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					                               GREEN FLASH
                                News from the grass seed specialists                                  Spring 2009 Edition

Welcome                        How a Southampton golf club
TOP GREEN have been
                               achieves greater grass cover
developing and trialling       WHEN TWO brothers looked
the ‘next generation’ of       to diversification from farming
grass seed cultivars for       their love of golf took them on
professionals.                 a new course. And at the East
  Hand picked, these are       Horton Golf Centre playing
used to create Mascot          conditions continue to rise
mixtures supplied by           with excellent grass cover
leading grass seed agent       playing a vital role.
Rigby Taylor.                    In the 1970s Ed Bastian
  Significant benefits         and his brother Richard
of these latest cultivars      moved to a farm near
include quicker                Southampton and in 1992
establishment, greater         their dream of becoming golf
disease tolerance, the         club owners became a reality                                            Steve Denton of Rigby Taylor (left)
ability to cope with           when they set up the East                      and Marcus Hewitt inspect dramatic improvements on green
drought and waterlogged        Horton Golf Centre. Proving
conditions and importantly     extremely popular with the          of the most significant              conditions were never
grass which requires less      public a second 18-hole             improvements has seen the            going to improve. There
cutting.                       course was built in 1994            first green on the Greenwood         was considerable lack of
                               and a family par three 9-hole       Course re-built and grass            airflow and very little sunlight
  With more and more
                               facility added later.               cover increase dramatically.         in winter so to improve
greenkeepers, groundsmen
                                                                                                        conditions a hedge was
and local authorities asking    Sowing standards                     Hewitt explains: “New
                                                                   grass cultivars have been            taken out and banking areas
for mixtures that have a
                                  Nine greenkeepers care for       a vital ingredient to this           removed. The green itself was
reduced impact on the
                               the East Horton Golf Centre         success.                             raised by 500mm and tripled
environment these cultivars
                               and this includes Marcus                                                 in size to 680 square metres.
address sustainability and                                           “On the agronomy side
                               Hewitt who has been with                                                     Seeding took place and the
environmental concerns.                                            Brian Robinson of Rigby
                               the course from its inception,                                           programme was specifically
  These advances help          becoming head greenkeeper           Taylor has been marvellous
to ensure we in the UK                                             at offering advice on the            designed to develop the
                               five years ago.                                                          density of grass cover and
can continue to enjoy our         The course is predomi-           different cultivars we should
sports and landscaped                                              be using. And this has               depth of root. And Amino-
                               nantly clay with a sand belt                                             Form was added to aid
areas in a ‘green and          running through the middle          worked extremely well.”
pleasant land’.                                                                                         establishment and root
                               of it.                                 As this USGA spec green           development.
                                  Recognizing that first           is located on the edge of a
                                                                                                            To improve shade and wear
                               impressions count, one              30-acres ancient woodland
                                                                                                        tolerance Mascot R116 shade
                                                                                                        renovation mix was selected
   INSIDE THIS                                                                                          and sown at a rate of 35gms/
  LATEST ISSUE                                                                                          m2. R128 was chosen for
                                                                                                        use on the banks because
 • School cricket soars                                                                                 of its good shade and wear
 • Sustainability sorted                                                                                characteristics.
 • Latest grass seed                                                                                        Hewitt is now considering
   solutions for sports                                                                                 extending the programme
 • Tackling topical issues                                                                              further saying: “Today
 • Converting pitch                                                                                     it is essential golf clubs
   problems at grass                                                                                    strive to be better than the
   roots level                                                                                          competition and present the
 • Striking grass seeds                                                                                 course really well. Great grass
                                                                                                        cover using new cultivars
   at airports
                                                                                                        plays a vital part in achieving
                                        Head greenkeeper Marcus Hewitt (left) with owner Ed Bastian     this.”

