A ‘historic and inspirational cathedral setting’ provides the backdrop for studies to the pupils at The King’s School, Gloucester. In charge of maintaining the 3 hectares of gardens and sports grounds across multiple sites is Head Groundsman Richard Bowman. When he re-joined the school for his second stint in 2011, having originally started as an apprentice in 1999, he made the switch to seed from DLFs’ Johnsons Sports Seed and Masterline ranges which looks to be a decision set to stay.
“Sport is an important part of life for pupils at King’s and we’re fortunate to have two and a half hectares of sports fields and facilities across the school’s sites” explains Richard who is supported by a team of five. “I’ve worked on our seed programme with Ian Barnett, now of DLF, for a number of years and have valued his input and advice. He suggested we try Johnsons J Premier Wicket for our cricket ground, with which we achieved great success. This opened our eyes to what other mixtures were out there.”
Ian recommended they trial PM79 from Masterline on one of the schools three cricket outfields. “We gave it a try following the launch of DLF’s 4Turf Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass, and specifically the PM79 mix because of the darker sward colour it delivers meaning less reliance on chemical inputs. It’s also known for its hard-wearing qualities which is important for our outfields, which also play host to rugby.” Pleased with the results of the trial, Masterline’s PM79 is now used across all of the cricket outfields, with wicket mixture PM36 employed on the junior and second squares.
“Our junior and second team facilites are in use five or six days a week, for training and matches at weekends, and then convert to rubgy on a similar play schedule. Because of the high-use on these surfaces, they require more frequent overseeding to keep these looking and playing well so budget-wise, the Masterline seed becomes a better option here. Meanwhile J Premier Wicket is delivering the top-quality surfaces we require on the first team square.”
Final word from Richard, “A lot of our decisions come down to a combination of budget and performance – if something works then we’ll stick with it, and this is one of those cases.”