Hi All,

For many in the central, south and south-west regions of the U.K, these last 4 – 5 days have seen some lovely weather with very high temperatures topping at 25.5°C here yesterday. Further north and west, this hasn’t been the case with a rain front spoiling the party I’m afraid. This is going to be the scenario for many this week, as low pressure begins to influence our weather. Now we’ve seen this before, but when we have a low pressure system fixed in a trough, the rainfall tends to be heavy and localised as it rotates around a fixed point rather than moving through. It”s also going to be very hard to forecast accurately, so check your local Weathercheck service frequently because you’re going to see it fluctuate a lot this week.Brugge

Don’t think we’re the only ones with rainfall issues though, I got sent this picture of Bruges last week and you can see the volume of water falling there…(cheers Bernie)


Staying on the continental theme for a while longer, one of my othKitKatGTer colleagues in Switzerland believes the combination of coffee and chocolate taken together, (I agree wholeheartedly by the way Tobias :)) is extremely good for the mind and body, so imagine my surprise when I was offered this chocolate accompaniment to a cuppa at a club over here the other day (Ta Sean) …It’s a Green Tea -flavoured KitKat from the Japanese market and very nice (and different) it was too, so Nestle, get your act together and bring them over here please……ok onto the weather…


Image courtesy of Netweather Extra

General Weather Situation

Last week the projections were for a trough to form in the jet stream and allow low pressure onto the scene, this is still due to happen, but just look at how low the jet stream is running, (almost down to Africa) and the severity of the trough formation…



So Monday is set to be a beautiful day in the Midlands and south of the U.K, sadly the last really nice day for a while before things take on a more unsettled theme (already the case in the west and north). For Ireland we have a swirl of rain fronts that are set to push east over the country and into Wales and the south-west of England, I’m guessing this could trigger off some thunderstorms over these areas. By the afternoon that rain pushes into north-west England and Scotland and rotates around back into Connacht and Donegal, as it does so. Temperatures will be variable, mid twenties in the dry, south of England, high teens in the rain-affected areas of the west and north and somewhere inbetween in the south-west of England and Wales. Winds will be from the south-east and moderate through the day.

Overnight into Tuesday, that south-east wind will funnel rain up from the continent in a line stretching from the Isle of Wight up diagonally (\) to Donegal. This rain could be very heavy as moist air meets hot air and accompanied by thunderstorms and localised downpours. During the late morning, this rain is set to move north and slightly east, but remember there’s a lot of uncertainty about continental rainfall movements, so don’t text me saying nothing was forecast and now it’s lashing down, just keep an eye on the weather regularly, quit bitching and deal with it :). At present Ireland is set to be wet, particularly across the west and north and the same is true for the U.K with that rain front moving up the west coast during the afternoon / evening. Temperatures will be down on the highs of Monday (for the south) with a pleasant 20ºC in the south and high teens again elsewhere…the wind will be more easterly in orientation.

Moving onto Wednesday, that rain clears Ireland and the U.K, so a dryish start for most (some showers still lingering north and west), but during the early morning, we’re set for more rain from the continent. Now I’ll repeat one last time, whoever is forecasting, this type of rainfall can change on the flick of a coin, so bear that in mind. The current projection is that the rain will push initially into the south-east of England and then along the east coast of the U.K, before more, heavier rain arrives in the middle of the afternoon and swiftly moves up across most of the country (the north / Scotland may miss this initially). Ireland on the flipside looks to be dry on Wednesday, so there’s a change 🙂 Temperatures will be noticeably cooler in the south as that wind takes on a north-eastern feel, so much duller and cooler for most on Wednesday.

Overnight that rainfall is set to intensify, so a pretty turbulent one on the cards with potentially heavy rain into Thursday for the south-east of England / east coast. Elsewhere it shouldn’t be as bad initially, but as that rain band swirls around, it drags more rain into the south-west of England and Wales. By late morning, that rain is also affecting Scotland and again it could be potentially heavy here, as the rain rotates within the low pressure system. (It may also affect the north of Ireland and Donegal later in the day, but the rest of Ireland looks to miss the worst. Depending where you are in terms of proximity to the low, it’ll either pull milder air up from the south with the rain (South of England / Midlands) or cooler air down from the north-east (north of England / Scotland / Ireland). Temperatures will be high teens in the south and low teens in the north and west depending on the wind direction. It also looks to be pretty wind to boot !

