Specialist sports turf contractor Greentech built the new pitch, which features 20 new drains, a new rootzone and under-soil heating.
Greentech's Kevin Brunton recommended a special version of Barenbrug's BAR 8 sports mixture — omitting the 20% Bariris smooth-stalked meadowgrass content in favour of extra Barcrown slender creeping red fescue — to achieve even speedier establishment.
"This, together with the mixture's Romance and Barlennium perennial ryegrasses, produced the early establishment we needed to get the new pitch ready for the first game of the new season in September, just eight weeks after sowing the seed,"he said.
With the Fir Park pitch first established in 1895 and simply repaired and improved with remedial works over the past century rather than renewed, Brunton says that the reconstruction was much needed. "The old pitch was quite tough and had a fibre-sand base — when we took it out you could see what a sorry state it was in. The Tarmac in the carpark was in better condition
He added: "Our old pitch and other playing surfaces in the area are prone to Leaf Spot, so we were expecting the new pitch to be affected. But it's got excellent disease resistance and we've had no problems whatsoever. Overall, we're delighted with it."
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