Gloucester rugby club are currently preparing for the new Guinness premiership season. These preparations follow last seasons successes in which they finished a well-deserved top of the Guinness Premiership.
Tackling a Re-Seed – Then Don’t Side-Step on the Quality!
Their success over recent seasons has been aided by having an excellent surface at Kingsholm where Gloucester have played their home games since as far back as 1891. The pitch is made from the natural land with a gravel layer over clinker, there is no artificial drainage system or rootzone. The natural soil, which was placed over the gravel layer, is silty loam.
At the end of last season Dave Balmer, Stadium manager and head Groundsman, called in Simon Hutton from Fineturf to carry out the end of season renovation.
The pitch received considerable wear during last season from the first and second team games plus hosting the EDF challenge cup final and also the Ireland against Barbarians game. To this prestigious list one then has to add the punishment from the regular training sessions which are such an important part of today’s game. The pitch came through the season very well but as Dave is always striving to improve the surface he was keen to put Fineturf through their paces.
The renovation of the pitch didn’t start till the end of May and obviously such a short close season increased the pressure on Dave to produce a quality sward.
The first job for Fineturf to tackle was the installation of two 80mm lateral drains up one wing. The surface was then fraise mowed with a Blec Combinator and following that any remaining debris was removed by means of their Trilo Vac.
Obviously, the application of sand is a fundamental operation in any pitch renovation project. Simon Hutton takes up the story.
“We supplied and applied 90 tons of Lieghton Buzzard sand and then Earthquaked the pitch. After this we sowed MM60 @ 70gm per square metre in four directions.