                                                       GREEN FLASH

School cricket soars                                                                                                Sustainability
                                                                                                                    is sorted
                                                                                                                    THE ‘NEXT GENERATION’
                                                                                                                    of grasses designed to cope
                                                                                                                    with a changing climate
                                                                                                                    pattern are being developed
                                                                                                                    by Top Green.
                                                                                                                      Vitally grass seed mixtures
                                                                                                                    now available are designed
                                                                                                                    specifically to produce
                                                                                                                    less clippings. This has
                                                                                                                    considerable implications
                                                                                                                    as the cost of on-going
                                                                                                                    grass cutting is often a key
                                                                                                                    budgetary issue.
                                                                                                                      Stephen Alderton says:
                                                                                                                      “If we all cut our grass
                                                                                                                    once less a year a lot of
                                                                                                                    fuel and labour would be
                                                                                                    James Mead         Successful trials on
                                                                           takes cricket pitches to another level   roadside verges at Torbay
                                                                                                                    and the M25 network have
AT RUGBY SCHOOL - of Tom             visual look is excellent too.            conjunction with Microflow-           demonstrated the true value
Brown’s schooldays fame                 “We change the wickets                CX a controlled release liquid        and importance of these
- head groundsman James              around so we can always                  fertilizer.                           slower growing varieties.
Mead is keen to take the six         have the pitch nice and green              James Mead says:
                                                                                                                       Top Green’s research trial
cricket pitches to another           when we want it. The lovely                “This gives top presentation
                                                                                                                    work is continuing to develop
level.                               thing about school cricket               levels and we also ensure
                                                                                                                    a tall fescue cultivar with
  Since Mead joined this             is we have time to allow the             whatever member of our
                                                                                                                    shorter growth habit, making
prestigious school three years       grass to re-grow.”                       18-strong grounds staff
                                                                                                                    it highly suitable for golf
ago a regular overseeding               A perennial ryegrass                  cuts the grass the result is
                                                                                                                    course use.
programme has paid                   mixture Mascot R9 containing             consistent.
                                                                                                                       Already flourishing
dividends.                           40 per cent Ace, 20 per                     “Securing quality sports
                                                                                                                    rhizomatous tall fescue
  He says: “What I like is           cent Tucson, 20 per cent                 pitches for pupils is vital and
                                                                                                                    Grande has a vital role to play
this keeps the square alive,         Greenflash and 20 per                    we strive to maintain the
                                                                                                                    in a mix, coping well with
bouncy and vibrant and the           cent Greenway is used in                 highest standards.”
                                                                                                                    dramatic extremes of dry or
                                                                                                                    wet weather conditions due
                 GETTING SEED OFF TO A GOOD START                                                                   to its deep rooting structure.
 FOLLOWING extensive trials over the last twelve months Rigby Taylor is introducing ESP (Enhanced                      Tall fescue Scorpiones
 Seed Performance) seed coating to their Mascot range progressively during 2009, commencing with                    also boosts turf density
 Mascot R14 in the spring. This new initiative means the plant gains the benefits of a specially-formulated         and is included in Rigby
 biostimulant coating as soon as it germinates - resulting in improved seed establishment, turf density and         Taylor mixes for sports and
 root mass as well as strengthening the grass and so reducing the potential for disease.                            landscaping applications.

Latest grass seed solutions for sports
VISITING TOP GREEN’S                 rooting grass with faster
                                     respiration to help dry the
                                                                                        Tackling topical issues
Les Alleuds trial grounds in
                                     cricket wickets.                           AMAZING BREAKTHROUGHS have led to the introduction
France gives greenkeepers
                                       “Priority has now been                   of grass cultivars with tremendous benefits including:
and groundsmen the
                                     given to this within Top                   • Slower growing cultivars reducing maintenance costs and
opportunity to see first-hand
                                     Green’s research and                         helping to reduce the carbon footprint.
the next generation of grass
                                     development programme.”                    • Reduced clippings saving on disposal and impact on the
seed cultivars aimed at
improving disease resistance,
                                                                                • Greater drought resistance for great looking grass without
stress resistance and which
                                                                                  using our valuable water resources.
can cope with heavy wear.
                                                                                • Quicker establishment for greater protection from soil
  Grass seed development
manager for Rigby Taylor,
                                                                                • Cultivars more able to cope with waterlogged conditions
Stephen Denton, says:
                                                                                  to give greater stabilization and improved grass cover.
“Following discussions with a
                                                                                • An increased ability to withstand windchill providing
group of cricket groundsmen
                                                     Stephen Alderton             greater growth throughout the seasons together with a
at Les Alleuds it became clear
                                        at Les Alleuds grass trial plots          more even and harder-wearing sward.
they would welcome a deeper

