Hi All,

With another 11mm overnight on Friday, we finished on 30mm for the Friday / Saturday morning period and that again flooded the rivers and fields. Sid Arrowsmith from Frilford reported a 17mm deluge on Saturday evening, just prior to his Euro Pro Tour event starting today, good luck with that Sid !…Most people got a decent drying day on Sunday as temperatures rose into the late teens. I spent Sunday at timeless Wells-next-the-Sea, on Holkham Beach and it was beautiful, the sea was warm and choppy and the day was capped off in French’s Fish & Chip Bar on the front, marvellous 🙂

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

General Weather Situation

As hinted in last Friday’s blog, I still think our weather is heading in the right direction with the jet-stream slowly edging its way up from it’s lackadaisical, southerly position of late. We’ll have a cool blip at the end of the week, but the key is that rather than this blip sitting over us for days / weeks, it’ll move through in a couple of days, which is more normal and then we’ll go warm, perhaps very hot, next week. So some rain around this week, but nothing like the deluges of late, a cool blip at the end of the week and then we’ll return to warmth again. It will however be a North-South divide with the south warmer and drier and the north, cooler and wetter.

Monday kicks off dull and will most likely be the wettest day of the week, as rain is already into Munster and pushing eastwards into the south-west of England, Wales and the north-west during the morning and reaching the Midlands and south of England by the afternoon, though the south coast may stay dry. Tuesday should be dry for most with some rain pushing into Connacht, Wales and the North-West during the late morning. This may push eastwards into the north Midlands later in the day, but for most areas it’ll be warm, with hazy sunshine. For Wednesday, that rain lingers and intensifies overnight across Ireland reaching Leinster for the start of the morning rush hour. It tracks north-east across Wales and the North-West, pushing into Scotland during the morning. The south though should stay dry again in a line south of Birmingham. Thursday is the start of the cooler blip as winds acquire a more northerly perspective and this pushes showers down from the north-west during the day, on a chilly wind. Those showers may linger overnight in Leinster, but otherwise they’ll die out. Friday will be a day of sunshine and showers, with that cool feel to the wind continuing, but as that wind drops, I expect temperatures to rise a little. At this stage prospects for the weekend don’t look too bad, with Sunday especially looking to be warm, possibly hot, so dust off those barbies !.

 Outlook

I expect next week to start off warm in the south as a high pressure tries to edges in, but it’ll be cooler, windier and likely wetter further north as a low pressure sits above the north of Scotland, so very much a North-South divide and at this stage, it’s difficult to say where the dividing line will be drawn. I’d guess Humberside down will be warmer and drier. The good news is that the high pressure is projected to edge northwards.  They’ll still be some moisture around associated with that low, especially for the north and Scotland.

Agronomic Notes

Staying with the present for a moment, we have a lot of saturated rootzones out there and coupled with the difficulty to keep up with aeration, topdressing frequency and / or amounts, that surface fibre layer is building. Cool, wet conditions aren’t great for microbial decomposition and so the balance over the last 3 1/2 months has firmly been tipped in favour of fibre accumulation. It goes without saying I appreciate how difficult it is to maintain cultural practices, with the weather and of course the increasing pressure from the clubhouse not to discourage play on the days the course is busy (as they try to recoup lost revenue). The fact is though that it’s so important to keep that surface layer open and integrated with topdressing because if we do move into a hot, windy period of weather, greens will dry out so much faster than you expect them to. So if your greens are workable this week and the schedule allows, try and squeeze in a sarrel roll, topdressing, solid tining, you’ll benefit from it for sure 🙂

With autumn on the horizon (sorry to mention it), it’ll also pay dividends in the months leading up to it to work that surface and get it drier because we all know that Fusarium loves a wet, surface fibre layer 🙁

Disease pressure should decrease a little if surfaces manage to dry out and you’ll see the Fusarium and Red Thread fade into the background. There’s a bit of Dollar Spot kicking around at the moment, particularly on higher-height of cut turf. An odd disease this, it tends to pop up in the early summer, particularly during periods of high humidity and then it fades away, or more precisely, it seems to fade away, because once we get into the heavy autumnal dews, it can return with a vengeance.

There’s also a fair bit of etiolated growth around, particularly on collars and approaches and this is entirely due to the cool, wet period of weather we’ve had of late. Again it should fade, if temperatures rise and surfaces manage to dry out.

I’ll leave it there, I hope you manage to dry out a bit this week and finally get the course, bunkers and all under control !

All the best…

Mark Hunt