Pitch perfect

By Alistair November 18, 2023 09:43

After struggling to keep coverage on the shaded area of the pitch, Morecambe Football Club embarked on the ‘Grow-In Renovation Programme’ from Origin Amenity Solutions and hasn’t looked back since.

EFL League Two club, Morecambe, is celebrating the condition of their pitches after adopting the Grow-In Programme from Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS).

Head of grounds, Rob Davidson, comments, “I am over the moon with this year’s pitches. I am incredibly proud of the results.”

Rob joined the club in 2021 following the renovation period and during the first year he struggled to keep coverage on the shaded area of the pitch.

During a visit to Origin Turf, Science and Technology Centre, Rob had the opportunity to review the research data comparing tetraploid and diploid grass seed mixes.

For his first renovation, Rob selected R140 grass seed mix from the R range because of the tetraploid content.

He remarks, “Since using R140 at the stadium we have seen improvements in coverage, density, colour and overall turf health, especially in the shaded areas of the pitch. The germination and establishment could not have been better this year.”

“Visiting the OAS Turf, Science and Technology Centre has given me additional confidence in the products and the technical support offered by the Origin team has been excellent. With support from Origin, we have tailored the OAS Grow-In plan to suit the pitch requirements. Having a structured grow-in programme has allowed us to get the best out of the products with a limited budget.”

It’s not just about the products though. Rob adds, “Working with OAS has allowed me to enhance my education and understanding of the products I use and how to get the best from everything I apply. Their events also provide networking opportunities and a chance to meet with peers and form relationships, which I believe is an important part of our industry.”

Rob has used the OAS Grow-In Programme for his second year at the club. The Grow-In programme is borne from extensive R&D at the OAS Turf, Science and Technology Centre. It is a two-step approach which comprises a mix of products to be applied at renovation and at emergence.

The mix for application at renovation stage includes an organic soil amendment – a composted cow manure and humic acid soil conditioner, Tricure AD™ Granular – a residual wetting agent, and Mycorrhizal Inoculant – a microbial inoculant.

At emergence, the programme uses an organo-mineral fertiliser and biostimulants that feature nitrate nitrogen and molasses, providing early carbohydrates and instantly available nitrogen to promote growth and enhance plant health.

Photographs at eight weeks. Ready for the start of the season

Rob reports, “The addition of the liquid mix applied at emergence alongside the C-Complex 14.2.5 has given us a quick grow response. Cutting schedules have commenced earlier and cutting frequency has meant the third leaf stage has been reached quickly to allow for Primo Maxx applications. The biostimulant applications and organo-mineral fertilisers, supported by Verti-drain aeration, has promoted a healthy root system.”

Andy Merry, key account manager from OAS, said “It has been great working with Rob over the last few years. His professionalism and communication with the club has established a trusting relationship, enabling the renovation work required to produce a surface that performs. Rob is enthusiastic and committed to providing pitches of the highest quality using modern techniques and technology. He has improved the standards across all pitches and produced surfaces that play well and look impeccable. It has been a joy to see the results.”

For further information or to discuss a future grow-in programme for your facility, contact the OAS team on 0800 138 7222 or email sales@originamenity.com


By Alistair November 18, 2023 09:43

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