Hi All,

Back from my travels in France,  where the temperature was a nice 25-27°C :).

Highlight of the week was shimmying up a rock face to get close to a landed Griffon Vulture. Like a lot of things, they look nice and graceful from a distance, but pretty ugly close-up !!!

As we approach the longest day, it’s not really been a great summer so far, in fact in my mind, I don’t think I’ve actually made the transition out of spring yet. This week we’ll have a right mixture of weather courtesy of a trough / peak / trough transition in the jet stream. (see below) and it illustrates the changeability that is now a feature of our weather (and maybe a permanent one ?) .  As you know by now, we’re in a jet stream trough, but through the early / mid part of this week, we’ll get a peak of warm air pushing up that’ll really raise temperatures for a short time, before we lapse back into a trough for the weekend, likely bringing wind and rain.

Image courtesy of Meteoblue

General Weather Situation

Well a dull start for most with low cloud and rain in east Leinster, Munster and the south-west of England, early doors, before fizzling out later. Later on into the afternoon, the sun is due to make an appearance, more likely in the north of England, than the south and that rain makes a return to the south-west during the evening. Winds will be moderate and from the east / north-east, which is unusual for this time of year. For Tuesday, we start to get that peak pushing up into the south of the U.K, so temperatures up on Monday there, but pretty much the same elsewhere in the high teens. For Ireland and the west of the U.K, the sun should push through later giving a pleasant spell of warmer sunshine, but for the south-east of England, eastern coasts, there’s the threat of rain pushing up from the continent, p.m. Indeed later, showers could break out in the south-west, north of England, Central Highlands of Scotland, and east Connacht, Ireland, so you’re never far from the threat of rain.

For Wednesday, that heat continues to build and with it the threat of thunderstorms, particularly in the south of England, where temperatures may hit the mid-twenties on Wednesday morning. Indeed there’s a risk of rain early doors pushing up from the continent, however although it’s forecast, in my experience, this type of rain is difficult to predict, so I think we will get rain, but the amount and area will be hard to pin down until closer to the time. Thunderstorms are likely from lunchtime onwards in the south. The rain is projected to affect the south coast / south-east initially and then push up later in the day to The Midlands, north of England, intensifying as it does. Ireland should miss this, so another pleasant day for you folk 🙂 . That rain stays through the night into Thursday for The Midlands, Wales, south-west and the north of England and if anything intensifies again early doors, so a potentially wet start to Thursday here and for these areas, there’s a strong possibility it’ll stay in place for the day. Further south, it’ll be dry, dull and a little cooler / fresher, but still nice, with temperature’s in the low twenties. Overnight that rain drifts south and lessens in intensity, so a dull, damp start for Friday for many, but later on the sun pushes through to give a pleasant afternoon, though a good bit cooler than of late as that wind begins to swing round, initially from the north, but finishing up from the south-west, as that low pressure begins to push in from the Atlantic.

They’ll be showers floating around across the U.K as well during close of play Friday and by the evening, the main rain front from the Atlantic reaches Munster to give a wet end to the week for Ireland. Into Saturday and that low pressure system is pushing showers across the U.K and Ireland, so I expect the weekend to be pretty unsettled, cool I’m afraid, with rain for most places, pushed along on a south-westerly wind 🙁

 Weather Outlook

Looking at the projections, I think the start of next week will be unsettled and cool, as that low pressure moves off into Europe, thereafter we’re back to a trough pattern so temperatures picking up to the mid-high teens, but always with a risk of rain, though I expect the latter end of next week to be more settled, as high pressure bids to make its presence felt.

 Agronomic Notes

I’m going to be a little bit short on content this week as I was away last week, so bear with me 🙂

Firstly,  I expect disease to potentially be an issue this week because of the mix of high temperatures, humidity and rainfall, particularly for those in the south of England, which will bear the brunt of all three. When I say disease, I’m not necessarily talking about Fusarium, because high temps + humidity are good for triggering off Fairy Rings, Red Thread, Oscillatoria, Dollar Spot and even some Rhizoctonia-type diseases, particularly on shady sites with poor airflow, so keep a watchful eye in this area. Further north and west, Fusarium is the one to keep an eye on, but with good soil temperatures and GDD, I expect greens growth to be able to out-grow this disease at the moment, without the need to open the Chemsafe.

Whilst we are on the subject of greens growth, it’s been hard producing good surfaces of late, with the intensity of the Poa seedhead flush, but we are starting to reach the end of this period, so hopefully we’ve seen the back of it. With reasonable temperatures, I’d expect to continue with verticutting, brushing, topdressing, grooming and rolling to keep the surface firm and tight, but be careful with the rolling if you receive high levels of rainfall mid-week, as you don’t want to cap the surface. Sarrel rolling, solid tining, etc are all ideal for this time of year to allow the surface to breathe and allow venting (like that word) and again this is key during periods of high humidity.

Nutrition-wise, tricky really, but for those guys in the south, I’d want to keep things on the light side, because the last thing you want during high temperature, high humidity and high moisture is high nitrogen in the leaf, as this can really encourage the wrong type of growth and disease. So light foliar’s, with iron are the order of the day in my books, that said, spray windows will be tricky this week, so dial up your Weathercheck to help you on this front. The cool and wet weather pattern due at the weekend will probably knock a good bit of colour out of the turf, so next week I’d be looking to target a spray application if the weather settles down after the low has pushed through.

Short and sweet..

All the best

Mark Hunt