Uses And Case Studies
Sporting grounds are a tough ask for any turf. They need to be able to handle a great deal of wear – especially in the winter footy season – while also staying lush and green.
From the harsh Canberra winter, to the moderate Perth seasons, Village Green Turf has proved itself across the board when it comes to sporting grounds.
Village Green turf is acquitting itself well on the surface of a high-use football field in Queanbeyan, just across the border from ACT.
See what Jonathon Phillips from Complete Turf and Landscaping has to say:
“We dug up the whole oval, which was originally Kikuyu,” Jonathon said, “and planted Village Green© in lines, relying on it to spread.
“We only covered about 15 per cent of the ground so it’s a lot more cost effective.
“The surface coverage isn’t too bad given the time of year that we had to plant the turf.
“The survival rate of the planted material seems to be quite high and I’m sure that as soon as things start to warm up it will spread quite quickly. As far as winter colour goes, it is holding a much better colour.”
“I don’t think there’s been a failure of Village Green© yet.”
And it’s holding up just a well over in the West at the City of
Armadale’s three-hectare sports field in the Perth suburb of Kelmscott.
Anton Lees, Manager Parks and Gardens, who was impressed with Village Green the very first time he saw it in November 2009, has this to say:
“It is a new product, looks great and seems to have the sustainability credentials to take us into the 21st century”.
“We awarded the contract during March and it was laid during April, just before winter … I was immediately impressed with how quickly the turf established during winter, its rich green colour and strong growth.”
And in Strathmore, Victoria, Village Green is looking great at the high-use Lebanon Reserve, which was established in the 1960s and refurbished in 2009.
Bruce Stephens of Anco Turf is impressed with the low water use needed to establish the turf in winter.
“We started work during March 2009. The turf was line planted
during May and we managed the surface through to November.”
“We initially watered the turf with overhead irrigation during the grow-in period (3–4 weeks) and when it had taken root we used the sub surface irrigation.”
Bruce said Village Green excelled in the water-use stakes, achieving strong winter establishment with only two megalitres needed to achieve a full cover.
Councils and developers know that the public demands lush, verdant public spaces. But at the same time, many parks are near sensitive waterways, wetlands or remnant vegetation. This means that the turf that is needed must be able to achieve good colour year ‘round without the high use of water or fertiliser. Village Green fits the bill perfectly.
Which is why is has been used for public open spaces in regions as diverse as Perth, Canberra and Melbourne.
The residents of Keysborough in Melbourne are lucky enough to see green all year ‘round, thanks to Village Green turf being laid in all the open spaces and nature strips in the development.
Gary Lusk, of Lilydale Turf, which sold the sod to the developer, says Village Green is a great “showpiece” for developers that wanted public spaces to look their best all year.
“Village Green© will stay a lot greener that kikuyu during winter. It has some winter activity and becomes tighter and a darker colour. Lilydale Turf thrives on being the best, and part of being the best is using the best variety. Village Green© is a superior turf in all ways.
“It’s the best variety if it’s going to be knocked about. It even goes well if you don’t look after it.
“It’s hardy and tough and looks good even without fertilizer. All you really need to do is mow it.
Village Green Turf has also been laid at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), outside the tally room – used for all Federal Elections.
Jonathon McPhillips, from Complete Turf and Landscaping, said the grass had seen “lots of action”, – including the Summernats street machine festival, the Royal Canberra Show and the National Folk Festival. Not to mention the dry Canberra summer.
“It’s copping an absolute hammering and it’s hanging on quite well.”
Despite several frosts in May, Jonathon reports the turf at EPIC still
looks “nice and lush”.
And in Perth, the Perth Cultural Centre remains a showpiece for Village Green.
Michael Martenz, of Turf Care WA, which recently renovated the Village Green turf at the cultural centre, says the lawn grass is “easy to maintain, strong growth, hard wearing and presents well”.
“The Village Green© has responded exceptionally well to the renovation program and with the ongoing maintenance and nutrition it has a developed a dark green and healthy leaf”
Traditionally, racetracks across Australia are Kikuyu-based and, more usually in southern states, comprise a common variety of kikuyu that is over-sown with ryegrass to give better colour and wear over the winter time.
Village Green, with its lush winter colour and growth, negates the need to this expensive and time-consuming over-seeding.
Gawler Racetrack in South Australia, and Bunbury Racetrack in Western Australia, are just two regional courses that are benefiting from Village Green Turf.
Gawler Track manager MirkoDargusch says he was sceptical at first, as it was a new variety, but Village Green has “really”.
“The colour has remained strong throughout winter and I’m really quite happy with how it is performing.”
And in Bunbury, Turf Club Racing Manager Paul Rossiter, was
concerned that the track wouldn’t be ready for the first race meeting of 2009. He needn’t have worried – the Village Green that was laid on September 18, was ready to race on 47 days later on Melbourne Cup day, and the first local race of the season performed”.
Village Green’s capability of quick establishment is a big plus for environmental projects, such as soil stabilization and mine site rehabilitation. It establishesquickly from stolons and the roll-on turf sends down roots after just a week, even in winter. Village Green’s goodwinter growth means it can be established during winter and early spring, when the soil is moist. As the weather warms up and the soil dries out, the roots are already well-established which means less summer watering.
Village Green is playing an importing key role in investigations into whether kikuyu can rehabilitate bauxite residue in former mine sites.Vigorous growth, salt tolerance and malesterility, means it is effectively non-invasive and the obvious choice for rehabilitation projects.
Bauxite residue – or red mud- is a by-product of the alumina industry, and is proving an environmental challenge. Red mud has a solid concentration in the range of 10–30%, a pH of about 13 and is insoluble.
Applications of gypsumcan drop the pH to about 9, but coupled with salinity, the soil is no good for plant growth.
Professor Martin Fey, Professorial fellow in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Western Australia (UWA), has determined that that Village Green grows “amazingly well” in the sodium-rich medium.
“Eventually we hope to find out whether such grasses can be used for soil building,” he said.
His research showed that three months after planting the kikuyu dry matter yields have been equal to anything that can be achieved in a fertile soil.