Crystal Palace tackle devil of a grass root problem with garlic

July 5 – If you happen to be in the region of the Crystal Palace stadium in south London over the next few weeks, you may experience a familiar odour.

The Premier league club are using garlic – that’s right – to prepare the playing surface for forthcoming season.

Ground staff have been applying liquid garlic in a bid to combat microscopic parasites that weaken roots in the turf, according to the club’s head of grounds and estates Bruce Elliott says.

“We have a problem with nematodes, which are a microscopic, parasitic worm-like creature that live within the root zone. When it gets in there it can distort all the roots system and creates a weak plant that is susceptible to disease and wear and tear,” he explained.

“We have to eradicate them, and one of the ways to do that is with garlic. This is a liquid form of garlic so we can spray it and it creates a chemical within the root zone which isn’t toxic to us but is to the nematodes. Think of your garlic at home and times that by 100.”

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