Nick Phillips, Training Centre Manager, is tasked with maintaining the top level playing surfaces at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club training ground. Overseen by Darren Baldwin, Head of Playing Surfaces & Estates, Nick utilises a range of Indigrow products to produce the world class playing surfaces demanded by a top level Premier League club.
The focus of the application programme is two products from the Impact CGF range, the 15-5-15 and the 25-5-10. The products are used throughout the year, with Nick telling us that “we use Impact CGF 25-5-10 throughout the summer and Impact CGF 15-5-15 during the winter. Applications are made every three weeks throughout the year, and we use 10-12 bags per pitch for every application”.
As the pitches are sand-based, maintaining nutrient inputs and minimising nutrient leaching are important. The regular granular fertiliser applications are essential to provide enough nutrients to the turf throughout the year, and the controlled release nature of the products used ensure that nutrient leaching is kept to a minimum.
In conjunction with the granular fertilisers used, Nick uses a combination of liquid products to ensure the nutrient requirements are met. The primary product used is Fusion BioGreen High K 5-3-18. This low nitrogen content liquid feed is used all year round at 40 lt/8,000m² (50lt/ha) every 14 days. This product is used because “the low nitrogen, high potassium input helps to minimise disease risk, particularly in the summer months. We also don’t have to worry about flushing the nitrogen straight through the rootzone as the low input ensures that the plant can take up all of the applied product”.
In addition to the Fusion BioGreen High K, during the season Nick also applies Fusion BioGreen NPK 18-9-9 with Asset Chitosan when a boost of nitrogen is needed. “The high nitrogen content in the Fusion BioGreen NPK 18-9-9 can introduce a greater disease risk, so we add Asset Chitosan to the tank mix to help give us as much natural protection from disease as possible”.
“The combination of granular and liquid feeds, along with the addition of an industry leading growth regulation product has meant we’ve gone through a full season with only one very small area of disease. We have also had minimal nematode damage this season, thanks to an increase in fertiliser applications from previous years and using a lower application rate of the growth regulator”.
New grow in
The grow in period of new pitches is of primary importance to Nick. There is only ever a small window to grow in a new pitch and the playing surface is expected to be perfect from the first possible opportunity.
Compass Start is used by Nick when growing in a new pitch. “It’s like Red Bull for grass. The sugars and molasses within the product help overcome the decreased time periods we’re given to get a new pitch ready for use. Our use of Compass Start, along with Impact CGF 25-5-10, can help us save 5-10 days where the pitch is out of action. We apply the Compass Start at 20 lt/ha in 10-14 day intervals after seed germination to provide all of the benefits of seaweed along with the sugars and molasses”.
Too much or too little?
Throughout the season, Nick keeps a very close eye on the NPK inputs added to the pitches. The nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium levels are all monitored by the team at Tottenham throughout the year. “By ensuring that we don’t over or under feed the turf, we’re able to maintain the pitches to the standards expected by Tottenham Hotspur for all teams at all levels”.
Indigrow ensure that support is available to Nick at all times, offering product training to Nick’s team, so that all of the team at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground understand the Indigrow products kept in stock by Nick. “It’s important to know that we can contact the team at Indigrow for advice whenever we need it. Their wide range of products also ensures that we can apply the correct nutrients to counteract any potential issues before they occur”.