Vicente Alpuente has been the Head Groundsman for Villarreal CF for 13 years. He has overseen the turf development of both the "La Cerámica" stadium and the sports city, which are now rated as some of the best sports surfaces in Europe. One change has been the installation of a hybrid ‘Grassmaster’ system which Vincent claims has helped to provide a great surface for Villarreal. Another important consideration is the trust Vicente has in the range of ICL products and the services of ICL Area Sales Manager Sergio Hernandez. Vincente says ‘My philosophy is to try and make the grass plant as strong and healthy as possible, so that it can cope with the high wear and disease pressure that are inevitable during the year on these sports surfaces’.
'ICL and I regularly evaluate the programme that is in place, and I am always open to try new products and innovation from ICL, as I know every new product will have been properly formulated and well-tested before being launched'. The Vitalnova Range is a perfect example, five biostimulant based products which have been designed to help provide a healthy plant and a healthy rootzone. The potassium silicate product Vitalnova Silk was very interesting. 'Having trialed this and compared it to other brands with similar characteristics, I saw the best results with the ICL product so now use Vitalnova Silk regularly to support my nutrition programme here at Villarreal.'
'We apply Vitalnova Silk at 20L/ha tank-mixed with Sportsmaster WSF Seamax (1 kg/ha), and the addition of potassium silicate to the turf provides a strong grass plant, which seems to have better wear characteristics. The quality of cut is cleaner, which improves the appearance of the surface and its playability. On top of this we get fewer disease outbreaks, because we are keeping the plant healthier'.
'We alternate this Silk/SeaMax tank mix with a second tank mix of Vitalnova AminoBoost, Greenmaster liquid 12-4-6, Effect Iron and STEP liquid, making an application every 15 – 20 days. These liquid applications support the granular nutrition for the pitches which provides the base nutrition and focuses upon the coated products of Sierrablen plus and Sportsmaster CRF mini, with additional applications of Sportsmaster CalKMag and Step Hi Mag. The profile of my pitches is very sandy and the coated N applied prevents loss through leaching and wastage, so making my nutrition effective and efficient'.
'The pitch needs to look good and perform well and this combination of products on this pitch gives exceptional results. I use ICL solutions because there is clear evidence they work, and the wide range of products available means that I always have options to cover the diversity of needs we have'.