Hi All,

General Weather Situation

A reasonable settled, but still pleasant, cool(ish) week on the way, as the low pressure that brought last weeks rain moves away and our weather begins to be influenced by an Atlantic high sitting to the west of Ireland. Nights will be on the cool side of normal for this time of year and with the wind direction primarily North-East / North-West, this will continue to re-inforce the feeling that summer hasn’t quite started. It will dry on the whole this week, so a welcome break from heavy rain for Scotland and Ireland in particular, though the South / South-East may cop some from the continent mid-week. Temperatures will rise as we approach the end of the week, with the south of the U.K, particularly pleasant on Friday / Saturday.

Outlook

Next week looks to start with a low pressure system winging down from the North-West, so that’ll mean breezy winds, mainly westerly and rainfall, particularly for the North of the country. The south should remain dry and warm, still influenced by the Atlantic high, so this will produce high E.T rates and plenty of hand-watering required
🙁 for some.

Rainfall

The main rainfall event will be mid-week, but only for the extreme South-East and East of the U.K as heavy rain from the continent threatens to spill over to this region on Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning. A weak rain front wil push into Ireland and Scotland at the end of the week and move southwards, but this will be largely showery in nature.

Spray Window

Winds will be quite blustery on Tuesday, but gradually lessen as we go through the week, so really any day but Tuesday and the closer to the end of the week, the better it will get.

Agronomics

Quite alot of reports of Anthracnose and Take-All doing the rounds and this is primarily a result of the recent wetter weather kicking off fungal activity combined with the very dry weather of March, April and May = Elevated Plant Stress. Sometimes what appears to be Anthracnose is the result of nematode activity or just natural die-back of old Poa leaves at the base of the plant, but they both produce the clear, yellow discolouration that we associate with Anthracnose. A quick way to tell is to hold the affected plant and try and detach it from the rootzone, if it pulls away easily and you can see the familiar darkening at the base, it’s likely to be Anthracnose, if it doesn’t detach easily, it’s likely to be either due to natural senescing of Poa (after May and June’s seedhead production) or sometimes endoparasitic nematode activity (Root-Gall and Cyst the usual suspects).

Opinions are divided as to wether to spray for anthracnose affected areas, personally I feel once you see the yellowing, the best you’ll achieve with an expensive fungicide is to ring fence the problem areas, but they’ll still display the symptoms for a good while. I always suggest at this time of year, tightening your foliar / liquid fertiliser spray window from the more usual 3-4 weeks, to fortnightly, to maintain plant health and nutrient levels and trials from the U.S universities have consistently shown good suppression of this disease with light, regular applications of fertiliser, typically 5kg / Nitrogen / Hectare / Week. Incorporating phosphites into this regime will also be advantageous at this time of year.

Light sarrell rolling, hand watering of affected areas and topdressing will encourage quicker recovery, because often Poa will produce adventitious new roots from the crown when affected by Anthracnose or Take-All and if these new roots are subject to drying out, die-back of the affected area is likely, but if you can keep them healthy, recovery can be rapid.

All the best.
Mark Hunt