The fastest establishment is possible with the latest generation of annual ryegrass: SOS! This characteristic has made SOS a very well-known and popular grass mixture in the past few years. The ability to renovate sports pitches is very important in winter, to make the pitches suitable for playing again as soon as possible. Overseeding with SOS guarantees a grass cover of at least 60% within one month. That’s no less than 18 days faster than can be achieved with standard perennial ryegrass mixtures.
Overseeding at low temperatures
Overseeding at low temperatures is impossible with most grass mixtures. SOS, on the contrary, can be used for overseeding at soil temperatures as low as 4 °C. Clubs usually have to improvise so as to be able to keep on playing on suitable pitches. SOS puts an end to all that. When used at the right time, at the end of the winter, SOS will ensure a sward of a high quality
The following graph shows just how quickly SOS establishes and restores the sward when it is overseeded in January at a soil temperature of 4 °C. One month later the grass cover is already more than 60%. SOS is the perfect solution for overseeding at low temperatures.
Extending the playing season
Extending the playing season is not a matter of course; the usual grass mixtures don’t germinate at low soil temperatures. SOS, however, can extend the playing season with a few months. A pitch that is overseeded during early spring will retain a good grass cover. Pitches can then be used more intensively than in the past. SOS may extend the playing season by up to a hundred hours a year.
SOS vs Annual meadow grass
When light green patches appear on a sports field, the groundsman knows the score: annual meadow grass! If annual meadow grass is left to grow, it will become dominant in the field within three years. Newly laid out sports fields in particular are a target for annual meadow grass. SOS is an excellent product, especially in the winter months as it germinates at a temperature as low as 4 °C. This is sooner than annual meadow grass, which germinates at around 8 °C. SOS is therefore another serious challenger of annual meadow grass.
Laboratory tests carried out by Barenbrug Research showed that it is possible to predict the germination of SOS by calculating the so-called Growing Degree Days (GDDs). The GDD formula was developed on the basis of the emergence of the first green leaves. SOS, Bargold and Barlennium (perennial ryegrass) are the varieties that were used in the tests.
SOS was found to emerge earlier, and on top of that there was also a significant difference in the development phase. The emerging SOS leaves were twice as long and grew faster than the leaves of perennial ryegrass. The leaves also emerged faster and looked better in the field. This showed that it is possible to predict the germination of SOS.