A break in play caused by the first COVID lockdown provided Ageas Bowl Head Groundsman Simon Lee with a window of opportunity to conduct a full renovation of the club’s nursery ground. While the events of last year certainly kept everyone on their toes, Simon’s knowledge and experience of using Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures for the last 10 years, meant the results of the renovation – completed with J Intense – came as no surprise!
Simon took over at the home of Hampshire CCC in January 2020, on the back of nine years as Head Groundsman at Somerset CCC where he’d used both J Intense and J Premier Wicket. “You know what you’re going to get with Johnsons in terms of germination and quality of sward. We had just under seven weeks to get the project complete, before a number of international teams used the ground as a base for three months of training. The speed with which the seed established allowed us to get the ground back in play rapidly and I strongly believe that without that, we would have really struggled for coverage with the high levels of sustained play.”
The 100% perennial ryegrass J Intense mixture was sown on the nursery ground outfields in May – providing exceptional disease resistance and high wear tolerance and recovery, even under close mown conditions. On the main ground it was the proven Johnsons J Premier Wicket mixture, sown at relatively high rates, to recover some bare areas from the previous season and set the stage for a condensed season of matches – albeit behind closed doors.
“I have always had fantastic results with J Premier Wicket mixture in the past but coming to a new ground with different conditions you’re never sure how a product will adapt. My team and I couldn’t be happier with the strength and robustness we have achieved on our squares and now with matches every two weeks, we’re relying on its rapid germination to not only improve presentation, but to provide enough resilience to host matches later in the year.”
Simon concludes, “Despite the cold and challenging conditions we’ve had to start this year, the Johnsons mixtures are hardy enough and we can see the fruits of our labour with some germination already, and only more to come when conditions allow.”
Johnsons J Premier Wicket is also available with DLF’s ProNitro® seed coat technology – making it a great overseeding option for upcoming autumn renovations. Now including hydroactive water management technology, ProNitro® contains both fast and slow-release nitrogen to improve nutrient utilisation through the early stages of plant growth leading to stronger germination, quick uniform growth and improved root & shoot density.