Bruce Elliot, Head of Grounds and Estates at Crystal Palace FC, has reported excellent results after using ICL's Greenmaster Pro-Lite micro granular fertilisers as part of a balanced nutritional programme at Selhurst Park.
"Throughout my career I have always used the Greenmaster Pro-Lite range because I know exactly what I will get from it," says Bruce. "It has been the mainstay of any fertiliser programme I have ever had."
Bruce is a well-respected figurehead within the world of football groundsmanship. After starting his career in turf management by working as a greenkeeper at a nearby golf club, Bruce got his first taste of football groundsmanship by working at non-league side Crawley Town FC. In 2001 an opportunity arose to join the ground staff at Fulham FC, which then led to roles with Tottenham Hotspur FC, Millwall FC and Reading FC. In the summer of 2015 Bruce accepted the position of Head of Grounds and Estates at Crystal Palace, and it wasn't long before he introduced ICL products into his turf maintenance programme.
"Like many groundsmen; we will use Sportsmaster Pre-Seeder 8-12-8, and then within a week we start on a programme of Greenmaster Pro-Lite We'll then continue to use that throughout the playing season, changing the formulations as the season goes on."
Greenmaster Pro-Lite is an integral feature in many maintenance programmes. The micro-granule formulation allows consistent distribution, even at low rates of application, and the inclusion of zeolite improves performance and longevity. This technology produces highly 'fluid', virtually dust-free, fertilizers that spread evenly and smoothly, resulting in a consistent and predictable grass growth and colour response.
After trying various application rates at different timings, Bruce believes he has now found the ideal formula for Selhurst Park.
"I use Sierrablen Plus Stress Control 15-0-28 as a base feed every 8 weeks and then feed on top with the Greenmaster Pro-Lite NK 12-0-12 on a weekly basis from spring through to late summer. In the winter we change to Greenmaster Pro-Lite Double K 7-0-14 - just to lower the nitrogen and increase the potassium rates.
"We have tried Greenmaster Pro-Lite at various spacings - whether fortnightly or monthly - but we have found that applying it on a weekly basis at a slightly lower rate gives us better results. We apply it at 20g per square metre and this little and often approach is now paying dividends.
"We always know what we are going to get from it - we get a healthy plant, we get good growth, good colour, good vigour, and that combined with other products from the ICL range gives us a healthy pitch that will carry us through the whole season."
In ensuring that the pitch stays in line with Bruce's high expectations, he works alongside Nick Martin - ICL Technical Area Sales Manager for the South West & London - who is always available for advice according to Bruce.
"I work in conjunction with Nick, who has fantastic technical knowledge and provides me with excellent support. Together we've looked at different ways in feeding the pitch and we have now come up with an approach which is working for us. The results simply speak for themselves."
Pitchcare are an appointed distributor of ICL products. Visit the Pitchcare Store to view the full range