The dust has barely settled after a busy BTME and it's time for the Six Nations once again. All eyes will be on the magnificent Millennium Stadium and the new Desso pitch which will be under the spotlight. Following a recent visit by Complete Weed Control, the playing surface is in sparkling condition and ready for action.
The rugby year culminates in the World Cup and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle spread all over the country utilising many different stadia.
With all winter sports getting to the 'sharp end' of the season, everyone expects the playing surfaces to be in great condition. This gives Turf Managers massive headaches - especially as we are heading into 'proper' winter conditions and temperatures are dropping.
Keeping the sward in top condition is paramount. There are many products available as witnessed by us all at Harrogate. However, the right choice for your particular sports arena depends on so many different parameters.
Soil sampling is the first way to decide what nutrients may or may NOT be required. Samples of the leaf itself can show up the stress it may be under and then decisions can be made on how to best treat the pitch.
As usual, a close eye must be kept on the latest pesticide news. By June 2016, the whole 'selective' herbicide market will change. Many of the phenoxy type ingredients of the usual three-way mixes that we are all accustomed to using will no longer be available.
This will mean that the new herbicides that have been used sparingly over the last few seasons will come to the fore. Florasulam and fluroxypyr will be the main guns in the arsenal to fight broad leaf weeds in turf. They are excellent; but will produce a sharp intake of breath when the cost per hectare is discussed in the future.
With pesticides in mind, it is worth noting that the Amenity Forum is holding a series of seminars throughout the country. This group gives all of the latest information: updates from CRD (Chemical Directorate) as well as the latest legislation and other Voluntary Initiative information. They are very worthwhile to attend for all seeking to deepen their industry knowledge. Visit www.amenityforum.co.uk or contact Independent Secretary Alan Spedding - Alan.Spedding@amenityforum.net to sign up for the nearest meeting to you.
February is the month when planning for the new season ahead is in full swing across all facets of our industry.
- What fertiliser programme?
- What herbicide choice?
- Who can do my soil sampling?
- What if ice or snow threatens the fixture?
Complete Weed Control and our Complete Ice Control teams are on hand throughout the country and able to answer all these questions. They can offer the practical solutions on applying all products safely and accurately on all sports surfaces using the most up to date technology. We have also a nationwide network for all gritting requirements.
Please see more information on our website www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk and enter your post code to find your local specialist.
Have a great 2015 and be ready for all that Mother Nature can throw at us.