Just squeezing in a quick post between coming back from a very wet and windy St David’s in the camper and heading off to France (where the forecast is equally poor). There’s nothing like a spell of wet and windy weather when you’re camping to appreciate the design of the modern day tent and how resilient they are to a pounding. That said, I was just commenting how well my girlfriends, lads tent was holding up to the pounding when it collapsed in a heap, on the plus side I’ve never seen teenagers get up so quickly in the morning 🙂
Looking at my rain gauge we’ve had 60mm + here since the start of June and I expect even the reservoirs in the south of England like Bewl Water (currently 78% full) to reach capacity by the mid part of this month as this deep Atlantic depression continues to give us unsettled conditions. There seems to be some relenting of the restrictions on golf courses, but it isn’t consistent, even within the same water company. It seems bizarre to still be talking about them when we’ve had so much rain over the last 10 weeks. Of course one of the main issues with this rainfall is keeping on top of your grass, it’s been really difficult since the last week of May and in my agronomic notes I cover the reasons why…
General Weather Situation
Today sees a continuation of high winds and rain as that low pressure drives in rain fronts from the south-west along a diagonal line from the south-west of the U.K and Ireland upwards, though the south-east appears to escape the worst the rain. Saturday appears drier though there’s still some rain around for the north of England, Scotland and later, the south-west of England and Munster. Winds will still be strong and primarily south-westerly / westerly. Sunday starts dry and bright, but cloud will build later in the day as rain moves into the south-west and Ireland. The winds will however be noticeably lighter and they’ll swing round to the north, but it’ll definitely be the best day of the weekend. For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we are still in the grip of that low pressure, but it’ll be the tail end of it, so north winds, cool and plenty of rain showers I’m afraid, but not with the intensity as we’ve experienced this week you’ll be happy to hear. Thursday at this stage looks the driest day of the week because there’s another low building at the end of next week that looks to bring more rain and strong winds for the end of the week, but it’ll be milder, maybe even warm dare I say for the end of the week.
That low pressure projected for the end of next week is destined to keep us unsettled and on the cool side for June for next weekend and the early part of the week. We’re still set in this trough pattern with warm air either side of us and essentially we’ve been in this state since the early part of April. That said, I think eventually warm, hot air will prevail and push in and then the tables will turn very suddenly.
It’s not difficult to see why keeping on top of growth has been an issue since the end of May when you look at the graph below showing the pattern of rain closely followed by a rapid rise in soil temperature. Anyone professing ignorance of this (golfers) just has to look at their own garden or the roadside verges, they are growing as you look at them.
This issue has been further compounded by the very wet start to June (60mm+ here) and of course the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (in the U.K of course) which has meant very short weeks and great difficulty getting clean cuts without lots of clippings. Next week will continue the unsettled theme but I think the amount of rain will be less so more chances will be available for getting those cuts in and maybe mid-week onwards a topdressing.
Disease activity as you would expect with the combination of rain and high (ish) soil temperatures is an issue with Fusarium pretty rampant, though it’s a race between growth and therefore fungus removal and fungal infection at the present with some people choosing not to spray. If you do have to spray, maybe think about combining a half-rate contact (Iprodione typically) with a systemic, with the latter designed to take care of some of the more prevalent summer diseases like Fairy Ring, Take-All and Anthracnose, here Azoxystrobin is a good choice. I know it comes with a cost, but it’s two jobs in one and with this cool and wet weather I expect summer Take-All to be quite problematic this year once higher temperatures arrive.
Red Thread is also an issue with the combination of moisture and humidity and typically I like to use a water-soluble fertiliser and iron to grow this out and dry the leaf off, but I accept that finding your window is tricky at the moment.
This is the first year I’ve ever seen Cockchafer Beetles in abundance, but some lads tell me they’re very common and even remember playing tennis with them as lads (tut tut Stewart). I had one sitting on my pillow the other night, not the best offer I’ve ever had as a sleeping partner 🙁
Al the best