Stadium managers have found a Primo MAXX programme applied prior to putting down pitch covers for summer concerts can help sports turf to recover faster, and create a better playing surface for the coming season.
Sports stadium groundsmen preparing for concerts and events on their precious turf this summer can minimise the impact and get a faster recovery with a pre-event Primo MAXX programme, according to Syngenta Technical Manager, Simon Barnaby.
"Summer concerts put extra pressure on the demands of sports turf, when groundsmen would traditionally be looking to rest and rejuvenate the playing surface," he says. "New turf management techniques can help to minimise disruption and ensure the turf suffers as little as possible."
Speaking at a meeting of leading football and racecourse groundsmen at Haydock Park earlier this month - organised by Scotts and Professional Sportsturf Design - Mr Barnaby, warned the covering of sports turf can encourage the over-production of giberellic acid as plants seek out light - leading to weak, yellow growth and taking a long time to recover.
He reports the experiences of groundsmen across the country is that putting turf into 'Primo mode' prior to the pitch being covered minimises turf stress and helps reduce yellowing in the dark conditions. When the covers are lifted, the turf is typically still in a far better state and can be quickly bought back into top condition.
"Primo MAXX blocks the production of giberellic acid to reduce vertical growth, but encourages lateral growth to create a stronger denser playing surface. When treated pitches are covered for concerts, the turf is pre-conditioned to suppress growth for the duration the covers are down.
"When the covers are lifted, normal cutting can quickly be resumed to create a denser sward and improved playing surface," he advises. Mr Barnaby advocates two applications of Primo MAXX, initially four or five weeks prior to the covering being laid, and repeated one week before. He recommends application rates of between 0.8 to 1.6 l/ha, depending on the level of grass growth and the height of cut.
Once the floor covering has been removed a liquid fertiliser should be applied as soon as possible, with the normal Primo MAXX programme resumed after three weeks to allow the turf to fully recover and any over seeding to get established.
Hot humid conditions under the covers create the perfect conditions for turf diseases to thrive, warns Mr Barnaby. He advises an application of Heritage fungicide should be made prior to the flooring being laid, to give protection from disease spread.
The fast systemic movement and long lasting effects of Heritage ensures all the plant is effectively protected from a broad spectrum of turf diseases, including leaf and new growth whilst the turf is covered. "If the period of cover is protracted, inspect the turf carefully when the flooring is lifted and apply Banner MAXX to boost curative activity on disease if there is any infection visible," he adds.
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Simon Elsworth Simon Barnaby
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