College Pitch Cover is a real 'Match Saver'
COVERING the First Eleven net area on the main cricket square at Radley College in Oxfordshire Head Groundsman Adam King has been testing out his new Climate Cover System from Total Turf Solutions (TTS).
Working at the College for more than three years, Adam says: "This cover is a real match saver. The biggest benefit is you can leave the cover down for long periods without it being detrimental to the health of the grass plant. Results have been extremely good."
Adam is responsible for eight cricket squares, a nine-hole golf course and two Astro pitches that cater for tennis, hockey and football - so he and his team have an extremely busy schedule. This makes 'ease of use' another important factor for the new cover.
"Two people can handle our 40ft x 80ft cover very comfortably, even in windy conditions," says Adam. "It only weighs 49 kg and we have been extremely impressed - not only with how lightweight the material is, but also how strong."
Covers comply to European norms including ENV343 for Resistance to Water Penetration (Class 3) and Breathability (Class 2&3).
Key to good cricket
Adam feels working with a team of highly competent and capable staff is pivotal to creating a good cricket pitch. Using up to date machinery and the climate cover has gone a long way in helping to create top conditions for the season.
"Aeration is extremely important and has been carried out six times during the winter using a punch action spiker," says Adam. "We sow with Barenbrug grass seed and on the first 11 square Johnsons Sauvignon and Margarita are also used. Scotts granular fertilizers are applied to help maintain a healthy sward."
Weather conditions always makes a dramatic difference to the management practices carried out by Adam and his team and watering is only done when really necessary. "On the other hand, if the weather is inclement, the covers will certainly save a match," he says, "because when the youngsters play it is light enough for them to pull across."
Plans are now in hand to cover all eight cricket squares over the next few years and Adam plans to use TTS covers which are 25ft x 80 ft and weigh just 35 kg.
NB: At the moment, the Climate Cover System is used and awaiting orders at two test match ground and five county grounds. Many of the top schools also have or are awaiting covers. Over the winter, trials have been taking place in the West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, and USA. The best test has been carried out at the Dallas Cowboys NFL by the Head Groundsman Chris Morrow. The test is still on going but the images show that the Climate Cover System was left on Bermuda grass for TWO months over without any signs of disease/fungi/mould. In fact, the cover kept the Bermuda grass growing.
For full technical details on this 'match saver' cover system telephone David Bates, Technical Director for Total Turf Solutions on: 01604 750 555, Mobile: 07973 885 775 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org