Jayne Leyland Grass Seed Presentation 12/Nov/2008
Jayne is R&D manager at Barenbrug UK. She gave an extremely informative presentation covering a variety of Barenbrug grass seed products which are useful for maintenance of cricket pitches.
This is a summary ………..
The main requirements of fine turf grass are –
Tolerance to close mowing
High shoot density
Typically blends of perennial ryegrass are used, but Barenbrug are experimenting with other species – like crested hairgrass – which can provide greater root strength and density.
Our own Paul Agar is taking part in one of these trials.
Jayne was enthusiastic about a new ryegrass blend, available for the first time this year, called BAR50. This provides significantly faster establishment and also germinates at very low temperatures – as low as 3 deg C. Jayne thought it could be a godsend for mid-season pitch end repairs and also for sorting out bald areas pre-season as the seed could be planted well before the warm weather arrives.
For the outfield a number of cultivars are available to suit different conditions and requirements (whether winter sports are played etc).
Hard fescues can require less nitrogen and provide better tolerence for extremes of weather. Rhizomatous Tall fescues provide strong root systems to survive rugby and lacrosse. Barenbrug can give advice if you call and describe your problems – like mud lakes in the goal areas of a lacrosse pitch.
Jayne said that a new deveopment which might be available in 2010 is a Glyphosphate tolerant ryegrass – which lead to the scary thought that end of season renovation could begin by spraying Roundup over the square – not for the faint-hearted!
Jayne summarised the conditions for optimum germination – sowing depth, temperature and moisture content all being important. She said we should continue to mow though the winter – don’t allow grass to get longer than 50 mm and then gradually bring the length down to that required prior to the start of the season. Don’t damage the grass by suddenly chopping it down to 15 mm. Nick James reckoned to keep the square at 25 mm through the winter.
She said that optimum germination came from using fresh seed . Seed more than 2 years old would not give good results.
You can also call Paul Agar for his experience with several of Barenbrug’s products. Nick James is also always willing to answer questions.
Dave Twiney 13/Nov/2008