First time Toro customer, Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire, has purchased a Groundsmaster 4300-D rotary mower to tend the formal gardens. An improvement in the condition and appearance of the turf within the gardens of the 3000-acre estate is already evident.
From Easter to September, the 65 acre gardens are open to the public and with footfall increasing so too are the horticultural standards.
Jim Handley, head gardener, explains: "One of my main challenges after accepting the position at Grimsthorpe was to raise the horticultural standards of the gardens. Our expansive lawns are a major attraction for our visitors, especially those with young families, and it's my responsibility to provide them with the best turf possible to enjoy their visit.
"Soon after arriving at Grimsthorpe I realised that with our heavy clay soil, time constraints and natural mix of turf species, our cylinder mower was struggling to keep the turf in good condition. With little to no seasonal lawn maintenance being carried out previously, I have been formulating plans to begin rejuvenating our turf over a number of years. The first step was to replace our cylinder with a rotary mower to help alleviate some of the problems we were having."
With it established that a rotary mower was needed to help with the regeneration and improvement of the turf, why a Toro? Jim says: "This is our first Toro mower, chosen simply because out of all the machines we looked at, the Groundsmaster 4300-D was the most suited. Its performance and comfort was unsurpassed and the ease of height adjustment and back up service presented was very good and sealed the deal."
A rotary mower is favoured for its ability to tackle longer, thicker grass and terrain with contours and undulations with ease. Jim says: "By switching to a rotary mower we have eliminated some of the previous issues we were having. It's comfortable with the conditions of the ground and even if we miss a day cutting, it handles the longer grass easily, cutting it right back down again with no problem. Under those conditions the cylinder mower tended to roll the grass, which wasn't helping the plant's health or appearance. The rotary is helping regenerate our turf, ensuring a good quality cut, resulting with lush and green lawns."
The GM4300-D is, says Reesink Turfcare's Stewart Jeffs, incredibly productive with a mowing capacity of 5.4 acres an hour, but its lightweight design means less compaction. This is an especially important consideration for clay soil which is prone to compact.
Jim who has been working at the castle for five years and has a team of four gardeners and groundsman, says the job of raising the standard of the gardens has been made easier since the arrival of the Toro GM4300-D. "We have a lengthy programme of rejuvenation and ongoing maintenance to get our lawns to a good standard, the Toro is a fine addition to our armoury to help make this happen."
And we're delighted to hear it's in good time for the castle which for the first time will be opening in October half-term for visitors to enjoy.