The Groundsman

July 2013

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AHEAD OF THE GAME 21 the Groundsman July 2013 Combined approach Without the use of lighting rigs, David says 60 to 70 per cent of the pitch would be without grass cover. "We start lighting in mid September and continue every day, lighting one third of the pitch at a time. The whole pitch receives its light requirements with just three moves of the rigs. These lights enable us to provide and retain excellent surface cover, good plant density and fast recovery." David Roxburgh showing what the pitch surface would be like without supplementary lighting TLS lighting rigs are easily manoeuvrable Currently, the lighting rigs are being used in conjunction with agronomic benefits when linked with selected grass seed and pitch nutritional programmes. David works closely with Rigby Taylor's Andrew Robinson who is driving forward the combined benefits of the project. "It's important that any new technology we introduce does not upset the balance of the growth programmes we operate," explained Ben Grigor, deputy head groundsman at Ibrox Stadium. "It became apparent, at an early stage, that by working with TLS for pitch lighting, Rigby Taylor as plant growth and protection products supplier and the STRI, we had a trio of expertise that could produce a successful outcome pitchwise. "When selecting our growth and plant protection programmes, we undertook a detailed analysis of what the Rigby Taylor range offered and the back up support provided," says David. "This arrangement allows access to specialists on grass seed selection, growing media, plant nutrition and pesticide application. We are not agronomists ourselves so to have direct access to such expertise is invaluable." For the past 10 years, Rangers FC, in co-operation with the STRI, has recorded the results of the programmes put in place. Working with Richard Windows, an STRI agronomist, the groundscare team now understands what's happening at rootzone level. Armed with this information, the grounds managers can advise stadium senior management on pitch requirements regarding what's needed, when and where to make adjustments. t this number equates to the number of square metres covered by the lights. The 400 model has a double bank of lights, while the 80 and 160 rigs can easily be moved by a one groundsman. A key feature is a 'soft-start' system whereby only half of the 1,000-watt bulbs are operated at start up. Lighting sensors are fitted to measure the ambient concentration of the light and the lighting programme can be adjusted to suit the movement of the sun across the pitch. This lighting control saves both energy and cost. The height of the rigs is variable to provide more or less light intensity as plant condition dictates. Other features soon to be available include an irrigation option, a weather recording station and a pitch monitoring system. TLS lighting 160 rig Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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