Northumberland FA are delighted to launch a partnership with sports turf products supplier Agrigem
The link up will see the County’s FA Charter Standard clubs who are part of the FA’s Pitch Improvement Programme receive a 10% discount on Agrigem’s range of weed and moss control, fertilisers and grass seed and equipment.
The Agrigem team can offer experts advice on technical, practical, legal & environmental issues around the use of pesticides & associated products.
As well as discounts and offers, we’ll be working with Agrigem to offer seasonal advice for our clubs on keeping grass pitches in optimum condition with features on our social media and website.
To take advantage of this offer or discuss how Agrigem can support the development of your grass pitches, please contact Martin Ford at email@example.com
And check back for the latest blog posts to help keep your pitches in top condition!
JUNE - Sowing the seed
At this time of year, you should have either just had your pitches renovated, or you are in the process of, or planning to start this season’s pitch rejuvenation.
To ensure you have a good strike rate of your seed, you need to ensure you use the correct seeder; either a disc or dimple.
A disc seeder must be used if you have an existing sward, as the disc seeder will cut into the profile of the soil to around 10-15mm in order to get good soil seed contact, which in turn will help speed up its germination.
It is then best to apply top dressing after seeding to cover the seed away from any pests. This will also aid better establishment.
A dimple seeder is generally used when your pitch is fully stripped off using a Koro, as you take out more top surface. You should seed once 85% of the top dressing is down as you do not want to bury the seed completely. Then remaining 15% of top dressing is then added to seal in a similar manner to disc seeding - to protect and speed up establishment of the seed.
Please ensure that you keep the seed damp, but not saturated to help to seedlings swell then finally they will pop into life. This then is a good time to start to apply some Nutrigrow Pre-seeder 6-9-6 to get the plant responding quickly. Alternatively, our Nutrigrow Stress Defender is an organic based slow release fertiliser with added benefits to strengthen the root system.
Foliar feeding or soil drenchers are also a great option if they can be applied monthly if possible, to enable good recovery and healthy root anchoring. We have our Spring and Autumn Gem liquid fertilisers, which can be mixed with Tonivit our bio-stimulant, which aids newly sown seed to give an all-round plant nutrition at the establishment stages.
MAY - RENOVATION TIME
Time to get your surfaces ready for next season or can do little by little with general maintenance.
Depending on everyone’s budget the extent of works can be very different, some will have a machine to completely remove the entire thatch layer, which in most cases contributes to poor drainage and waterlogging in the heavy rain seasons on your surfaces and have games called off.
Heavy scarification in conjunction will a terra rake/Uni-rake/stiff brushes to try and disturb the surface and get into the thatch layer as much as possible and to remove any existing weeds/moss and weak grass species. This process can be performed many times over to your specification.
Once you’re happy with the surface and is clear of all debris add top dressing to any low areas by hand to not allow low areas in germination and to build up later, for example: goal mouths, 18-yard areas and lineman’s runs.
The Premier Seed 100% 3-way rye mix will work very well. Depending on the extent of your surface’s clear out, the overseeding range will be between 25-50gms per m2.
When seeding you will need to use a disc seeder to allow the seed to be cut into the surface 10-15mm to be in contact with the soil.
Where budgets allow try to apply a minimum of 30-60 tonne of medium/fine sand per full size pitch.
Best practice is to sand dress over the top of seed to protect the seed away from pests. This will also increase the percentage of success and germination efficiency.
Aeration can be carried out last in this process if conditions are good to do so, as moisture is required within the soil. Otherwise, let your surface establish after 6-8 weeks of feeding and cutting and carry out when the conditions are right to do so.
I would suggest and application of feed such as an organic based slow-release fertiliser with Mycorrhiza (Nutri-grow Stress Defender) to boost the soil profile and to help with root system strength and stability. Alternatively Nutrigrow 18-3.5-8+Mg is a steady feed over 3 months.
MARCH - SPRING IS HERE AT LAST
As the plant has been dormant for such a long period over the Winter and with spring just around the corner with soil temperatures starting to rise, at this point it would be a great time to apply a Spring fertiliser to get some energy and nutrition back in the plant to encourage so some growth/recovery ready for play.
Using a spring feed will wake up the plant e.g., 9-7-7 or 10-4-4CaMgFe, to replenish all the lost nutrition that was lost that a plant needs to survive and to take all levels of sport, without excessive growth but allows your sports field to be strong, healthy, and full of vigour to withstand the hours of use.
It is always important to know what your bag of fertiliser and what their main purposes are, as there are many different analyses available with different NPK values and Nitrogen sources.
(N) – Nitrogen, (P) – Phosphorus and (K) – Potassium, these three elements are essential to a plants nutrition which helps sustain and encourages healthy growth.
Nitrogen – Nitrogen is especially important for top growth recovery and encourages lush green surfaces and healthy leaf growth for density.
Phosphorus – Phosphorus is for plant energy and promotes growth while building a strong root system.
Potassium – Potassium is used for strengthening your plants defences to make the stronger to withstand the stress of heat, drought, cold, pest and diseases.
If you have any seed in the shed, it be great to get it into your sparse areas and better still too lightly top dress over the top to bed in the seed to hold onto moisture to help quicker germination.
With regular cutting of your playing areas a couple times a week if possible, this will encourage your sward to recover and improve density.