Batlow in the NSW Snowy Mountains is located in one of the coldest places in Australia through winter. The town of Batlow is famously known for growing apples, but it’s proven to be a successful climate for another plant as well.
Located in the Tumut region, despite the cold conditions winter in Batlow is football season. This presents a significant challenge for playing surfaces, with warm season grasses being dormant and previously unable to withstand the winter wear.
In 2020, Snowy Valleys Council approved a new playing surface for Batlow Oval as part of a $600,000 upgrade. The surface was levelled with new drainage and irrigation installed, before new turf underlay and turf was laid. The oval hosts many local sporting activities including football and cricket, along with school and community athletics.
The turf variety selected for the Batlow Oval development was TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda. This incredible turf variety provides superior performance for the existing surface, with its key performance traits ideally suited for this climate and wear. Lawn Solutions Australia turf supplier RivTurf supplied the turf for the oval and have been particularly excited by the potential that TifTuf would provide for the surface.
During July 2021 the new Batlow Oval playing surface was put to the ultimate test. Not only has the ground been subjected to countless hours of wear from game after game of rugby league, but it had also snowed.
Andrew and Cam from Rivturf went to check out the oval after the snow experienced over the weekend. They were interested to see how the surface had held up given the very wet months Batlow had also experienced in the lead up. Over 100mm of rain had fallen in July to date, so the ground was definitely under numerous environmental pressures.
Photo of the Group Nine juniors playing rugby league on Saturday.
On close inspection the tips of the grass had experienced some frost damage, but there was plenty of green still in the undergrowth and the profile of the grass dense.
The playing surface was oversown with rye for the winter months by Council, but there wasn’t a lot of rye to be seen in the cover.
This result would simply not have been achievable without the installation of a superior turf variety like TifTuf. Over the coming weeks it’s expected the grass will make a full recovery, while continuing to experience wear from winter sport. This is a great result for sport in the region, where locals can expect the same great performance for the summer of cricket ahead.