Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (RTF) has begun the most stringent test of its durability to date at a public park in Manchester City Centre.
Two and a half thousand metres, grown by Lindum and supplied by the company’s distributors All Turf have been laid in Manchester Piccadilly Gardens which receives an estimated foot-fall of 80 thousand per day.
Having conducted a survey which came up with the estimated figure it was clear that Manchester City Council needed not only the most hardwearing turf on the market but also a product that was aesthetically pleasing. Representatives paid a brief visit to Chester Zoo where RTF has been in place for three years and spoke to Mark Hargreaves, the Head Groundsman who couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
Hazel Frith, Director at All Turf, who also supplied Chester Zoo says that before using RTF Mark Hargreaves had to lay new turf on the zoo’s most highly trafficked areas every year. “RTF has been down for three years now and it’s surviving brilliantly,” she says. “Manchester Piccadilly Gardens was quite a complicated turf laying exercise because of all the underground services on site. Some of them were only two inches below the surface.”
Contractors Blackburn Robinson laid the RTF, supplied in big, 42inch width rolls, over the hot Easter period. “It’s taken well,” Hazel Frith reports. “Unlike Chester Zoo, which shuts its doors at 6pm, these gardens are open to the public all the time and the turf gets no respite.”
Stephen Fell, Lindum’s MD has every confidence that RTF will meet the challenge. ”Because of the plant’s rhizomatous growth habit RTF has a great ability to recover,” he says, “and it shouldn’t be forgotten that it’s also very deep rooting. With the ability to root down 1 ½ metres the plant is very resilient during drought conditions.”