When Head Groundsman Stuart Lambert joined Gloucester Rugby in the summer of 2018, a brand-new hybrid pitch installation had just been completed at the clubs Kingsholm Stadium. Having no prior hybrid experience, Stuart turned to his trusted suppliers to help him formulate a new maintenance programme. Top of the list was scrapping the existing nutritional regime and switching over to a full liquid and granular programme from Headland Amenity.
Stuart has used Headland products for over 10 years, including during his time at Worcester Warriors where he was part of the award-winning ‘Professional Rugby Grounds Team of the Year’. “I knew what I wanted to achieve so called on the advice of Headland’s Adi Masters, who helped me formulate a plan that would be able to work on the faster-leaching hybrid surface. To achieve optimal results, we’re using a combination of liquid and granular applications.”
Because of the free draining nature, one issue they worked on was moisture retention. “Adi recommended TriCure Ad™ which we applied once a month throughout the summer to hold onto what little rainfall we received – this worked really well. Coming out of that dry summer and into a wetter winter, we then had a few problem areas retaining water, mostly due to compaction from the installation process. For this, we applied Terafirm™ soil penetrant once every four weeks between October and February which effectively moved the water away.”
They were also one of the first customers to use the 15-5-12 formulation of Headland’s new controlled release fertiliser, H-Cote™ Mini. “We’d had some games back to back and I was looking for something to give the pitch a bit of a boost so we applied H-Cote™ and the colour response, in particular, was fantastic. It delivered results that transformed the appearance of the pitch, making it a staple in my summer feeding programme.”
Stuart concluded, “The hybrid pitch has given us stability in many ways, but in terms of the nutritional inputs required it’s been a bit of a balancing act. Adi has provided fantastic support, and our combined knowledge and experience is ensuring we’re achieving the best results we can by applying the right nutrients.”