Mike Finch of idverde has praised the performance of the Dennis S500 Plus seeder which he uses on the five greens at Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa.
idverde was appointed by Warwick District Council in 2012 to undertake grounds maintenance and horticultural services within the district and has been doing so ever since.
Under their remit, idverde maintains a staggering 43 football pitches, 20 tennis courts, various hard surfaces and running tracks. All these sports facilities are overseen by the vastly experienced Mike Finch, who spent 24 years as head groundsman at Coventry City FC.
Whatever the nature of the sports surface Mike has the knowledge to maintain it, but he admits that the bowling greens at Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park are particularly precious to him.
“My main interest is the bowling club,” he said. “Bowling greens are very precise animals – they need a lot of attention. Greenkeeping isn’t about time – it is about dedication and precision. I take it seriously every single day and I don’t allow myself to play second best. My drive is passion and excellence and I always try and exceed expectations.”
This is certainly evident at the prestigious Victoria Park – the home of English Bowls. Always striving for perfection, Mike was pleased when he was recently offered the chance to purchase some new equipment and it is a process which he does not take lightly.
“Using the wrong equipment or using it at the wrong time can do a lot of damage and that is why I do a lot of research,” said Mike. “I make a point of listening to what other users have said and see what their experiences are; I will never rush into a decision. I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I like to think I know which equipment works best for the sites I am looking after.”
Mike chose the Dennis S500 Plus seeder. Ideal for bowls, cricket, golf and other fine turf and ornamental lawn areas, this dual-purpose machine has a 510mm (20″) operating width complete with interchangeable spiker and slotter reels. The spiker reel punches through the ‘surface pan’ allowing air, water and fertiliser to penetrate the root zone, while the slotter reel creates ideal seed germination pockets thus reducing seed wastage. Using the optional seed box attachment will ensure grass seed is dropped onto the ground at the prescribed rate and brushed into the pockets.
“I was on the lookout for a good pedestrian seeder and I came across the S500 Plus. We looked at various machines, which included second-hand ones and hiring them, but it was the S500 which stood out.
“Jason Briggs (area sales manager for Dennis and SISIS) brought it to us for a demonstration and it imprinted really well – we purchased it straight away.
“I like the way the seed is dragged in with the brush which is also attached to the S500. It drops the seed into all the slots, which makes the perfect seedbed, therefore allowing the seed to get top dressed and filled in.
“For general overseeding on established greens, it works very well and I’m incredibly pleased with how it performs.”