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New Seed Coating Gives Grass Growth A Boost

ESPScoring top marks with users, the new ESP (Enhanced Seed Performance) liquid grass seed coating from Rigby Taylor promotes increased speed of establishment as well as encouraging a denser root development.

Backed up by three years' of dedicated research, the ESP seed coating technology incorporates a special formulation of key ingredients which is applied to the grass seed by using a liquid spray to ensure each individual seed is evenly coated.

Encouraging rapid and improved establishment, root mass is increased on average by over 20 per cent with a greater number of secondary and tertiary roots – a vital factor for example on golf greens, tees and approaches where greenkeepers are looking for density and uniformity. 

Mascot mixtures already benefiting from the ESP coating are R105, R117, R14, R311, R314 and R9 covering fine turf, sports and landscaping situations and more mixtures from the Mascot range with this treatment will follow.

Benefits of ESP include:

  • Great early establishment with more dense root development by over 20 per cent
  • Improves plant’s ability to withstand stressful situations during the critical establishment phase of the seedlings
  • Increases its strength and stability by improving the plant’s ability to capture and utilize water and nutrients
  • Sward density and ground coverage enhanced - reducing time from renovation to use
  • Leaf colour, thickness and overall plant health are also increased

Tried and Tested at West Cornwall Golf Club

Keith Kemp is head greenkeeper at the picturesque West Cornwall Golf Club  - a testing 18-hole links course.

Keith says: "The club’s objective was to achieve far greater consistency and a smooth playing surface together with an increased green speed at a higher rate of cut. This has been realized through our planned overseeding programme using coated R117 grass seed and I am really pleased with the results."

This 100% Top Green fescue mix features 25% chewings fescues Calliope and Greensleeves together with the slender creeping red fescues Helena and Cezanne.

Potted Trials

Conducting his own on-site trials last September, Head Greenkeeper Keith Kemp sowed two plant pots, one with uncoated seed and the other coated.  When Grass Seed Development Manager for Rigby Taylor, Stephen Denton, visited the club four weeks post-germination he says:  "Visually plant seedlings looked good in both pots.  However, on inspecting the root systems of treated versus untreated pots, those where ESP coating had been applied showed a significant improvement in the number and density of roots present, and excellent cohesion of soil around the roots themselves was apparent.  These enhancements provide benefits to the plant during the crucial establishment phase."

Monitoring progress four weeks later Keith says:  "A visual impact was now apparent with plants looking healthier and the roots continuing to develop more quickly.  This proved how good the ESP coated seed is."

Tried and Tested at Twickenham

At the famous Twickenham Stadium head Groundsman Keith Kent uses ESP treated Mascot R14 grass seed mixture to produce an even, dense sward. 

Seeding throughout the playing season, when weather permits, major remedial work is undertaken in June.

Keith says: I was late seeding in 2009 as we re-drained the pitch.  "We did not seed until the 20th June but the take-up of grass seed with ESP R14 was absolutely amazing.  This meant we were playing in August with good coverage and stability which is fantastic."

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