Newslines Spring 2019

Irrigation Solutions 10 . news lines . spring 2019 Toro for problem-free irrigation a t Leicester City FC Leicester City Football Club has chosen a Toro Lynx central control system, 10 Infinity sprinklers on the pitch’s perimeter, eigh t T7 sprinklers in the centre and th e Turf Guard wireless soil monitoring system on each corner for problem-free irrigation at the King Power Stadium. Simon Gibson, head groundsman, pictured left, says he switched to Toro because he wanted more precise control and decided on Infinity because: “We like to keep the goal area drier than the rest of the pitch. With Infinity and the sliding clutch feature you can manually position the sprinkler where you want it without damaging the pop-up. Now on match day when we set the irrigation on, we send a member of the team round to spin the sprinkler out of the direction of the goal area. It’s great to be able have that level of control.” Instead of placing the Infinity sprinklers into the pitch, Simon put them into the 4G tracking run-off areas in stacked up irrigation boxes covered with blue astroturf: “The sprinklers can’t be seen when they’re not in use and it means the pitch is 100 percent grass. The boxes aren’t filled, we simply lift the lid to access the whole unit.” Turf Guard has been placed onto all four corners of the pitch and linked to the Lynx control system. Simon says: “Having Turf Guard in all corners means we have a more accurate picture of what the moisture content is through the profile. It allows us to detect the dry areas before they impact on the turf’s health and prevent overwatering. It’s taken away so much of the guesswork.” With the irrigation of the pitch safely in Toro’s hands what’s next at the King Power Stadium for Simon? “Plans for the next couple of years are to reconstruct the irrigation system pipework to enable us to pu t TS90 sprinklers in the middle of the pitch. The configuration of the existing pipes meant we couldn’t go for this option this time and while th e T7 sprinklers are brilliant once the pipe configuration has been updated it will allow us to install Toro’s ultimate infield sprinkler, the TS90.” There seems to be a great deal of pressure on all grounds teams come the start of each season, and Simon says that’s a situation that never changes: “Expectations for sports surfaces are always high and the pressure for the best surface possible only ever increases. Toro irrigation delivers on everything you ask for. You’ve got to get the best results and you do with Toro.” Dry summer is no match for Toro With one of the hottest summers on record this year, Ashridge Golf Club in Hertfordshire has reaped the benefit of a new Toro irrigation system, installed in the nick of time. Consisting of a Toro Lynx control system and a combination o f Toro Flex 34, 35 and T5 RapidSet series sprinklers, the dry summer was no match for Toro’s top of the line technology. Course manager, James Camfield, explains: “The system was installed in the winter of 2017 and we’re really fortunate we had the installation when we did, without it, I’m sure the course would have really suffered. “It’s been transformational. We were applying water consistently and uniformly to the greens and irrigating the surrounds automatically for the first time ever. Members and visitors have all seen the difference and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.” Prior to the instalment, James visited several clubs to see different irrigation systems at work. Despite originally considering another brand, after watching the Toro Lynx control system in action James decided there was no question it was the superior option. “It became evident very quickly that Toro was the way to go, with extra features like the weather station, Turf Guard wireless soil moisture sensors and the fact you can control it from anywhere gives you complete peace of mind.” Now, with Toro irrigation in place, the club is a proud ‘Total Solutions’ customer, and James is already making plans for the future. “We’re looking to invest more in Toro machinery over the next few years and we’re considering a second phase of irrigation. Twelve of the fairways weren’t covered by the first phase and you can tell that they’ve really suffered compared to the rest of the course. Updating the fairways, starting in the worst affected areas, will help protect more of the course in the future.” He concludes: “With our Toro irrigation system able to battle through one of the toughest summers yet, we’re confident it’s ready for any challenge that comes its way!” at work