It's not often that you can find the WOW factor these days. We are bombarded with images and events which at one time would have been spectacular and have now through the internet have become the norm. But there is nothing blasé about the effects a complete renovation using the Campey Turf Care Technique and equipment has had on the pitch at one of Irelands best known colleges, Belvedere.
The new rugby pitch is quite spectacular and Head Groundsman David Geraghty is absolutely blown away with the change. "It is the speed at which this pitch has recovered from what can only be called extreme renovation processes, that is so remarkable. Within only 3 weeks we were cutting the new grass. After 5 or 6 weeks the pitch is in immaculate condition and fully operational again. If I had not seen it I wouldn't have found it hard to believe that such a dramatic change could be achieved in such a short space of time. Truly impressive."
The renovation started on the 28th March this year and Belvedere College allowed other interested parties to come along for a Renovation Open Day on the 29th to witness the procedures. Dignam Landscapes kindly supplied five Deutz Fahr tractors with drivers to use for the two days required to carry out the work.
The first stage was to remove the surface top layer complete with any poa-annua or organic material, leaving a smooth level surface. Koro-ing has revolutionised the way pitch renovation is carried out and has now become a generic term for this form of removing old, tired sports surfaces. A Koro by Imants 2.5m Top Maker was used in this instance.
Top dressing followed, applied using the fast, wide spread width of the Dakota 410 and 412 dressers. To incorporate the dressing and aerate the underlying soils, a Koro 1.9m Recycler worked through the soil pan to create a mixture which would drain more effectively and provide an excellent environment to encourage microbial activity which in turn would promote a healthy root zone.
David has his own Imants 1.5m Shockwave which had already proved its worth at Belvedere by radically improving the deep drainage on other pitches. To get through the necessary workload in the limited time available a wider Imants 2.2m model was used to relive any deep seated compaction.
Using the Shockwave is another essential step in achieving the complete re-birth of a sports pitch. "It's not just about improving drainage, drying out the soil, reducing the compaction. What was most noticeable was the overall quality of the playing surface." Said David "It has obviously had a dramatic effect on the root zone, because the grass is strong and able to withstand the impact of continuous play."
Levelling and amelioration the top into a fine tilth ready for seeding was achieved using a Koro Speed harrow 4100, leaving the surface in the perfect condition to maximise germination. A Vredo 2.5mt Seeder and a Raycam 1.8m Dimple Seeder were used to apply the seed.
More information is available at www.campeyturfcare.com. Campeys are now on facebook - www.facebook.com/campeys