An expanding network of growers is benefiting from group collaboration as Village Green continues to take root and spread across European public areas and green spaces.
The Village Green Growers Group’s recent field days and conferences in Barcelona, Lisbon and Cyprus has brought together almost a dozen growers and Village Green representatives from Australia to share the latest advances in product development, collective brand marketing and an exchange of technical advice.
Renowned for its dense, hard-wearing qualities, low maintenance, and water and cost saving advantages, Village Green is the only certified kikuyu grass variety in Europe.
Village Green growers have reinforced the research and testing conducted at universities in Australia, praising its all-weather resilience, water-saving capabilities and the ability for growers to attract a higher financial return per hectare of product.
Agriculturist and principal of M.A. Turfland, Costas Michael, described his initial scepticism about Village Green when he was first introduced to the new product. He soon realised it was the solution his clients needed.
“Due to water retention and supply issues, many clients were resorting to artificial turf until we started producing Village Green,” Mr Michael said.
“With its superior root system and higher density, Village Green has allowed us to grow without having to use plastic netting underneath (as was the case when using common kikuyu that would otherwise fail to hold together).”
“Village Green also stays green all year-round, compared to the common kikuyu we had used previously, so it saves money in overseeding,” he said.
A stunning result of this switch to Village Green has been the transformation of the iconic main square in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. Completed in November 2018, Eleftherias Square is a relatively heavy use collection of green spaces.
It has benefited greatly from Village Green’s density, which helps resist wear and presents a tight cover that smothers weeds under a low maintenance (water and fertiliser) regimen.
Mr Michael is now holding a December field day at his farm at a time when most warm-season grass varieties are in a poorer condition. By inviting inspection in the cooler months, Mr Michael said he would be able to demonstrate Village Green’s abundant colour and thicker density when other varieties are struggling.
Lawn of the future
With its efficient root system, superior density and appearance, and outstanding versatility, Village Green kikuyu is also poised for a successful grower launch in the south of Spain.
Well known turf consultant and agricultural supplier, Mariano Carreras of Cádiz, has extensive knowledge of warmer climate turf demands, and identified Village Green as the best agronomic solution for his customers.
While there are different growing conditions depending on altitude and proximity to water basins, the soils of the Andalucía region are often of marginal quality.
“Driving around Andalucía every day, it was obvious that the golf courses, gardens and sports and playing fields needed something different,” Mr Carreras said.
“When we teamed up with Australian company Future Turf (developers of Village Green) we quickly came to realise that our goal of having lawn in perfect condition all year round, with minimal impact on the environment, was both possible and profitable.”
“It brings very important advantages, such as staying green throughout the year, and it has enormous adaptability that means less water and fertiliser and no pests, so phytosanitary products are unnecessary.”
“It really is the lawn of the future,” Mr Carreras enthused.
To learn more about Village Green or to express an interest in joining the Village Green Growers Group, visit www.villagegreeneurope.com or call Alberto Rizzi +39 338 472 8299
The website contains contact and supplier details and a range of technical and general product information.