A new grass seed mixture for winter games pitches has been turning heads at trial plots throughout the country as groundsmen begin to prepare in earnest for end of season renovations.
ProSelect 1, a blend of three Perennial Ryegrasses, was launched in the UK last year by Scotts Professional.
"As a football and rugby mixture it ticks all the boxes in terms of the characteristics you'd want in a premium ryegrass mix", explains Mark Rayner, seed specialist at Scotts. "It establishes rapidly to produce a deep rooting, dense sward with superb wear tolerance. It is shown to repair quickly from divots and is resistance to disease, cold and drought."
But it is the rich, dark green winter colour that has been catching the eye of turf professionals, particularly those preparing pitches for professional sports clubs.
The three ryegrasses in ProSelect 1, Roadrunner, Vantage and Citation Fore, were bred specifically for their visual merit in America by Scotts' breeding partner, Pure-Seed Testing Inc, a pioneer in turfgrass breeding and one of the most productive and respected breeding companies in the world. The trio were all awarded the Scotts Visual Merit icon, which helps end-users identify varieties that have met or surpassed rigid standards when subjected to a programme of intense, trait-specific trials.
ProSelect 1 has been sown in trial plots alongside other leading ryegrass mixtures at Scotts' Levington Research Station near Ipswich. Each plot receives identical inputs and maintenance but the colour differential is clear to see, even during the winter months when the grass plant is dormant.
"The plots really are stunning", Mark added. "When you're preparing playing surfaces at major sports venues, aesthetics are important and definition and contrast are all key considerations for match preparation. Turf managers want their pitches to have rich winter colour, achieved without the excessive use of nitrogen or iron and these grasses make that possible."
For more information about ProSelect 1, visit www.scottsprofessional.co.uk and click on 'grass seeds' in the Turf & Amenity section.
Photograph caption: The colour differential between ProSelect 1 and other Perennial Ryegrass mixtures is clearly visible even in the midst of winter at Scotts' Levington Research Station.