Whitgift is one of Britain’s finest independent schools. With a prestigious sporting reputation, it is essential that the playing facilities are always in pristine condition, which is no easy task with so many students using the facilities on a regular basis, head groundsman Daniel Ratling said.
"The usage is intensive. We have over 1400 boys at this school with an ethos of sport-for-all, and the pitches really do take a hammering. Expectations are high, and keeping the facilities at an incredibly high standard is the main challenge."
Ratling, who has been head groundsman at Whitgift since January this year, and his team look after five cricket squares, six winter sports pitches, an all-weather hockey pitch, a synthetic turf tennis court and a small golf facility.
"I first started using Limagrain products in my last job when I was head groundsman at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in London," he said.
"I found that the mixture worked really well in terms of the speed of establishment, the quantity of seed that germinated, the rate that it came through and then the strength of it afterwards. Getting the roots down and getting a good development was key to what I was trying to achieve, and these Limagrain products really helped."
Limagrain’s MM range of grass seed mixtures includes MM60 for winter sports pitches and MM50 for fine turf surfaces and summer sports such as golf, cricket and tennis.
"I’ve ended up with a mix of three cultivars which Limagrain exclusively put together for our needs and requirements," Ratling said. "It’s also been treated with their HEADSTART® GOLD formula which is great and does exactly what it says it will do.
"I was looking for certain characteristics and I wanted something that would perform well in winter sports but would also handle the lower cutting heights of cricket outfields, and I feel that this mix does both. The seed has germinated and come through well and renovations have been very successful."