Hi All,

After a glorious weekend for most of us hopefully, where temperatures finally broke double figures 2 days in a row, attention turns to this week and the hopeful arrival of milder conditions and some rain because certainly here that’s what we need to kick-start the growing process on a lot of maintained turf areas. The milder conditions that were scheduled to get here mid-week are now running a couple of days behind and so although it’ll be milder than of late this week, with a distinct lack of night frosts, it’s not to the end of the week / weekend before temperatures start to pick up in earnest. Incidentally had to laugh to read Severn & Trent Water Company cautioning consumers on using water responsibly, due to “3 drier than normal rainfall months” for the start of this year, err didn’t we just have the wettest year on record preceding that ?

General Weather Situation

Today, Monday starts off cool with a scheduled return to easterly winds bringing more cloud cover off the North Sea, further west it’s a brighter affair, with a good deal of sun for Ireland. Later on Monday night, a rain front moves into Kerry and the south-west of England and slowly tracks north-eastwards through Tuesday morning, into Wales and the south of England before fizzling out in the afternoon in The Midlands. Amounts should be reasonably light, 2-4mm for most places, so nothing too horrendous., though it maybe more in South Wales and the south west as the rain lingers into the night here. Wednesday looks dry in the south of England, but for Ireland there’s a chance of showers throughout the day across most of the country. Temperatures will be high single figures and winds still easterly / northerly in nature, so keeping things cool, though we should just about avoid any night frosts.

By the end of Wednesday, a more concerted front of rain pushes into Kerry and the south-west of England and moves diagonally (\) up country going into Thursday. The rain is scheduled to track slowly northwards and possibly fall as snow on higher ground in the north as it meets that cold air, but temperatures will slowly be on the up as that wind finally swings round to the south / south-west. Overnight into Friday, that rain fizzles out, but a new rain band is scheduled to push into the south of England and at this stage only track as far north as the M4 – London sort of level, but we’ll see. Elsewhere drier, but still on the cool side as that easterly wind hangs on for another day, hopefully it’s last though. Ireland looks like having a drier end to the week with sunshine, however the weekend doesn’t look so good for either Ireland or the U.K as a really intense low is projected to form. So as we move into Saturday, those winds gather in strength and this heralds the arrival of rain I’m afraid for Saturday, reaching Munster and the south-west of England on Saturday morning and pushing north-eastwards through the day, though the far south-east / east corner of the country may escape the worst. The same is true for Sunday and if anything those south westerly / south winds will be even stronger, so gale force winds pushing that rain through, though hopefully by Sunday afternoon, the worst of the rain will have passed.

Weather Outlook

If everything comes to pass as projected, by the start of next week, that intense low pressure system will have moved through and we’ll be left with a mild, westerly airflow, sunshine and showers, with temperatures in the mid teens I think for most of the week and looking settled, let’s hope so.

 Agronomic Notes

So a slow transition back to moisture and temperature this week, but maybe that’s a good omen as the grass plant will need time to break dormancy and respond to the change in growing potential. I’d be using this week to get my granulars out in readiness for the arrival of rain and hopefully push on some recovery where you need it.

I’ve covered alot of the issues in the last two weeks relating to aeration suitability and choice of nutrition, so really nothing too much to add on this point, except to emphasise not to work the grass plant too hard from a lateral aeration perspective, verticutting, gradening, scarifying, until you have initiated growth successfully.

One area that will require more work than normal are wear areas like the pathways, from greens to tees, as these areas have been hammered with play, but as the growth-degree-day charts showed last week, they’ve had very little chance to recover, so here a helping hand is needed in terms of nutrition. Again I feel a granular product is more effective here, both from a practical application perspective and the amount of growth potential / longevity of growth that results from such an application.

All the best.


Mark Hunt