Sector Commercial
Project type Refurbishment
Services provided Product / system supply
Project location South East England
Client Thurrock Council / High House
 
 

Overview

Specialist overseeding advice from Germinal helped restore the green spaces at High House, Essex back to their former glory after two hot and dry summers had left the lawns looking worse for wear.

Home to the Royal Opera House’s production workshop and costume centre, a creative industries hub, artists’ studios, educational facilities and wedding and party venues, the 14-acre site consists of heritage buildings, ornamental walled gardens, an orchard, fine lawns and play facilities. It is maintained by Thurrock Council.

Challenge

The site sits next to the River Thames and the poor soils suffer from extremes of temperature all year, with hot and dry summers in 2018 and 2019 leaving the lawns in need of significant renovation.

“Large areas of the lawns had more brown grass than green grass and there was very little new growth coming through,” Liz Wood, Thurrock Council’s Tree Officer explains. “I’m an arborist by training and therefore only have a relatively basic knowledge of grass health. I therefore went to the Landscape Show in Battersea Park to seek expert advice on the best way to bring the lawns back to full health.”

It was there that Liz explained the situation to Germinal's Sandy Pentecost.

Solution

“As with any situation like this, the best way to understand the most appropriate course of action is to make a site visit,” Sandy explains. “It was clear when I first visited High House that there was a lot of dead grass which simply wasn’t going to recover. I therefore recommended over-seeding with a suitable seed mixture and designed a bespoke fertiliser plan to give the new seed the best chance of establishing and subsequent survival.”

The lawns were overseeded in autumn 2019 with Germinal’s A30 Rapid Sports mixture providing improved wear tolerance, rapid recovery and excellent green aesthetics.

“We’ve traditionally overseeded in the spring, but with mixed results at best due to the weather turning too hot and dry too soon after the seed was introduced,” Liz explains. “With spring weather patterns being so difficult to predict, Sandy suggested we should try drilling the new seed in the autumn to give it a better chance of survival.”

The seed was slot-drilled and fed with Novatec Premium: a 15-3-20 slow release fertiliser with added trace elements and 2% MgO.

“Novatec Premium is a cost-effective fertiliser which releases its nutrients over a period of 12 to 16 weeks,” Sandy said. “It’s the perfect autumn, winter or early spring starter feed as it disperses rapidly into the sward where its high potassium content stiffens leaf blades to protect the sward from cold weather and disease.”

“The new seed established amazingly quickly,” Liz continues. “Sandy’s advice was spot on, as were his grass seed and fertiliser recommendations. In the space of a few weeks we went from having very little grass to almost having too much. The lawns have been totally transformed and it’s been fantastic to see people using them again, especially as the Covid-19 lockdown has made green spaces such vital resources for the public to exercise and take a break in.”

Liz continues. “It’s been hugely satisfying to see the lawns looking so healthy again, especially as the entire project has cost very little other than a few bags of seed and fertiliser.”


Overview

Specialist overseeding advice from Germinal helped restore the green spaces at High House, Essex back to their former glory after two hot and dry summers had left the lawns looking worse for wear.

Home to the Royal Opera House’s production workshop and costume centre, a creative industries hub, artists’ studios, educational facilities and wedding and party venues, the 14-acre site consists of heritage buildings, ornamental walled gardens, an orchard, fine lawns and play facilities. It is maintained by Thurrock Council.

Challenge

The site sits next to the River Thames and the poor soils suffer from extremes of temperature all year, with hot and dry summers in 2018 and 2019 leaving the lawns in need of significant renovation.

“Large areas of the lawns had more brown grass than green grass and there was very little new growth coming through,” Liz Wood, Thurrock Council’s Tree Officer explains. “I’m an arborist by training and therefore only have a relatively basic knowledge of grass health. I therefore went to the Landscape Show in Battersea Park to seek expert advice on the best way to bring the lawns back to full health.”

It was there that Liz explained the situation to Germinal's Sandy Pentecost.

Solution

“As with any situation like this, the best way to understand the most appropriate course of action is to make a site visit,” Sandy explains. “It was clear when I first visited High House that there was a lot of dead grass which simply wasn’t going to recover. I therefore recommended over-seeding with a suitable seed mixture and designed a bespoke fertiliser plan to give the new seed the best chance of establishing and subsequent survival.”

The lawns were overseeded in autumn 2019 with Germinal’s A30 Rapid Sports mixture providing improved wear tolerance, rapid recovery and excellent green aesthetics.

“We’ve traditionally overseeded in the spring, but with mixed results at best due to the weather turning too hot and dry too soon after the seed was introduced,” Liz explains. “With spring weather patterns being so difficult to predict, Sandy suggested we should try drilling the new seed in the autumn to give it a better chance of survival.”

The seed was slot-drilled and fed with Novatec Premium: a 15-3-20 slow release fertiliser with added trace elements and 2% MgO.

“Novatec Premium is a cost-effective fertiliser which releases its nutrients over a period of 12 to 16 weeks,” Sandy said. “It’s the perfect autumn, winter or early spring starter feed as it disperses rapidly into the sward where its high potassium content stiffens leaf blades to protect the sward from cold weather and disease.”

“The new seed established amazingly quickly,” Liz continues. “Sandy’s advice was spot on, as were his grass seed and fertiliser recommendations. In the space of a few weeks we went from having very little grass to almost having too much. The lawns have been totally transformed and it’s been fantastic to see people using them again, especially as the Covid-19 lockdown has made green spaces such vital resources for the public to exercise and take a break in.”

Liz continues. “It’s been hugely satisfying to see the lawns looking so healthy again, especially as the entire project has cost very little other than a few bags of seed and fertiliser.”


 
 
 
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