September 5th

Hi All,

General Weather Situation

As mentioned last week, this week’s weather is due to be affected by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, which is busy moving south towards the U.K as we speak, so that means unsettled, plenty of rain showers and lots of strong, westerly wind, particularly on Tuesday / Wednesday and Thursday, so hang on to your hats and your tents if you’re at Saltex!.. Today has rain showers forming over the west of the U.K, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, which will push eastwards p.m to affect all areas.

A new front of rain reaches Connact and Munster, Scotland, Wales and all but the south of the U.K by early Tuesday morning, and this looks to give heavy rain over Wales, the South-West and Northern England, the South-East should miss alot of this until the back end of Tuesday. Wednesday will see lighter showers affecting Ireland, Scotland and the North of England and these will push south, but as they do, the rainfall will lessen. Thursday sees a repeat of Tuesday with heavier rain into Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the South-West, pushing eastwards through the day, but again the South-East should be relatively dry. By Friday, things begin to settle down a bit, the wind drops from gales force and it will be a relatively dry day. Temperatures during the week will be typical, high to mid-teens, improving towards the end of the week as the low pressure moves away, but that may mean a dip in night temperature by then with a chilly night for Friday.

Outlook

The weekend looks pretty dry at this stage for the south half of the U.K and Ireland, but a deep low will clip the north of Ireland and Scotland bringing heavy rain.
This low is projected to move slightly southwards, so for Scotland it’ll mean extremely strong winds for the start of next week. Further south will see a return to more settled conditions with some autumn sunshine and warm day temperatures, though Tuesday promises to be breezy again from the west with a chance of heavier rain moving through. Thereafter could be the beginning of an Indian summer, but we’ll see…

Grass Agronomics

As we begin our inexorable slide into autumn, it’s no surprise that we encounter the usual suspects.

With the mild weather of last week and rain showers the previous weekend, worm activity has started to kick off early and I’d expect this to continue through this week and the early part of next as the rainfall encourages more casting.

Another feature that’s been prominent this year with the autumnal theme from mid to late summer is Etiolated growth or ‘Ghost Grass’ as some may call it.
Prominent on all areas, particularly collars, approaches and fairways (though I saw some very badly affected greens the other week), it’s a feature of our weather and the activity of a Fusarium fungus stimulating rapid growth in some Poa biotypes. It’s not controlled by a PGR, in fact I’m of the view that PGR usage makes it appear worse on higher heights of cut areas because whilst the other grass species present are regulated, the etiolated areas are not, so they appear more prominent.
As stated before, some anecdotal work in the U.S and in the U.K has shown control of this fungus by application of a Triazole fungicide, but of course this would be as a side-effect from an application for a labelled disease.

There’s plenty of Red Thread around on fairways, tees, approaches and collars, kicked off by the combination of warmth and moisture and of course Fusarium is doing the rounds, though I think with the relatively dry week, last week, it’s intensity is decreasing.

That may change of course with this weeks moisture, but you’re not going to be able to do much about it anyway because of the strength of the wind and rainfall.

Growth levels will be low to medium, but I expect the recovery that’s started on outfield areas to continue with the rainfall this week so hopefully by next week, you should start to get a good idea of what areas are showing recovery potential and what areas will require overseeding. On this subject, from now till the end of October is a great time to establish seed on areas that don’t normally get irrigation because we’re likely to carry good temperatures through to November and with lower E.T rates, that seed has an excellent chance of establishing a root system to survive the winter with. Talking of which, by bet is for another hard winter spell of snow and ice, because of the low activity of the sun, but when it will start and finish though is another matter 🙂

All the best.
Mark Hunt

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