The cricket pitch at Stamford School in Lincolnshire received plenty of compliments following a second PCA England Masters day of cricket held in July, reports the school's Head of Grounds, Bob Carder.
Nearly 3000 spectators watched an All Star Masters XI - including Mark Ramprakash and Neil Fairbrother - take on the 'Rest of the World' - including South African batsman Ashwell Prince, and West Indies fast bowler Corey Colleymore.
Bob Carder says: "It was a high scoring and very close match: 260 vs. 261 runs with one ball to spare! The pitch did play very well, and several players made a point of telling me so. Ashwell Prince even said it was better than some of the county grounds he had played on around the world!"
Now the cricket match has been played, Bob and his team have until the end of the school holidays to get the outfields back into condition with a sward height of 3-4" ready for rugby matches when the pupils return.
Stamford School has two cricket pitches. During August, the two squares will be renovated using Limagrain's summer sports mixture MM50. Bob Carder explains: "This year we'll be oversowing five bags of MM50 seed into the main square, and three bags onto the other square."
Bob has been Head of Grounds at Stamford School for the past nine years, covering three sites and running a team of six groundsmen. For the past seven years, the cricket squares have been renovated with MM50.
The winter sports pitches (including the cricket outfield) are seeded with MM60. Both are 100% perennial ryegrass mixtures, treated with Headstart to boost germination and establishment, and supplied by Sherriff Amenity.
Bob says: "The germination of the MM mixtures is very good, and the grass holds its colour well, despite the heavy clay soil that we have here."
Bob likes to experiment with different grass products and techniques, but not at the School! Instead he uses his own back garden to try out new ideas first. "It's ok to mess it up at home!" is his view.
Limagrain's MM50 can be purchased from the Pitchcare shop
For more information visit: http://www.limagrain.co.uk/index.php