1st October

Hi All,

“Pinch, punch, first of the month”, so the old folklore saying goes, I was certainly pinching myself last night listening to the commentary on The Ryder Cup (No Sky ) and to hear us come back from such as poor position was quite frankly amazing, I had to turn the sound down at some stages as I couldn’t bear the tension :), brill, a credit to all of the players and a fantastic win for Europe, fair play….

It was only a week ago that we endured our most intense low pressure system on record for September. John Scott at St Mellion reported 64mm fell between 7am 23rd Sept – 7am 24th Sept and at one point the rain rate was 67mm/hr, torrential. (a record on both accounts for the site). James Braithwaite from Long Ashton reported 82mm over a 22hour period and Colin Jones from Mold G.C reported 62mm, so the west side of the U.K definitely came off worst. September is traditionally a dry month and for some areas, this has been the case with average rainfall across the month, of course the fact that the stats hide is that 80% of September’s rainfall fell over a short period of days…

General Weather Situation

The trough pattern in the jet stream is still in place, so that means low pressure will be the order of the day for the start of October, as the graphic above clearly shows. So cool(ish), wet and windy, particularly for the north and Scotland for the next 10 days with warmer air arriving at the end of the week to kick off Fusarium in earnest 🙁

So for Monday, a bright start for some areas with a diagonal band of rain sitting across the U.K stretching from the south west up to north of The Wash. As we go through the day, this sinks southwards, so showers for many, with longer outbreaks of rain in the south east. For Ireland, the day should be one of sunshine and showers, with the wind from the south-west. For Tuesday, a heavier band of rain pushes into west Connacht and Munster in the morning and this rain moves east across all of Ireland and then into the south-west, Wales, the north-west of England and Scotland by early afternoon, so a wet day here I’m afraid. That rain appears to stay stuck firmly to the west coast of the U.K through the day, so only a low risk of showers elsewhere. As we move into Wednesday, a new band of rain pushes into Ireland early doors and just about everywhere else is odds on for showers or heavier rain through the day, you may miss them, but tricky to say at this point. Thursday looks to be a dry day for all and a warmer one as warm air pushes up from the south-west on strong winds, a feature of this week, so nice for many out of the wind and in the sunshine. By close of play on Thursday, more rain is pushing in, so a wet end for the day in Munster, Leinster, Wales and the south-west of England. Overnight as we move into Friday, this rain intensifies and Friday looks to be the wettest day of the week for many. By midday, the rain is clearing the north of England, but at this stage, its orientation appears to be more southward, so a line from The Midlands down appears to start and end Friday with plenty of rain. Ireland after an initial soaking should see out the day dry. The weekend looks to start wet at this stage in the south of England, but drier in the north, Scotland and Ireland on Saturday. On Sunday, a new low pressure system is winding up, so I expect more rain pushing into Ireland, but until this arrives in the U.K, it should be the best day of the weekend.

Weather Outlook

The unsettled theme looks to continue next week with mild, wet and windy weather on the cards. I expect a wet start to next week with heavy rain potentially Monday and Tuesday before decreasing in intensity to showers thereafter. Winds will be strong and south-westerly / southerly in direction and it’ll feel mild in the wind. As the low is projected to sit quite far south (a feature of our lazy jet stream), there could potentially be more flooding for the south-west and west of the U.K I’m afraid.

Agronomic Notes

Plenty of Fusarium doing the rounds now, so that call last week to get the preventative on was hopefully well-timed :). Another feature of the wet and mild weather has been increased worm activity, particularly on higher height of cut areas, so now would be a good time to apply Carbendazim. As this mild and wet weather looks to be the order of the day for the start of October at least, you can only imagine that worms will continue to be a problem.

There’s been quite a bit of Take-All during September, often on areas where it hasn’t occurred before and I’d put this down to the wet summer encouraging and extending its activity beyond the more normal June / July period. Although I know it hasn’t been dry in the north of the country (thanks Ian) , September was a comparatively dry month till that deluge arrived in the last week, so that put the grass plant under a bit of moisture stress and guys were hand watering a good deal during the middle of the month in The Midlands and south of that.

A benefit of the mild soil temperatures and ever-present moisture is that grass plants affected during September by Anthracnose and Take-All should be able to recover and if the damage done has warranted overseeding, this should take well. Poa is a survivor and often I see areas that on first sight appear critically-damaged by disease such as Anthracnose Foliar Blight and Take All, only for them to recover if conditions and the right cultural practices are forthcoming.

New roots on Anthracnose damaged Poa annu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image above shows the root system and older leaves of a Poa annua plant damaged by disease, but new roots are allowing the plant to generate new leaves and thus survive. Note this plant is Poa annua var. reptans i.e Perennial Poa. In severe cases of this disease, the bare areas will become colonised by the annual form of this plant, i.e the coarser-leaved, biotype with greater seed production, unless of course overseeding is undertaken. So to generate recovery we’re talking about solid tining / sarrell rolling, overseeding, topdressing and fertilising, preferably with a granular organic product.

Soil temperatures are still sitting in the low teens (12.9°C here at present) so seed germination won’t be an issue at the moment and looking ahead, I can’t see any sign of us losing the current mild, south-westerly / westerly air stream.

All the best.

Mark Hunt

 

 

 

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