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The grass of Wimbledon Tennis Courts

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For at least two weeks a year, a few small areas of grass in SW19 become the focus of the world, as the All England Tennis Championships – better known as Wimbledon – are held on the famous grass courts. read more...

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For at least two weeks a year, a few small areas of grass in SW19 become the focus of the world, as the All England Tennis Championships – better known as Wimbledon – are held on the famous grass courts.

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, starting way back in 1877, and it is also the only remaining grand slam that is played on grass, with the US open changing in 1975 and the Australian Open changing in 1988. Which, strictly speaking, makes it the only ‘lawn’ tennis tournament around.

The two major show courts, the hallowed Centre Court and Court No 1, are usually only used for the two weeks of the tournament, although the other courts are used more often for other competitions. This year, however, the two main courts will also play host to the Olympic Tennis Competition. This will mean lots of extra work for head groundsman Eddie Seward – although with more than two decades in the job, he has all the experience he needs to get them back in shape in time for the games.

Wimbledon grass is grown from seed, rather than turf, so they don’t need turf suppliers like Greendale Products. However, they do use upwards of five tones of topsoil on each court each year, so they do need reliable topsoil suppliers. Since 2001, the grass has been grown from 100% perennial ryegrass, replacing the ryegrass/ creeping red fescue mix that was previously used.

So what is Eddie’s best tip for getting Wimbledon like grass in your own lawn? Simple, he says, just keep cutting through the winter instead of putting the mower away until spring. This will help your grass to breathe and to develop properly. Cut to 14mm in winter and 10mm in spring for a Centre Court style finish you can be proud of.

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