Closing down the week we have more rain associated with that fixed low, at present it looks to affect a band central to the U.K and Ireland, amounts also look to be lighter than earlier in the week as things settle down a bit. During the day, the rain moves northwards and eastwards, so many areas will be a bit drier than of late. (hopefully) As that low rotates, it pushes the wind up from the south, but only mid-teen temperatures for many. Further north, you’ll be getting cooler air though the wind direction will swing round to the south-west. The wind will be lighter on Friday in intensity.

An early look at the Bank Holiday weekend shows a calming down of the weather, but it looks to stay cool and unsettled with rain set to move in during Sunday and Monday. They’ll be some sunshine between the rain, but temperatures are set to be mid to high teens at their best.

Weather Outlook

With no significant jet stream in place for the start of next week, nothing is going to change anytime soon, so remaining on the cool side and unsettled as we go into next week. I expect more rain through the week, with sunshine in between (so more typical of April weather than late May) and perhaps heavier rain from mid-week / next week. Winds will be lighter though.

You’ll see an additional Unisys loop at the top of the blog this week and this displays rainfall projections over the next 10 days. Rainfall is shown as light rain in purple, heavier rain in blue and heavy / torrential rain in green. The two loops run simultaneously so you can see how the weather systems change and the associated effect on rainfall patterns, I hope you like it.

Agronomic Notes

High Disease Pressure Forecast

With high temperatures for some of you and the arrival of rainfall, we’ll see some elevated humidity for a period and that’ll trigger off disease activity. So I expect to see high activity from fungal pathogens, particularly Superficial Fairy Ring / Fairy Rings over the next week or so once the rain arrives and possibly some Waitea patch. If you have to / want to treat, it looks like Axoxystrobin is the way to go here, ideally mixed with a wetting agent, but don’t water this in too much (rainfall or irrigation) because we tend to see these pathogens in the top 20mm of the profile.

There was some Fusarium kicking around earlier this month, but it tended to decline with the drier weather oflate. Expect this to make a re-appearance, though with the combination of warm soil and moisture, it’ll mean you’ll be cutting it out as quickly as it comes in.

Sorry to be a bit doomy and gloomy, but Red Thread tends to love this type of weather as well, so I’d expect to see that making an appearance, even on areas that have good nitrogen levels and are growing well…

Etiolated GrowthEtiolated Growth

A more autumnal turf malody that’s currently raising it’s head in the north and west is Etiolated growth (see above). I expect this to become very prominent elsewhere this week when the rain arrives. It’ll be especially noticeable on collars, fairways, approaches and sportsfields. Not much you can do about it I’m afraid, except grin and bear it.

I wonder if using the ‘sweep and fill’ brushes will have a positive effect on its appearance around golf greens ? (i.e standing it up better prior to cutting )



I’ve seen some weak fairway areas around over the last couple of weeks, especially those that have been vertidrained and on examination there’s a huge number of Leatherjackets present, even though the areas have been sprayed in the Spring with Chlorpyrifos. The other point of note was that the larvae were very big, maybe 40-50mm long and with significant fat reserves, so it’ll make them quite hard to get a kill even if you haven’t already sprayed and can do so. (Maximum number of applications for managed amenity turf = 1 per annum) So if you have the odd weak area that isn’t responding to fertility you can bet your bottom dollar, these guys are having a munch.

Locking the growth down on outfield areas

With warm soil, imminent rainfall and a Bank Holiday looming for some of us, the early part of this week is a good time to get a PGR on to ‘lock down’ some of that growth and make next Tuesday’s cutting expectations more manageable. With areas growing well, I’d only be looking to tank mix in some iron with my PGR application, rather than adding a liquid / soluble fertiliser as well. You may also need to go up on the application rate because of the growth rate at present and anticipated this week.

Wetting Agent Application

As if you haven’t got enough things to keep you occupied on the run up to the Bank Holiday (U.K only I think), the hot weather in the south will have dried a lot of areas out, especially with the strong wind of late. Today’s E.T is currently tracking at over 5mm moisture loss, so expect to see some plant stress showing on mounds, raised areas and even on heavier soil rootzones. The rainfall of this week should take care of that nicely but applying a wetting agent before it arrives should work well….


You can see from the graph above that an ‘open site’ situation like The Oxfordshire has been subject to a total E.T loss of just over 20mm over the last 5 days, which typically means 10mm replacement if the soil type is light…I appreciate those of you in the north and west have not had the temperature and have had the rainfall, so this won’t be such an issue for you.

That said, if you have Leatherjackets grazing on your turf roots, you’ll see not only a lack of response from fertility, but an increasing propensity for areas to drought out as the grass plant is unable to control moisture levels efficiently. (Because the root system is damaged)

Lot’s to think about, off to tackle the in tray…. 🙁

All the best..

Mark Hunt