You’re on the right track… with Village Green

Appearing on racetracks throughout Australia, Village Green has quickly become a favorite among Track Managers around the country. Village Green is a high performance turf like no other. Selected in Australia for Australian conditions, it’s a tough, hard-wearing premium turf, ideally suited to the demanding pressures of the racing industry.It’s hardy and has a soft, dense and quick-repairing cover. It is drought and cold tolerant, maintaining its color and growth long into the winter – literally a turf for all seasons. Consider the outstanding features that make its use on racetracks a sure thing:

Advantages

Safe Cushioning Surface

Village Green has a much shorter internode length (up to 40%) that makes it unlike any other Kikuyu. Shorter Internode spacing makes for a tighter and much denser thatch, matt, runner and leaf cover – increasing the cushioning effect of the surface.
Village Green can be maintained at a lower height for a faster racing surface.
Village Green’s stronger cover and root system means there’s less “chopping-up”, providing a safer surface with rapid divot recovery.

Recovers Quickly From Wear

Village Green’s higher density and quicker growth rate gives it the ability to resist damage and recover quickly from wear.
Village Green has a longer growing season and holds together better during cooler months – less need to oversow.

All Year Round Performer

Village Green remains active all year round and maintains its color, even at differing mowing heights.
Experience from the field to date shows that fertilizer, herbicide and watering inputs can be significantly reduced compared to other varieties.
The massive root system and tighter cover gives added protection for extremes of weather conditions and weed invasion.

Wherever you’re racing you can’t beat a proven performer like Village Green. For better cushioning performance, improved wear, quicker recovery and a deeper, consistent color – you’re on the right track with Village Green.

What they are saying!

Village Green has quickly become the champion of many Track Managers throughout the country. Improved wear-resistance, quicker recovery and better winter growth and color are being validated by on-the-ground testimony Australia-wide.

Bunbury Racecourse, WA

Kim Wallace, Track Manager at Bunbury Turf Club, speaks highly of Village Green’s other attributes.
“We’ve been working with Village Green for a couple of years now, and I can say that from a track-management and racing point-of-view that our decision to go with this variety is one of the better things we’ve done,” says Kim.
“We’re racing at a shorter length, our fertilizer inputs are a lot less, and cushioning is really evident by a lot less divot work after each race; I’d say around half of what it was before, maybe more!”
Another significant feature that probably goes unnoticed by many, says Kim, is the consistency in color with the variety.
“Both before and after mowing there’s not much color difference and you get consistency for the entire track. Apart from appearance, it’s an important aspect as well for safety in racing, for both horses and jockeys,” explains Kim.

Yarra Valley Racecourse, VIC

Yarra Valley Race Track Manager Matt Clark is encouraged by the improvements he’s seen since installation. “The new surface has been down just on 12 months now – we weren’t expecting too much initially and were surprised at the grow-in rate; the establishment was certainly quicker than expected,” says Matt. “We’re finding that we can steer away from oversowing, we’re fertilizing a lot less, it’s pretty-much weed free and we can prepare the surface to racing-condition at a lower height”.
Isn’t it time to add your name to the growing list of professionals excited by the use of Village Green!

Case Study's

Regional Racetrack Hits Its Straps With Timely Returfing – Bunbury, Western Australia

Bunbury, Western Australia is home to one of Australia’s much-loved regional racetracks and like many sports surfaces was well overdue for a substantial renovation.

“The track was scarified and top-dressed during May 2009 with the hope that this would be sufficient to revitalise the surface,” Ken Johnston, Sports Turf Technology said. “But by the time September came around, the committee realized there wouldn’t be enough grass in place for the first meeting, due to slow winter recovery.”

Greenacres Turf Farm came to the rescue with 8000m2 of turf blocks (40mm thick) of Village Green turf.

“Greenacres supplied the extra thick sods to achieve the stability necessary for such a surface in a short time frame,” Ken said.

Turf laying was completed on September 18, 2009 with 47 days to grow in before the first race meeting on Melbourne Cup Day. The track passed the steward’s inspection and the meeting ran smoothly to the delight of Bunbury Turf Club Racing Manager Paul Rossiter. Paul said he could not believe how quickly the roots of the Village Green turf sods went down into the soil.

Village Green Gets Inside Running – Gawler Racetrack, Adelaide, SA

An unforeseen opportunity at South Australia’s Gawler racetrack has been a bonus for Village Green and has allowed it showcase it’s strength.

“Our local SA supplier only had enough turf to cover the course proper and we had to get in turf from Victoria, which happened to be Village Green,” Mirko explained.

“I admit I was skeptical to start with, as it was a different variety to our existing turf, with a thinner, more knitted pile.”

“But as it turns out Village Green has really performed well since it was laid during January.”

Village Green gets inside running – Gawler racetrack, Adelaide, SA

Village Greens ability to establish quickly is a big plus for environmental projects such as soil stabilization and mine site rehabilitation. It covers quickly from stolons and sends down roots from roll on turf after 7 days even in winter. Village Green’s high winter activity enables growth and establishment during the winter and early spring when the soil is moist. As the soil dries out over spring/summer the roots are well established and the grass can cover with less water.

Village Green is playing a key role in trials investigating the ability of kikuyu to rehabilitate bauxite residue left over from mining activities. Its vigorous growth, salt tolerance and reproductive sterility makes it effectively non-invasive and a logical choice for rehabilitation projects.

Bauxite residue or red mud is a by-product of the alumina industry, which is proving an environmental challenge. An insoluble product, red mud has a solid concentration in the range of 10–30% and its pH is about 13.

After amendment with gypsum the pH drops to about 9, but coupled with salinity, the medium remains unfavourable for plant growth.

Research carried out by Professor Martin Fey, Professorial fellow in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Western Australia (UWA), reveals that Village Green grows “amazingly well” in the sodium-rich medium. “Eventually we hope to find out whether such grasses can be used for soil building,” Prof Fey said. In trials, three months after planting the kikuyu dry matter yields have been on par with anything that can be obtained in a fertile soil.

Going The Distance

Village Green now makes up about 85 per cent of the inside track, which sees up to 50 horses pounding the turf each week as they work through paces. Mirko is particularly impressed with how the hardy turf variety is performing under pressure, even at this early stage.

“I’d suggest the inside track is even holding up better than the course proper, which doesn’t get as much use,” Mirko said.

“I think the lower growth habit and knitted nature of turf allows it to be much hardier underfoot.”

“The color has remained strong throughout winter and I’m really quite happy with how it is performing.”

Low Maintenance Option

In addition to its ability to withstand hundreds of fast-galloping hooves each week, Mirko is also impressed at the low mowing requirements of Village Green to date.

“We had to mow our course proper only two weeks after it was laid, but Village Green really hasn’t been high enough yet to require mowing,” he explained.

“The inside track does contain patches of our traditional turf variety and so the mower has been over the track to manage this vertical growth, but Village Green seems to have spent its energy bedding down and not shooting upwards.”

“In terms of savings in time, fuel and mower operation and maintenance, this is a real potential benefit of the variety.”

“I imagine as the weather starts to warm up the vertical growth will kick in, but it has been good ever since its been laid, and I’m really happy.“

Latest Racetracks

Village Green Now Racing At….

Pakenham Racecourse VIC

Yarra Valley Racecourse, VIC

Moe Racecourse, Moe, VIC

Mornington Racecourse, VIC

Bunbury Racecourse, WA

Gawler Training Track, SA

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