Lee has been grounds manager at the prestigious Charterhouse for the last two and a half years. He oversees a team of fourteen members of staff who meticulously tend to the school’s grounds and sports fields. Currently there are 3 hockey pitches, 12 tennis courts, 18 artificial cricket nets, 7 cricket squares, 15 grass football pitches, 1 rugby pitch, 1 lacrosse pitch AND a 9-hole golf course.
Ever the perfectionist, Lee insists on working only with the best products and equipment which is most suitable for his site. Therefore, when it came to looking for a grass seed for his cricket squares it was not a decision he took lightly.
“Last summer we were looking at re-building our cricket square and it was an opportunity to look at other grasses, other mixtures and what other suppliers had. I was looking around and the MM50 kept coming to mind – a lot of groundsmen seemed to be using it and seemed to be really happy with it. I trialled a number of other mixtures and I have to make a decision on what seed I believe works best on our site. For me that was MM50.”
MM is one of the most respected brands in the UK sportsturf and amenity industries and is relied upon at top sports grounds throughout the UK and beyond. In particular, MM50 is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round.
“I’m really happy with MM50,” said Lee. “It provides fast establishment, strong rooting, a strong plant, and the playability is good. We’ve now got rooting down at 4/5 inches which is really promising.
“My main cricket square was renovated back in August and then we went onto use it on our other squares too. Again, the uptake was fantastic. In cricket loam it can be quite difficult to grow grass but MM50 has been great so I’m really pleased I made that decision.”
With prolonged heat and drought conditions challenging turf managers this year, Lee was no exception, and with this is mind he was looking for a seed that could potentially help after a particularly difficult summer. As a result Lee invited Richard Sheppard (Limagrain amenity seed specialist) to the school and together they identified a potential solution.
“This summer, coming away from a really dry spell, Limagrain created two tailor made mixtures for us – one a complete rye mixture and the other a combination of both rye and fescue. This was to be used mainly on our golf fairways and also on some other areas that have less disturbance. It established really well and had great coverage in every area it was used.”
As well as reporting excellent results from the products, Lee was quick to praise the service and the support he receives.
“I can’t fault the service I receive at all. Richard comes in and we have a walk around the site to look at where we have used Limagrain products; we look at what we want to try and achieve and he goes away and thinks about what mixtures could work and improve the site. It’s great support and if I ever have any questions I can always call him.”