The Groundsman

April 2015

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AWARD SPONSOR 22 the Groundsman April 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions hen you're in charge of 52 acres of sports turf with no irrigation, you rely on the weather to deliver water. But when it's feeding time for turf, is granular your best option? For multi-award-winning groundsman Rob Bradshaw, applying liquid feed is the only sensible solution. Running on extremely tight budgets and minimal resourcing, Rob has to apply his mind to feeding his 24 wickets at this time of year - that's two cricket squares without the benefit of any irrigation system whatsoever. Managed by One Leisure (Huntingdonshire District Council) the expansive facility also includes nine football pitches, a rugby pitch, 3G synthetic pitch, synthetic hockey pitch and four artificial wickets and porous athletics track. "It takes us a day and a half just to cut the grass," reveals Rob, who lifted the 2014 National Governing Bodies' Grassroots Sports Grounds Team of the Year and 2013 Kubota/Redexim Charterhouse Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year awards. Achieving best cricket conditions As a nationally acknowledged leader in turf maintenance, Rob knows that spray feeding the wickets in the run-up to the start of the cricket season is probably the safest option in ensuring the right balance of nutrients reach the rootzone at the optimum dilution. So it's in early spring that his Vitax EvenSprey 300 really comes into its own. "Using liquid feeds and turf tonics is the way forward for us here at St Ives Outdoor," says Rob. "We hold a host of county cricket fixtures so I have to ensure W Boom times Spring spray feeding offers a flexible strategy for tight budgets at One Leisure in Huntingdonshire and a housing association in east London By: Mike King that our wickets are in the condition that players expect. "Surrey, Essex and Northamptonshire academies regularly play against Huntingdonshire on the site and last year around 100 games were staged on the two squares. That's why it's vital to keep things living and to ensure the wickets play consistently." Rob bought the EvenSprey four years ago. "It's easy to use and reliable, which is just what you need when budgets are so tight and we have so much to do all the time," he says. Community benefits Managing some 200 communal green spaces and parks meanwhile demands flexibility in spraying. The complexity of developing a strategy for doing so became the responsibility of Tim Wilcox, when he assumed the post of estate services manager in the Landscape Management Department of Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) five years ago. Spread across 12 estates of largely social housing within Tower Hamlets, the amenity areas vary in both size and The Vitax EvenSprey 300

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