British Sugar TOPSOIL launches new turf dressing

British Sugar TOPSOIL has launched a free-draining turf dressing for sports grounds which is currently being tested by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and Kings College, Cambridge.

Sports & Turf being tested on Kings College, Cambridge lawns
Sports & Turf being tested on Kings College, Cambridge lawns

Sports & Turf is a blend of 80% sand and 20% of British Sugar TOPSOIL’s BS3882:2015 certified topsoil. The sand is predominantly medium to coarse (67%) and sub angular in shape, which the company said assists free drainage and promotes good integration into the surface of the turf.

It added that phosphorous and potassium within the soil contributes to soil fertility and encourages healthy growth.

The STRI is carrying out two replicated trials - on golf tee turf and on fairway turf - at its research facility in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The turf comprises grass species also commonly found in winter games pitches and lawns and the trials will test the effects of the topdressing treatment on grass growth, turf health, turf colour and surface playability.

The new topdressing, at three different application rates – 2 kg, 4kg and 6 kg/m2/year - will be compared with an untreated control and with the same three application rates of sand only, on both turf types. The initial applications of topdressing and sand were made in October with a second application planned for spring 2017. The trials will conclude at the end of June 2017.

Senior horticulturist at Kings College, Cambridge, Steve Coghill recently applied 40 tonnes of the winter topdressing on areas where grass had suffered from compaction and poor drainage.

He called the product "a fantastic dressing" and "an excellent substrate for sports turf renovation and repair".

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