If you’re getting to this page, then you’ve probably subscribed to my blog, so thanks for that..Each week I’m going to start with an image of the current weather pattern over the U.K, Ireland and Europe, so you can see what I’m referring to in my ‘General Weather Situation’ section. The image below (courtesy of Unisys Weather) shows different temperature ranges, high and low pressure systems and isobars. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of once you remember that winds in a high pressure circulate clockwise and those in a low pressure, anti-clockwise. A rolling 10-day link is available in the right hand panel for both this format and likely rainfall…
As you can see above, we currently have a high pressure system sitting out in the Atlantic and this is currently responsible for pushing warm air in from the west (Did you notice how much warmer it felt on Sunday vs. Saturday, well this was the reason).
This warm high pressure system will dominate the week ahead. To the right hand side you can see a deep trough of cold air stretching down to Italy and this brought the first snowfall in Switzerland over the weekend, as reported by my friend Bernhard in Winterthur, but don’t get out the ski’s just yet Bernie !.
So for the week ahead, we have warm air pushed in on strong, westerly winds, particularly in the early part of the week. Rainfall will be light / moderately heavy and mainly restricted to the north of England, Scotland and the Connacht area of Ireland during Monday and Tuesday, drying up thereafter. Temperatures will be warm, high teens, with mild nights and if the wind stays strong and cloud cover prevails, little dew as well. As we move towards the end of the week, a cool, low pressure system over Iceland will sink south and bring both strong winds and cooler temperatures affecting Scotland and the North of England by the weekend, before moving south to affect all areas of the U.K by the early part of next week, though the weekend should stay on the mild side in the south.
At the moment, the cold low is set to intensify next week and if so this will bring strong, northerly winds, cold air and potentially heavy rain by the early part of next week.
After the extremely warm end to September and the start of October, things are settling down a bit temperature-wise. Growth levels are reported as low on greens, even with the rain that fell on Wednesday and Thursday last week. This was cool rain, so the soil temperature dropped away quite significantly from the start of the week and by Friday last week, I was only registering 11°C. With the arrival of warm air from Sunday, the soil temperature will quickly spring back up again. Good news if you’ve got seed in the ground or are still planning to over-seed bare areas.
Fusarium activity is pretty low at the moment, with no horror stories, but it is sitting in the background and this warmer air may kick it into action. There are plenty of reports of late season nematode damage, with the warm, dry September responsible for pushing up numbers of mainly Ectoparasitic species, like Spiral Nematodes, through the roof. This coincided with higher than normal E.T rates, so the plant was under more stress and this resulted in some loss of plant cover in places. (see below)
Spiral nematodes often cause irregular patches of affected turf, sometimes in characteristic horseshoe shapes. This image is typical of the turf symptom.
I’ve also noted some Dollar Spot activity at the end of September during the warm weather and heavy dews, this is the first activity I’ve seen this year. (And probably the last)
Nutrition-wise, I’d still be looking at light rate liquids to manage growth and stay in control whilst temperatures are as they are. This week with the strong westerly winds from Monday to Wednesday, it’s not great for sprays, but Thursday or Friday should be better as the wind drops. If next week’s, cooler rain stays on track, then it may switch us into granular fertilisers thereafter, but we’ll see….
All the best…