So here we are—publishing our FIRST BLOG! I am Suzanne Longacre, Marketing Champion for Laurel Valley Soils. I am extremely lucky to be able to utilize my passion for marketing and writing every day here at Laurel Valley Soils, and it is my goal to create interesting and useful blogs to help you grow awesome plants, grass and businesses.
I have thought A LOT about what topic is most deserving of our inaugural post. Should we provide an overview of the Laurel Valley Story, or discuss the many advantages of using compost to increase soil’s organic matter? Or do we feature a case study about one of our awesome customers who are doing remarkable things for their soil and their communities? But as I over-pondered this, and as life often works, the perfect topic literally fell into my inbox.
Wait for it…wait for it…
Now at first glance, I am SURE you are thinking— WOW— that is one beautiful pile of compost!
And thank you for that—we appreciate it—but the beauty of our “black gold” is not the focus here.
See, this rich, gorgeous compost is being applied to the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase race track for its Annual Event on May 21, and there are extremely high expectations as this course consistently rates a 10 out of 10 from the National Steeplechase Association, and there is $185,000 prize money on the line.
Steeplechase tracks are judged on performance, as the safety of the horses and riders is of utmost importance. For the best traction, the track must have just the right balance of firmness, (not too hard and not too soft), and requires deep rooted turf to prevent both slippery surfaces and divoting. The grass must also be resilient enough to withstand the continual beating and wear caused by the 6 races that take place throughout the day.
Photo Credit Jim Graham
Charlie Fitzgerald of Grass Management, Inc. has been managing this track for over two decades. Every year, five to eight weeks prior to the race, he aerates the soil and top dresses with Laurel Valley Compost to provide organic matter, nutrients and beneficial microbiology. These components help to make the turf more disease resistant while reducing compaction, improving drainage, and encouraging deep root growth. Deep roots allow for better absorption of water and nutrients, while holding the turf in place during the brutal hammering it gets from the horses’ hooves.
So this is why Charlie’s story was the first one we wanted to tell. Many times, turf amendments are applied for the end result of making turf grass look beautiful. But here, the focus is actually on what you can’t see. It’s all about the healthy soil and turf relationship that ensures the prize winning horses and their riders are protected on the big day. The fact that the track looks beautiful is a bonus!
Going to the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase? Bring your #CompostCam and post your pics to our Facebook page! We would love to see them!