Paul ‘Tommo’ Thompson, head groundsman at Derby County Football Club’s Training Ground and Academy Centre, says he has been achieving “outstanding results” by using Rigby Taylor’s R14 100 per cent perennial ryegrass on a number of pitches.
R14 - which comprises the Columbine, Poseidon, Duparc and Berlioz 1 cultivars - offers a host of advanced and unique specialised characteristics including rapid establishment and high tolerance to wear and disease, plus all-year-round colour and the fact that pitches recover very quickly.
Rigby Taylor’s R seed range is pre-treated with Germin-8 – a unique treatment of a cocktail of speciality penetrating surfactants, nutrients, sugars and mycorrhizae to stimulate and support accelerated germination and emergence. And, as Tommo says, “I’ve never seen such excellent coverage, colour and density on the pitches, even in February”.
He continues: “We started trialling R14 on the three first team pitches three years ago when I moved here (from the club’s Pride Park Stadium, where I spent six years), for seeding at the annual renovations and for subsequent overseeding, usually around September/October. We’ve used it ever since on these pitches – and subsequently on the Under 23 show pitch and the Under 18 match pitch - because it’s proved so successful. The coverage is fantastic and so is the wear tolerance.”
Paul oversees a site that has a total of 15 pitches which includes 12 grass pitches and warm-up areas, plus three artificial surfaces.
“We had the first team pitches re-laid in 2016, by SISGrass,” he continues. “These rootzone surfaces were ready for an upgrade - hence the new pitches - but we’ve continued our R14 programme on the pitches and never looked back.”