Not a bad weekend, a bit close and muggy like, but grand all the same. Not quite sure what to make of the closing ceremony for the London Olympics, but on balance it was a great event for the country, so fair play to everyone involved. It’s back to reality now, time to pick up the tab and let’s hope the legacy in terms of re-introducing proper physical exercise back into our schools is one that’s delivered on, because there’s an awful lot of overweight, young people around (about 33% of that age group). It’s not just about weight / appearance, exercise engenders attitude, stamina and positivity and we’ll need that in spades for the future. I heard a good quote the other day (thanks Alex) that went along the lines of…… “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you you’ve always got” – attributed to Mark Twain apparently. Ok onto the weather….:)
Unfortunately that Atlantic low I mentioned last week is projected to move in and influence our weather this week, so I envisage a change to sunshine and showers, with a strong south / south-westerly wind, reaching gale force at times. Wednesday looks the wettest day of the week potentially, though the rain has that familiar, south-west – diagonal orientation, so the further east you are, the better. This low pressure is set to hang around for awhile, most likely the next 10 days or so, so it’s going to be a case of picking your slot if you’re doing aeration this week and next.
General Weather Situation
So we start the week with more cloud cover and a stronger wind as that low creeps in from the west. Rain is already affecting Ireland and I expect it to reach Wales and the south-west of England / Scotland by mid-morning, pushing north-easterly from then on, so showers for The Midlands by late afternoon / early evening, though all the time this rain is pushing northwards. Tuesday looks like a repeat of the same, though the amount of rain looks lower and if anything the orientation is more northwards, so I envisage the south-east staying dry again. Temperatures will be holding up ok, around the low twenties, so nothing to complain about there. Wednesday could potentially be pretty wet, particularly for Ireland and the west of the U.K, Wales, etc, with the heavy rain affecting these areas first. It’s then projected to push eastwards later in the day, so we could all cop a packet during the day. This rain will also be accompanied by strong south / south-westerly winds. As we move into Thursday, that rain is still in place, particularly across Ireland and the west of the U.K, with showers or heavier outbreaks expected, again pushing eastwards later in the day. That said, the further east and south you are, the more likely you are to stay dry for the day. Winds will again be strong and from the south / south-west. Friday sees a re-run of Thursday, though possibly Ireland will be drier as the rain is projected to run east of Ireland into the south-west, Wales and the west of England during the morning, pushing into the north-west and Scotland later in the day, so a wet finish to the week in these places. With this amount of rain around, I’d expect showers pretty much everywhere during Friday. The weekend looks to continue this unsettled outlook, with maybe lighter winds, but Saturday could see more rain moving through, along the same orientation pathway as earlier in the week.
As hinted earlier, that low pressure is set to dominate our weather for the next 7 days, so unsettled is the order of the day as we go into next week with a strong westerly wind, however the projections are that the low will move off during Tuesday, winds should then drop and temperatures will pick up across all areas going into mid-week, next week, so potentially fine and dry. (good news for the harvest I hope) I think by the end of next week, another low will be forming to bring in some showers, but we’ll see.
A lot of you guys are involved in coring / aeration at the moment as August is normally a quiet month for play and September is sometimes one of the busiest. I appreciate that many would like to aerate at this time of year, but because of the outlook of club management, economics (loss of revenue), etc, they can’t..For me this month and the next is the best time to carry out large diameter, core aeration of putting greens because moisture and temperature are both normally available and so obtaining recovery is a quick and relatively straight-forward process. Once you’re into October, then the likelihood of heavy dews and the issue of topdressing onto a sward with active or potentially active Fusarium becomes a slightly trickier proposition. If you have the opportunity, why not core one green and show the club how quickly the surface can be brought back to playability, often that is enough to prove the point for the following year.
There’s quite a bit of etiolated growth around at the moment, particularly on collars, approaches and fairways. This picture was taken from a fairway that was cut on a Monday and by the Wednesday, it had put on close to an inch of growth where the tillers were etiolated. I have a fact sheet on this phenomenon if you’re interested (see link on home page of this blog or go to ;
The warmth and humidity continues to stimulate plenty of Fairy Ring, potential Waitea Patch and Red Thread, though Fusarium has settled into the background a little with the drier weather. That may change this week with the arrival of moisture onto a warm soil, though I’d still maintain that the potential to grow disease out, rather than spray is with us for a good while yet.
The distribution of Fairy Ring (And Waitea to a certain extent) across your greens or within a green itself provides a good indicator to the level of organic matter present as often areas where the Fairy Ring fungus is active are areas where the organic matter is above optimum. Within a green this could be areas that don’t receive day-day traffic, where the pin isn’t placed often or the upper tier of a two-tiered green. From an aeration point of view, this suggests that the amount of aeration required in these areas is at least 2x of what you’d be doing normally to reduce the organic matter. Remember also that the surplus organic matter not only provides an ideal site for Fairy Ring fungus, but later into the autumn, the increased water-holding potential in those areas will also encourage Fusarium.
All the best…