Hi All,

Before I start, I’d like to warmly congratulate Jim McKenzie on receiving the MBE for services to sport, fair play to you Jim, it’s thoroughly deserved for all your efforts at Celtic Manor on the run up, during and after the Ryder Cup.
That said, I hope I don’t have to bow from now on when I call in, I was never that well up on etiquette

After what seems like a very long time, most of the country received a good drop of rain when last weeks predicted rain front crossed the South-East of Ireland on Saturday night and moved across England through the day, clearing the east coast late on Sunday night. As mentioned in last weeks update, this rain is a result of a low pressure system that’s remained over the U.K for the best part of two weeks now, providing hit and miss showers on the whole, until Sunday’s deluge…..Incidentally that rain front at one stage stretched from Southern Scotland right down to the middle of France, I’d estimate a 1,000 miles or so, so pretty tasty 🙂

In the Midlands, we were getting pretty dry and although I know the situation won’t be reversed overnight, it may help stave off the hose pipe bans for a couple of weeks or more..

As usual, I’d be interested to know how much rain people received on Sunday, so shout out those figures please if you get a chance…..

General Weather Situation

The low pressure that brought this weekends rain gradually moves away during Monday to be replaced with warmer temperatures, a drop in the wind and pleasant conditions, but this is only a short-term lull, because another low pressure is building in the Atlantic and this is due to push rain into the west coast of Ireland Tuesday p.m and these showers will also affect the west side of the U.K, from Scotland down to the South-West. Temperatures will pick up for Monday and Tuesday, but drop again to mid to high teens, as the new low pushes into the U.K over Wed and Thur bringing more rain towards the end of the week, with a possible wet end to the week and a soggy start to the weekend.  Winds will be from the south / west initially, pulling round to the South-West as the low pressure system moves in. With this in mind the best spray days are likely to be at the early to mid part of the week, rather than the latter part. Night temperatures will be highly variable, feeling quite chilly when the wind drops, but as the low pressure moves in, they’ll hold over double figures.

Outlook

This low pressure system is due to stay in place till at least the early part of next week, when an Atlantic high pressure is predicted to follow it through, so largely unsettled with good levels of rainfall till then.
Temperatures will remain cool over the weekend and into next week, but I think mid to high teens will be the order of the day till then. That rain may well affect the east of the U.K next weekend as it becomes inter-twined with continental low pressure systems, so no bad thing there….

Agronomic Notes

With a bit of temperature and moisture comes disease pressure and no doubt they’ll be plenty of Fusarium pressure following on from last weeks.
That said, I’d hope that growth rates also pick up, so it should negate the need for a fungicide.

I’ve had my first reports of Anthracnose last week, which comes as no suprise when you consider the dry start to the year and the warm, dry Spring, but it’s a month earlier than normal, so be on you guard.

Stress areas such as high points on greens, the clean-up strip and traffic pathways are always the best places to look, even if you don’t have a history of this disease, fore-armed is fore-warned.

Both diseases will cause more problems on weak, droughty turf, so common sense should prevail as always with balanced nutrition, this is especially important in terms of anthracnose, with ‘little but often’, the order of the day. Sometimes this simple nutrition strategy is as effective as an application of fungicide, but if you are unfortunate enough to get hit, up your nutrition, lightly aerate (solid tining or sarrell rolling, rather than verticutting) and topdress to speed up recovery time.

With the arrival of the rain, growth should pick up measurably, so light applications of PGR will be in order unless you have active disease of course and yet again for this week, light rates of iron will work nicely if you’re gearing up for Captains Day this coming weekend……

All the best.
Mark Hunt