Hampden Park, Scotland’s national stadium, hosts approximately 55 football fixtures per year as well as a series of A-list music concerts each summer. It needs to be able to stand up to the rigours of a heavily laden fixture list and being covered by a layer of semi-transparent plastic tiles and aluminium stage panels during music events.
There are times when the damage caused by a long run of concerts or series of fixtures held in particularly wet conditions, mean that the pitch requires additional remedial action to be carried out.
“Because the pitch is in use 12 months of the year, we don’t have the luxury of a 6-8 week period between seasons to grow a new pitch in from seed. Instead, if absolutely necessary, we’ll build a re-turf of the entire playing surface in to our calendar. Beyond that, and given the demands on the surface, we only ever have time to scarify the surface before top-dressing and over-seeding with a mixture of perennial ryegrass cultivars.” Head Groundsman, Stephen Bache
The pitch also comes under regular scrutiny from TV audiences which means a deep green colour has to be maintained throughout the year.
Keeping the pitch looking green and healthy therefore comes down to the choice of cultivars grown and how the pitch is fed.
Germinal’s A20 Premier Ryesport mixture has been used for reseeding for the past 10 years. Compound granular fertiliser is also applied to the pitch surface each month. 25g/m2 of Fertilis Swing provides 14-6-17 NPK plus 2% MgO and trace elements.
“We’ve noticed, since switching to Fertilis Swing, that the grass reacts quickly and predictably to each fertiliser application by turning a darker, healthier-looking shade of green within a couple of days. That makes it easy for us to plan each application to coincide with major matches, such as international fixtures or league and cup finals, and enables us to present the pitch in the best possible condition throughout the year.” Head Groundsman, Stephen Bache
Fertilis Swing also helps to prevent foliar diseases, thanks to the inclusion of Bacillus subtilis E4-CDX which increases resistance to soil-borne fungal diseases.
“Fertilis Swing also provides the full spectrum of nutrients and trace elements required by new seedlings to enable them to compete with, and thrive in, the established turf sward. That makes managing the pitch easier and helps the playing surface to recover more quickly from the damaged caused by summer concerts and a full winter of fixtures.”