Scotts UK Professional has invested over £50,000 in a major fine turf trials area at Scotts Levington Research Station near Ipswich - Europe's largest independent commercial horticulture and turfcare trials facility.
The project is the construction of a 2,000 sq m golf green built to full USGA specification. Four times larger than the average course green, the facility enables Scotts to research turf nutrition and chemical treatments under the specific and exacting conditions found on most new courses.
Installed by specialist contractor Ray Chisnall, the new green is built on a 100 mm coarse gravel, fully drained base, covered by a 50 mm blinding layer of finer grit to prevent integration of the rooting zone with the base. The upper rooting zone is a mixture of sand (85%) and Shamrock Superfine Peat (15%).
Trials Officer Stuart Staples explained that whilst most older greens in the UK are soil based, newer courses tend to be built on similar lines, producing a much harsher growing environment due to the very free draining nature of the substrate. "It is important that we tailor products to meet these particular circumstances, and this huge 'green' is ideal for the job. It is big enough that we can run a sufficient number of trials each year and still leave a large enough area fallow to recover from trials the previous two years," he said.