                                                 GREEN FLASH
Converting pitch problems at grass roots level                                                      Top team for great
                                                                                                    grass results
                                                                                                    WORKING IN collaboration
                                                                                                    leading seed agent Rigby Taylor
                                                                                                    bridges the gap between the
                                                                                                    specialist grass seed breeding
                                                                                                    programme of Top Green and
                                                                                                                        Director of
                                                                                                                        Seed Research
                                                                                                                        at Rigby Taylor,
                                                                                                                        says: “By
                                                                                                                        taking the
                                                                                                                        time to make
                                                                                                                        personal visits
                                                                                                                        to golf clubs,
                                                                                                    local authorities and sports
                                                                                                    providers we find out exactly
                                                                                                    what their requirements are.
                                                                                                    “We then feed this information
                                                                                                    to Top Green who ensures all
                                                                                                    major issues are included in its
                                                                      Bishop Stortford Rugby Club   breeding programmes.”
                                                                                                    These top-rating cultivars are
                                                                                                    then included in Rigby Taylor’s
EXCELLENT RESULTS have              “So far the performance       rhizomatous and non-              dedicated Mascot mixtures,
been achieved at Bishop           of the selected cultivar        rhizomatous tall fescues          which are successfully used by
Stortford Rugby Club,             mixture has exceeded all our    together with rye was             sports and amenity professionals
following overseeding carried     expectations.”                  included in the mix.              With a wealth of experience Brian
out by groundsman Gareth                                             “Tall fescue is a really
Davies in conjunction with           Great results                remarkable species with
                                                                                                    Robinson and the Rigby Taylor
                                                                                                    team are the specialist grass
Rigby Taylor.                       This pitch was in constant    unrivalled recovery and           seed agents you can rely on and
                                                                                                    are the sole distributors of quality
   Remedies were sought to        use for training and games      tensile strength,” says Brian     Top Green seed in the UK.
overcome poor pitch quality,      of rugby so suffered from       Robinson.
shade issues and very uneven      reduced grass cover.               Now the trial work is paying                      STEPHEN
levels on the third team pitch.   Starting with a good            tremendous dividends and                             ALDERTON
                                                                                                                       is Marketing
   Using specially selected       foundation, pitch               management of the pitch has                          Manager for
grass cultivars from leading      improvements included           also changed. Gareth says:                           major specialist
breeder Top Green these           the introduction of sand to     “Instead of bashing the pitch                        seed breeder
trials included a planned         ameliorate and create an even   to death through continual                           Top Green and
                                  playing surface.                                                                     at their Les
management programme.                                             training we have put more                            Alleuds trial
   “Correct seed selection is       Quick to establish, Mascot    controls down.                                       grounds in
always a vital element when       R14 was overseeded at           “But we have had more             France he oversees development
seeking to improve a sports       one end of the pitch, as it     games on the pitch than ever      of exciting new cultivars.
                                                                                                    Alderton says: “Part of our very
surface,” says Brian Robinson     produces extended growth        before.”                          latest research includes looking
of Rigby Taylor.                  periods at lower temperatures      For individual advice on       at new festuloliums, a cross
   “We were particularly          and provides good wear and      increasing grass cover            between tall fescue and ryegrass,
keen to confirm how well tall     recoverability.                 please contact Rigby Taylor       which produce a plant with the
                                                                                                    beneficial characteristics of deep
fescue fares in this particular     At the shaded end of          on freephone 0800 424919          roots from the fescue combined
sports situation.                 the pitch a mixture of               with the wear tolerance of

How to encourage biodiversity
                                                                                                                       DENTON as
                                                                                                                       Grass Seed
                                                                                                                       Manager at
BY COMBINING new grasses
                                                                                                                       Rigby Taylor
with a wildflower or floral                                                                                            supports Brian
planting mix from Rigby                                                                                                Robinson
Taylor a beautiful vista can                                                                                           in trial work
be created. With serious                                                                                               on specialist
                                                                                                    projects. He also liaises with the
concerns about declining                                                                            professional sales team enabling
wildlife populations from                                                                           them to give tremendous support
sparrows to bumble bees it                                                                          to customers.
is vital to provide a natural                                                                       Stephen Denton says: “We as a
                                                                                                    company work hard to ensure
haven for animals and                                                                               customers receive sound advice
insects. What better than a                                                                         and supply select cultivars which
combination of sustainable                                                                          enable them to produce an
grasses and stunning                                                                                excellent sward to cope with all
                                                                                                    weather conditions.”

