Hi All,

Just back from a quick trip to my motherland, Danemark, so apologies fophoto 2 (2)r the late sending of today’s blog. It’s difficult sometimes to compare a country you visit for a short while with one where you live, but I have to say, Denmark has the edge for me 🙂 They are quite simply more realxed, more sussed and organised than we are and they measure everything !!!!!!!

photo 1 (2) If you’re ever over on Jutland and have some hours to kill, take some time to visit the sand sculptures up at Søndervig, north of Esbjerg, quite amazing to think they can make something like this out of just sand and water !

I gather while I was away sipping a cool Tuborg or two, that more than a fair drop of rain came our way and judging by the headlines from the east of England and the amount of standing water visible from the plane on the bumpy approach to Stansted, it was torrential in nature. I did suggest that might be the case in last week’s blog because of the way the weather patterns were shaping up and I can tell you that it’s highly likely to re-occur again during August, though not necessarily in the same place. I emptied nearly 50mm from my rain gauge since last Wednesday, so for sure we’ve had a clattering….

General Weather Situation

So since Monday is pretty much on the way out, I’ll start with Tuesday’s forecast.. So Tuesday is looking to continue the unsettled nature of the weather this week with heavy rain into north-west Scotland from early doors and also edging into the west of Ireland, the south-west and west coasts of England and Wales by the morning rush hour, pushed along by a strong south-westerly wind. Through the morning, this rain will track eastwards, so many places getting some rain on Tuesday. Temperatures will be similar to Monday, so high teens and they’ll dip a bit at night to low teens.

This pretty much sets the scene for the week, with showers affecting the west coast of Ireland and the U.K and taking most of the day before they’ve tracked eastwards to affect the east and south-east of England.

For Wednesday we have a very similar picture, with rain showers affecting the north and west of Ireland and the U.K from early doors. These showers will track eastwards, so most places catching more than the odd one, but it’ll be sunny in-between the showers, particularly for the east and south-east of England. Temperatures will be similar to Tuesday both day and night and the wind will moderate a little as it swings round to a more westerly orientation.

For Thursday, we continue that unsettled theme with more sunshine and showers kicking off on the west coast of Ireland and the U.K and tracking east through the day.  The wind will be a little lighter, but it’ll also feel a little cooler as it swings round to the north-west, a portent of things to come me thinks….so mid to high teens the order of the day.

Closing out the week we have a similar picture, so dry for the south and south-east of England, but those showers are already kicking off for the north of England, Scotland and along the west coasts of the U.K and Ireland. Through the day they’ll track across country and again the east and south-east may stay dry all day and miss the majority. Temperatures will again be similar to the rest of the week in that strong to moderate north-westerly wind, so mid to high teens the order of the day and low teens at night.

Weekend-wise it doesn’t look so bad with perhaps the driest days of the week on Saturday and Sunday. They’ll still be showers around and these will be heavy over north-west and central Scotland. On Sunday the wind will shift temporarily round to the south-west and this will pick up temperatures into the high teens, maybe touching twenty degrees. Enjoy it because it’s downhill from here weather-wise.

Weather Outlook

As intimated above, it looks like next week’s weather could be potentially dire, especially for the south-west, Wales and south of England. Not great news when you’re considering spending 5 days in a camper van on the cliffs at St David’s 🙁

Monday could be the quietest day of the week wind-wise as the wind begins to change direction, swinging round to a more north-westerly / northerly direction. Despite the spaced-out isobars, Monday does look like starting off wet for the west of the U.K, Wales and Ireland, though the heaviest rain may only affect the south of Munster and perhaps Donegal. By Monday evening and overnight into Tuesday it’s looking like a heavy pulse of rain will push into the south-west of England and affect a line drawn down from The Humber. At the same time it looks like more rain will push into Scotland. By mid-week we’ll have heavy rain over the U.K and Ireland pushing westwards on a cool and increasingly strong, northerly wind. Thursday and Friday look better, with less rain and quieter winds, we may even see some sun 🙂

Agronomic Notes

Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) and Summer Usage

We’ve had a good bit of discussion over the summer to date about the frequency and rate variation experienced on greens and other areas with TE.  A good number of you have commented upon the lack of efficacy at certain points in time when applying TE at 2-3 weekly intervals, with sudden increases in growth despite the recent application of a product.

