Hi All,

After a simply beautiful autumn day yesterday when the temperature topped 21°C and the sun shone, it’s now back down to reality with my projected ‘unsettled start to the week’ coming to fruition.

Autumn is very much in progress and already some of the trees are changing hue. You get some simply beautiful colours at this time of year kicked off by the combination of cold nights and bright days…Saw this amazing Virginia Creeper growing up the wall of a house in Hallaton. The image is a bit blurry because I didn’t want to stop walking and take the picture thereby detracting from my mile average speed…ok, ok I admit it, it was because The Hare Pie Cafe was just around the corner and an imminent Latte and Flapjack beckoned :)_


That predicted low pressure in The Bay of Biscay is feeding up heavy rain from south to north and that’s making some peoples Monday morning start a very wet one indeed……21.1mm so far today and that’s roughly double what was forecast….reckon we will top 25mm  by the time the morning is over….:(

250917 Sept25th17





General Weather Situation

Ok so we know the central part of the U.K is starting off very wet today on Monday in a line stretching from the south coast right up to The Shetlands, there are some gaps in that rain band and either side of it as well. Through the morning we can expect that rain to stay in situ and then gradually fizzle out. You can see from the rain radar that Ireland is totally clear and here you can expect a beautiful autumn day with temperatures in the high teens but treasure it because you won’t see many more dry ones this week 🙁 Wales and The South West will also stay largely dry with nice temperatures as well as will the western side of Scotland. Under that rain expect mid-teen temperatures only. By dusk the rain has all but gone except for a persistent area over Central Scotland which will last through the night I’m afraid. Winds will be light and easterly making that rain slow moving.

Onto Tuesday and a much better day for one and all with only that rain over Central Scotland (east I think of the A9) hanging on first thing. Through the morning that cloud cover will thin to give some pleasant spells of sunshine over most of the U.K and Ireland. In that sun, temperatures will push through to the high teens and I can see it being dry for the entire day but like I said enjoy it because it won’t last this week…Again winds will be light and from the east.

Overnight into Wednesday and the first of those Atlantic rain fronts has pushed into the west of Ireland and brought heavy rain to the west of Ireland. This front will be slow-moving so expect rainfall totals to be high across the west and central Ireland as that rain moves from west to east. I wouldn’t expect it to hit the east of Ireland until lunchtime. By mid-afternoon that rain front is expected to push into The South West and West Wales but won’t reach South Wales and the M5 till later on Wednesday night. So Wednesday looks to be another dry day for most of the U.K and certainly central and eastern areas will stay dry right through till Thursday morning when that rain front is expected to continue its eastern march. So wet for Ireland but a pleasant day for the U.K till that rain arrives in the west with similar temperatures to earlier in the week. Windier on Wednesday with a strong to moderate south / south easterly wind.

Onto Thursday and overnight that rain front is expected to push across the U.K bringing rain to the north of England and Scotland in particular in time for the morning rush hour. It may just break up over The Midlands leaving a dull but dry start here for Thursday. Ireland should have a much better day after that heavy rain on Wednesday with some spells of sunshine across the west in particular but expect a new rain front to push in by late afternoon / early evening.  Through the morning that rain and thicker cloud will push away to the east to leave brightening skies and better conditions behind with a much better end to the day everywhere across the U.K. During the evening we can expect a new rain front to push into West Munster and cross Ireland overnight bringing more rain to already saturated soils. As that sun breaks through across the U.K after the early morning rain and cloud I would expect pretty reasonable temperatures up in the high teens again with only mid-teens across Ireland and Scotland due to the thicker cloud cover.

Friday already and if only a work week could pass as quickly as I type it on a Monday morning..ho hum. So a cloudy start for the U.K and that vertical rain band should be sitting across the east of Ireland before moving off into The Irish Sea during the late morning and moving into Wales, The South West and the western coastline of the U.K by early afternoon pushing cloud cover ahead of it. So that makes it a duller, cloudy day on Friday with rain arriving for the 2nd part of the day across central and eastern parts of the U.K clearing behind it as it goes. Winds will be moderate and from the south.

So how does the first snapshot of the weekend look sitting here on a dull and damp Monday morning with the rain gauge edging past 23mm as I type ? Well for Ireland, Wales and the west I think Saturday could be a pretty nice day with that rain band predicted to affect the eastern side of the U.K during Saturday morning and it may hang on for most of the day across East Anglia. So sunshine and some scattered clouds expected west of that rain but we can expect a wind change on Saturday to westerly so that’ll take the edge off the temperature with only mid-teens likely I’m afraid. Sunday looks like being a reverse of Saturday with low pressure pushing rain into Ireland and this rain may move south eastwards so possibly only affecting the south of England through Sunday.  Winds will be back to southerly again so a little warmer on Sunday and away from the risk of that southerly / westerly rain, another pleasant day I think.

