In the UK, we are not alone in having endured the wettest summer in living memory. Over in Denmark it has been equally wet, with many outdoor events having to either subject grassed areas to heavy trafficking and the inevitable mud bath or face cancellation. But at one showground, careful seeding with the right grass mixtures has really helped keep 'the show on the road". Could your venue benefit in the same way?
The Roskilde showground, 20 miles west of Copenhagen is one of the most used summer venues in the country. Numerous summer events include Roskilde Dyrskueplads, the largest Agricultural and Country Fair in Northern Europe and Roskilde Dyrskue, an equestrian festival that sees eventing and horse drawn vehicle displays and races all taking part in the main ring. And if that was not enough to turn the ring into a mud bath, it is followed by the Roskilde Music Festival, a Viking run and a Hawker's Market (Country Fair).
So how is the showground's main ring able to withstand all this wear and tear, particularly in the extremely wet June and July it has had to endure in 2012? Careful management is of course a key factor. But so too is selecting the right grass varieties.
"We have to make sure, that the grass in the main ring is resilient enough to host all these events in succession," says Camille Mortensen of contractors OK GrønAnlæg. "This means we have to select grasses that establish quickly and can regrow following intensive wear."
The grass mixtures chosen for the task were supplied by DLF-TRIFOLIUM. OKGrønAnlæg began the preparations for this summer's hardships in spring by an initial thorough aeration of the ring. Next, the surface was overseeded using the grass mixture Turbo Masterline. A key to this mix is its 50% content of Axcella, a new type of Westerwolds annual ryegrass,Loliumwesterwoldicum, which has the ability to grow at lower temperatures than other types of grass.
In the cooler than average summer in Northern Europe this year, this enables the grass to establish very quickly. But that is not all. It also has rapid recovery, enabling it to re-establish itself fast in areas of wear and tear. Other varieties within the Turbo Masterline mix compliment the Westerwold grasses, enabling the main ring to recover rapidly following periods of intensive use.
"Hot on the hooves of heavy bulls at the Country Fair, the showground had to endure over 100,000 rocking feet from the music festival. This requires hard-core grass!" states StigOddershede, Communications Manager for DLF-TRIFOLIUM. "Should you be unfortunate enough to spill your beer you need not worry about the grass. Turbo Masterline likes a drink and is ideally suited to all types of festival."
Camillie Mortensen adds his company would have liked to overseed the main ring between the Roskilde Dyrskue Equestrian Fair and the Roskilde Music Festival but there was simply not enough time to get the new grass established properly. This is due in part to the erection of large marquees for the festivals. There is no chance for sown seed to germinate under canvass. So OKGrønAnlæg will overseed the site in the middle of August when both the Viking Run and the Hawker's Market (Country Fair) have taken place.
This time however, Camille Mortensen will be using another seed mix from DLF-TRIFOLIUM, SuperligaMasterline. This includes a 4turf tetraploid ryegrass, which is incredibly winter-hardy and other ryegrasses that are among the toughest on the market. This should ensure Roskilde is ready for next year's events, come rain or shine.
DLF Trifolium Limited, Thorn Farm, Inkberrow, Worcestershire, WR7 4LJ
Tel: +44 (0)1386 791102 - Fax: +44 (0)1386 792715 - www.dlf.co.uk