In the U.S as many of you will know they use a TE / GDD model based on 0°C and apply TE every cumulative 200GDD. Some of you have commented that this still gives growth surges and have cut the figure to 150 GDD, i.e applying every cumulative 150GDD, so I thought I’d look to see what this actually meant using some temperature data provided for me by an end-user in the south of England for July 2014.

The column highlighted in blue is the daily GDD using 0°C as a base. The cumulative column next to it simply adds each day to the previous days total and so forth. I have marked in yellow the point in the month when the GDD figure reaches 150 and you can see that if you followed a 150GDD / TE model it would mean applying on the 1st July, 9th July, 17th July and 24th July, in other words, on a weekly basis to keep growth consistent.


The perceived wisdom from the U.S is that application of TE on fine turf surfaces should be performed at a greater frequency, rather than at a greater rate, during high temperatures and this would appear to be the case here as well.

So how have people got on applying at 150GDD ? Answers on a postcard please……

Poa annua – Love it or hate it, You’ve got to be impressed…..

You may remember earlier in the year I posted a pic of 3 Poa annua plugs I took from a golf green and ‘potted on’. They were all displaying different physiological characteristics and I found that fascinating. Well I’ve been ‘growing them on’ and all they’ve had is an application of 4-3-4 and some biostimulant. Well they’ve colonised the whole pot now such is the aggressive nature of Poa annua and it’s tillering ability !!!!

In addition, I was suprised to see the root development, ok I’m not cutting at 2mm, but the root mass and depth is excellent. Lastly in this species never-ending quest for world domination, it’s also seeding at the edges of the pot so it can colonise the surrounding area (My kitchen sink !)

Poa pot start Poa pot now Poa pot roots

Core look at that !  (sorry about that, couldn’t resist it)


Keeping on the Poa theme, I had this lovely picture sent to Me today of a Poa annua core that is being used to establish a new turf area using core transferral. This increasingly popular method involves ‘transplanting’ hollow cores from established greens to a newly-rootzoned area and working them into the surface. The idea is that the sward which then develops is ‘mature’ in nature and so you suffer far less during the transition phase of Poa encroachment and also you directly replicate the playing characteristics of your other greens on a new turf area. So the new green / turf area fits in much better than a seeded or turfed area would do and importantly has little of the inherent organic matter content associated with established turf.

Getting back to the picture you can clearly see new tillers / shoots of Poa appearing from along the profile of the core. In other words these have to have orginated from the seed bank that Poa annua creates in a rootzone profile. With this and the top pictures in mind, how do we ever think we can keep it out from most turf situations ??

On the green – a quick round up…

With the rainfall of late falling onto warm soil, I confidentally expect a lot of Etiolated Tiller Syndrome (ETS) to be doing the rounds. Some observations from the field seem to suggest that it’s appearance and distribution is possibly linked to the distribution of annual Poa annua biotypes, as opposed to perennial biotypes. In other words it would appear to colonise areas that have thinned out at some point in the recent past or on higher height-of-cut turf areas where we know there’s a higher population of annual biotypes. (Because we see them seeding first here in the spring….)

I’ve had a good few reports of pecking on turf surfaces and although some people have suggested that it’s down to Leatherjackets, I think we also have some high populations of Cutworms as well because of the winter and spring weather. If it is Leatherjackets, how come we didn’t see high populations of Adult Crane Fly 8-10 weeks ago, I know there were some around, but not lot’s….????

I’m wondering if the cooler and wetter weather of this week and next will encourage an early outbreak of Fusarium /  Microdochium ? I know from agriculture that there is a very high incidence of Microdochium in Winter corn samples this year and I wonder whether this will translate to high disease pressure for the late summer / early autumn  – Again your observations would be appreciated…

Lastly there’s plenty of Anthracnose and Plant Parasitic Nematode activity at present, sometimes they’re occurring together which makes life pretty interesting. It seems to be the Ecto-parasitic species that are occurring the most often, i.e Spiral, Stunt and Sheath…..

Ok that’s it for today, need to get sPolseome pedal miles in between the showers because I’m carrying a few extra kilo’s from my Danish experience, too many Pølse I’m afraid,,, 🙂

All the best…..

Mark Hunt