Terralift Performance Fertilisers

Across groundskeeping, performance fertiliser specialists Terralift are boosting sports and amenity turf quality, heightening `green’ practices across football, rugby and golf, while improving surface playability year round.

Their organically derived nutritional and rootzone supports are reaching beyond traditional NPK and trace elemental methods to help create optimal growth environments throughout sport.

At Leigh Sports Village, Lancashire, head groundsman Keith Porter has adopted Terralift fertilisers and its innovative Quadrop water management system for the 12,000-capacity stadium’s main pitch and three other natural surfaces.

Home to Leigh Centurions and Leigh East rugby league clubs as well as the base for Manchester United FC ladies, Manchester United U23s Premier League 2 and U18s Champions league, and host for occasional rugby league internationals, the Village needs to deliver sustainable sportsturf quality at all times to meet its commitments of up to 90 fixtures a year on the stadium pitch alone.

“We attract plenty of travelling teams from the UK and overseas including Japan and the US,” explains Keith, a past groundsman of the year. “I’d known about Terralift products since the time the Village was built, 14 years ago, when a greenkeeper told me about them and their benefits and started using them soon afterwards.”

His sons Martin and Matt worked under him for some years, before Matt moved over to regional executive for Aitkens, sole national distributor for Terralift, and has supplied Keith ever since, with products including TX10 and TX11-1-5 naturally slow-release organic granular fertilisers for the stadium pitch and liquid feeds for the other natural turf areas.

Keith finds the slow-release fertilisers particularly helpful in avoiding turf ‘burnout’. When we introduced grow lights four years ago, we were concerned that we would stress the turf and cause yellowing,” he explains, “but because the TX fertilisers are organic, they break down slowly, which helps the plant avoid stressing.”

Water management for sports facilities can play a pivotal role in turf performance, Matt explains. “Mains supply is not always the primary water source,” he says. ”Lakes and boreholes may also be available, with the result that water pH levels can vary widely and that can be detrimental to optimal turf health.

“By removing unwanted bicarbonates, the Quadrop management system rebalances pH, increasing soil porosity and leaf greening, without over-promoting plant growth.”

Water in the 1,000l input tank is dosed before Keith activates the pop-up sprinkler system to irrigate all the pitches. “Quadrop works best in tandem with the applied fertilisers if we irrigate when it rains,” he reveals. “It’s then that the chemistry works best for the turf.”

The system’s benefits of improved root mass and reduced disease susceptibility apply equally in golf as field sports. A clutch of courses in the Greater Manchester region, including Reddish Vale, have also adopted Quadrop under a spectrum of nutritional improvement programmes Terralift provide.

Their former head greenkeeper Nick Wild, who also managed nearby Curzon Ashton FC (another Terralift and Quadrop site) was so impressed with the transformation in turf health he’d witnessed that he moved to the other side of the sector to handle regional sales for the supplier.

Formed in 1987, Terra Lift has invested heavily in researching and developing proprietary aerobic composting, thermophilic digestion, organic fusion granulation and liquid extraction systems to produce nutrient-rich plant performance fertilisers.

The company’s values conform to industry-wide aims to limit applied chemical fertiliser volumes, improving natural disease suppression and building sportsturf’s capability to withstand changing climatic conditions.