                                                         GREEN FLASH
Chilly Cairngorms                                                                                       Development of new cultivars in the Cairngorms

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION                 Benefits achieved from
of what is thought to be              Cairngorms trials:
Europe’s largest vegetation           n Seeds germinate quickly at
translocation and                       low temperatures to help
reinstatement project in the            create immediate
Scottish Cairngorms is still            groundcover. This makes a
reaping significant benefits.           dramatic difference in
   Challenging conditions               helping to combat soil
with altitudes spanning from            erosion on site.
600 metres to more than               n Cultivars have been
1,080 metres and with winds             developed which are
often gusting up to 100mph              tremendously resilient. They
meant it was vital to create            will grow at temperatures
immediate ground cover. And             down to less than 40
cultivars developed for this            degrees F, six degrees C.
project are now being used            n Grass grows more into the
to great effect in sports and           winter months improving
landscaping applications.               wearability. This is essential
                                        in Eastern England where
  As a testimonial to this              a cold wind often means
dedicated research in the
                                        growth does not start until
Cairngorms Scottish National
Heritage has agreed to                  later in the season.
Rigby Taylor mixes and Top            n Grass seed is now available
Green cultivars being used at           to create grass areas
many highly sensitive sites,            that produce less clippings
including the Lake District             - making considerable
National Park.                          savings on maintenance.

Leading role for our parks Striking grass seeds at airports
IN OUR PARKS and open                 grass sites to foster                    BIRD STRIKE is a major                  maintenance structure.”
spaces local authorities and          biodiversity.                            problem at our airfields.                  Grass at airfields has
landscapers are responsible              Brian Robinson of Rigby               Airport authorities have                generally been kept at
for bringing the public, green        Taylor says: “It is a huge               became more and more                    around 150mm in height
grass and plants together like        commitment to change                     aware of this fact and a                as birds are then very wary
no other part of the industry.        something you have always                remedy has been found                   of landing but the type of
Getting the community                 used, but grass varieties have           through the dedicated                   agricultural ryegrass species
closer to nature is a vital           moved on and upgraded                    mixtures from Rigby Taylor.             originally used create
role for them – particularly          cultivars provide far greater               Brian Robinson says:                 decaying matter – now
within inner city and urban           efficiency. Most importantly our         “We have now created low                sometimes 100mm deep.
environments.                         parks and open spaces have               clipping grasses which                  Creating an ideal habitat for
  Best practice can include           a key role to play in helping to         maintain a bird deterrent and           mammals such as voles and
setting aside experimental            combat high CO2 levels.”                 require less maintenance.”              rats this then encourages birds
                                                                                                                       of prey – further heightening
                                                                                  Flying forward                       the danger to aircraft.
   Sound solution to pathways in Derbyshire                                        When airports and RAF                  Robinson says: “Our aim
  PROMOTION OF OUTDOOR and leisure activities means                            stations were first built               is to create a thicker sward
  footpaths in public places are under continual pressure.                     they adopted a long grass               at the bottom to prevent
    And in the Derbyshire National Parks grass seed has                        policy but existing grasses             weed grasses from being
  been applied in a unique way to cause minimal damage to                      encourage insects which                 able to come through.”
  the landscape - by helicopter.                                               then attract higher and higher             The BAA, Ministry of
  Brian Robinson of Rigby Taylor says:                                         populations of birds.                   Defence and Civil Aviation
    “Here we created a bespoke mix so some grasses are                             Robinson says: “As a result         Authorities recognize the
  designed to die back after three to five years to allow                      it is apparent that these areas         tremendous value of these
  natural vegetation to re-establish.                                          either need major renovation            new hand-picked mixtures
  “This is crucial to sustain these areas of natural beauty.”                  or significant changes in their         from Rigby Taylor.

                                                             YOUR CONTACTS
          • Brian Robinson on 01483 446900 email: • Stephen Denton on 07770 762819 email:
                                          • Stephen Alderton on 0033 241 689 905 e:mail:
   • HEAD OFFICE: Rigby Taylor House, Crown Lane, Horwich, Bolton BL6 5HP. Tel 01204 677777 • REGIONAL OFFICES: SOUTH: Guildford, Surrey (01483 446900)
                 SCOTLAND: Newbridge, Midlothian (0131 333 3344) • Email for all inquiries: • FREEFONE 0800 424919


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