Weather Outlook

So here’s my prediction for the start of next week….extremely windy…..


As you can see from the GIF above for next Monday we will have an intense low pressure system hanging over us and I think I’m right in saying this one is going to be called ‘Brian’. So yes it looks like Storm Brian will have you hanging onto your hats at the start of next week two weeks after the last storm (Aileen). So Monday looks like being wild, wet and windy and that pretty much sets the tone for the week really with the winds turning to a cooler, north westerly by Tuesday and that means the focus of the rainfall will also be more north westerly for Tuesday before switching round to the south west again for Wednesday and bringing that rainfall more south and westerly from Wednesday onwards. So next week looks windy, wet at times and mild (ish) with absolutely naff all spray days…

Agronomic Notes


Out walking yesterday across Leicestershire and noted loads of Crane Flies coming up from the grass at my feet suggesting that there could be high pressure from Leatherjackets over winter and particuarly next spring.

The situation with insecticides continues to be a common theme on my travels (alongside Carbendazim) as currently we don’t have an effective control method. I may be wrong but I think with insecticides we will see something come to the market in the future, when I’m not sure but if you consider that the whole of the agricultural market is up for grabs to whoever can develop a product then that’s a big prize in terms of £’s and hopefully we can hang onto their coat tails and gain an approval for amenity.

Someone once said to me that legislation and logic don’t sleep in the same bed together and insecticides seem to be a classic case of this. It’s all down to registrations and of course the E.U’s thematic strategy for pesticides, you know that wonderful piece of legislation from the European Union (one of many) that is currently making all of our lives tricky in the amenity market.

It’s wrong of me of course to bring this up because at least it’s the same for every country in our climatic zone isn’t it…isn’t it ?

Well no it isn’t….:

Under the regulations above there’s a system called Mutual Recognition that is supposed to facilitate faster and more efficient registration of an active substance in one country with another, provided they are in the same climatic zone.

We are in Zone B Centre.
The following Member States belong to this zone:
Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom

Strange then that whilst the U.K turf industry has no insecticide, The Republic of Ireland still has Merit, the German Golf market has access to an insecticide from Syngenta called Karate Zeon and I think the Austrian market also has insecticides available ?

So how does Mutual Recognition work ? (not well I’d say)

Surely the parameters for consideration are the same in the U.K golf market as the Irish or the German or the Austrian turf market ?

You can read about the legislation with respect to climatic zones and mutual recognition here

Disease pressure remains high….


With 3 warm nights out of the last 7 and the higher night time temperatures coinciding with periods of high humidity, it is no surprise that our association with high disease pressure has continued for another week. It isn’t just about night temperatures either because currently as I sit and type this it is 15.1°C and 100% humidity.

This combination of conditions will tip the balance very firmly in favour of disease development even if you have an effective fungicide applied. Most modern-day fungicides should really be called Fungiostats which broadly intepreted means that they slow down the growth of the fungal population rather than killing it outright. When climatic conditions are driving the fungus to reproduce faster than normal (as they are currently and have been for awhile) then that’s when you will see active disease even if you have sprayed recently with an effective chemistry and allowed it time to be taken up into the plant….

What’s the outlook for the rest of the week ?

Looking at Meteoblue’s forecast for the coming week it looks to me like we will see continuing high disease pressure over the next 48 hours with both Monday and Tuesday night fitting the scenario of high disease pressure.  Thereafter we will lose some night time temperature and that should reduce the disease pressure a little until the end of the week when it’ll decrease further. Fortunately for most of the U.K, you’ll have some good spray windows.

More Yellow Turf than I’ve ever seen at this time of year..


I’ve seen more Yellow Tuft on my rounds this year during September than I think I’ve ever seen. Yellow Tuft (Sclerophthora macrospora) is a disease of prolonged cool and wet conditions and more usually in my experience occurs later into the autumn / winter. The yellow blemishes are individual affected plants and these can develop shallow rooting and excessive tillering making them easy to detach from the turf surface.

If you are seeing this disease on a particular turf area it’s worth checking to see if that area has more organic matter (and is therefore perching water) and / or there’s a potential issue with water movement further down the rootzone. (High level of fines, silt or clay possibly in the rootzone). There is (to the best of my knowledge) no labelled fungicide that shows effective control (in this country anyway) so the solution is more cultural and weather-dependent.

Ok that’s it for this week.

All the best for the coming week and prep wisley for Storm Brian if it turns up 🙂

Mark Hunt