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Saturday 21 October 2017

Palace use garlic to ward off Selhurst Park pitch parasites

Crystal Palace are using garlic to treat the turf at their Selhurst Park home
Crystal Palace are using garlic to treat the turf at their Selhurst Park home

The stench of garlic is emanating from Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace are using it to prepare the playing surface for forthcoming Premier League season.

Eagles ground staff have been applying liquid garlic in a bid to combat microscopic parasites in the turf, head of grounds and estates Bruce Elliott says.

Elliott told cpfc.co.uk: "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.

"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.

"We're having to do it over a three-week period because you can't affect the nematode unless it's in the root zone, but it has a life cycle.

"They create eggs so we do it over a certain period when they're active in there to catch any hatches.

"The only unfortunate thing for us the pungent smell. Think of your garlic at home and times that by 100."

Palace's first pre-season friendly at Selhurst Park is on August 5 against Schalke and the Frank de Boer's side host Huddersfield on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, on August 12.

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