SOS saves bare pitches in winter

Sports pitches are played on - day in, day out. It is no wonder that bare patches often appear on the sward during the colder months. Normal grass varieties cannot fill up these bare patches successfully because they don't get enough light or warmth. With SOS®, that problem is a thing of the past. SOS® germinates extremely fast at low temperatures and that's why it is first aid for sports pitches.

SOS guarantees success

In sports circles, SOS® has certainly not gone unnoticed. Perhaps the best example is the World Cup football tournament held in South Africa in 2010. Before the start, the pitches were not up to scratch and an emergency measure was called for. It turned out to be SOS®. The grass came up in no time, the sward density of the pitches was good and the matches were played on top-quality pitches. SOS® is popular with Dutch first division clubs, too, especially in winter when they are fanatical about overseeding. 


In 2009, Barenbrug won the Demo-Dagen Sports Facilities Innovation Prize. This Innovation Prize focusses on products and services for sports grounds, and sports, games and recreation facilities. The Prize is awarded to an innovative product or service. This is what the sports world had to say about SOS®:

Keep overseeding with SOS® right through the winter, if possible! If this is done regularly, there will always be always germinating seed in the soil.

Erwin Beltman
Field manager Feyenoord Stadium

Cutting edge technology

The main component of our SOS® mixture is a variety that establishes quickly, Lolium multiflorum westerwoldicum, and has the characteristics needed for sport and recreational grass. It is the third generation of annual ryegrass with sport and recreational characteristics. Tetraploid ryegrass is marketed as a good alternative for SOS®. Tetraploids generally grow quickly, but they do not have the same capacity as SOS® to germinate and establish themselves at a temperature as low as 4°C. That has been proven in laboratory trials.


I overseeded with SOS® in December and counted the GDDs. Fourteen days later, the SOS® plants were already coming up. Fantastic!

Henry de Weerd
Groundsman, FC Twente, Enschede

Overseeding at low temperatures

In the last few years, SOS® has become known for its ability to establish itself extremely quickly at soil temperatures as low as 4 °C, ensuring a strong sward all year round. When SOS® is overseeded at the right time, during autumn and winter, the quality of the sward is guaranteed. Overseeding with SOS® guarantees a grass cover of at least 60% within one month. That is 18 days faster than with mixtures containing ryegrass.


Click here for more information on overseeding at low temperatures.

Extending the playing season

SOS® extends the playing season significantly. A pitch that is overseeded early in the season retains a good grass cover. Therefore, pitches can be used more intensively than ever before. SOS® greatly increases the number of playing hours, sometimes as much as by 100 hours per year.


The goal area had been played bare - it was covered again with beautiful grass in no time.

Henk Schreuder
Groundsman SC Heerenveen

Preventing annual meadow grass

Annual meadow grass, or Poa Annua, is a short-rooted variety of meadow grass. It is usually an annual plant, but sometimes can be biannual or even perennial. If nothing is done about annual meadow grass, it grows like wildfire. It can cause a lot of bare patches and several diseases in the sward. Unlike many other grass varieties, SOS® can win against annual meadow grass. Because SOS® establishes itself so quickly, annual meadow grass gets little chance to take hold.


Click here for more information on Annual meadow grass.

Fastest establishment

No other grass establishes as fast as SOS®. This fast establishment takes place at temperatures as low as 4 °C. In the last few years, SOS® has gained a reputation as the best mixture for overseeding. It establishes itself extremely quickly at very low soil temperatures. Good maintenance guarantees good turf density.


Predicting germination with GDD (Growing Degree Days)

Germination of SOS® plants can be predicted using the Growing Degree Days calculation method. Growing Degree Days are commonly used in agriculture to predict the best time to harvest or to fertilise a crop. It is also a useful method for determining the development of weeds in a crop. The GDDs can be calculated using the following formula: (Tmax + Tmin)/2. Research trials have shown that SOS® germinates after 100 to 110 GDDs, whereas a 100% perennial ryegrass variety such as Bargold takes 115 GDDs and Barlennium takes 120 GDDs.



Pitches look good

The way you see a pitch is determined at first sight. Viewers and spectators dislike a poor pitch, often manifest in the form of bare patches, mainly in the winter months. SOS® makes that problem a thing of the past. Not only does SOS® fill in bare patches, it also ensures that annual meadow grass doesn't get a chance to do that either! When annual meadow grass begins to grow, the pitch soon takes on another colour. SOS® plants are the same colour as RPR® plants, which keeps the pitch more attractive.


Click here for more information on the visual aspect of SOS®.

Testimonials prove the success of SOS

Numerous Dutch first division clubs swear by fast-growing SOS®. During the winter months, sports pitches are overseeded with large amounts of SOS® to maintain their high quality. SOS® has proven its worth at World Cup and European Cup tournaments. SOS® is the best bet for solving problems in the winter months.


Click here for more experiences shared by SOS® users.