More than a decade on from the switch to an organic feeding programme, the grounds team at Farleigh School in Hampshire are receiving more praise than ever before! Staff, parents and pupils alike have cited how surfaces across the 70-acre site are providing consistent presentation and performance, despite the challenging climatic conditions, which Grounds Manager and Sports Coach Shaun Crowley attributes to the reliable results from 18-1-8+Fe and 5-2-4+Fe from Suståne

“While we weren’t initially pressured to explore the organic route, it was something my predecessor and I were keen on – not just for the environmental benefits but considering the safety element for the children and the flexibility it provided on application rates. We have a packed schedule both during and between term-times so getting feed down without pupils around was challenging” explains Shaun, who has been Sports Coach at Farleigh School since 2011 and took over the role of Grounds Manager three years ago. “Russell Riley from Suståne came in 12 years ago and it became clear that as long as we could catch a bit of favourable weather, we would be able to apply the product more flexibly which has been a great benefit ever since.”

Starting on the cricket squares, before finding uses on the outfields and lawned areas, Shaun and his team of five have found the combination of 18-1-8+Fe and 5-2-4+Fe delivers exactly what they need – namely a kickstart in spring, followed by consistent health, colour and growth without flushes. “We’ll apply the 18-1-8+Fe when the temperatures rise, ideally March or April, to get the cricket surfaces ready for the summer season. We’ll then carry out three to four applications of the 5-2-4+Fe annually which we see as a ‘maintainer’, again on our cricket squares and on our Headmaster’s lawn area.”

Suståne 18-1-8+Fe is a two-part blend combining Suståne organic with urea nitrogen for enhanced and long-lasting colour, ideal for fine turf and sports turf applications, lawns and landscaping. Combining four forms of Nitrogen, including three types of slow-release, 18-1-8+Fe provides economical results over a 12-16 week period. 5-2-4+Fe is the original Suståne formula, providing a mix of nutrients for greater root development, increased soil porosity and stability and even colour and growth. Fully compostable, 5-2-4+Fe has also demonstrated outstanding disease suppression on wide variety of turfgrass diseases, including Red Thread, in trials.

“We know what we need from the Suståne products, we know when and where to apply them, and we know that they work. Russell is also a great person to have on the end of the phone. He pops in to make sure we’re on track and has given us some great advice for improving growth on some of our more problematic heavy-clay areas.” Shaun concludes, “I know it’s a phrase that gets used a lot, but these Suståne fertilisers do exactly what they say on the tin!”