while there's not so much going on in your regular maintenance schedule, and enjoy the results when the pace of life starts to pick up!"
Paul Fiske of Aberdeen Football Club is one head groundsman who has seen the benefits of this approach: "I've been very impressed with our training pitches during the extremely wet summer and autumn of 2009," he says.
"Working in the world of budgets as most of us do these days, the use of Floranid fertilisers in conjunction with A20 seed has not only cut costs compared to our previous use of conventional fertilisers, but also offered time savings. We have been able to significantly reduce our applications as we are getting up to 12 weeks longevity from Floranid. In the extremely wet period we've had this last six months that is remarkable.
Going into a new budget year, Floranid fertilisers will certainly be at the top of my list."
British Seed Houses, Camp Road, Witham St Hughs, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN6 9QJ UK
Tel: +44 (0)1522 868714 - Fax: +44 (0)1522 868095 -www.britishseedhouses.com