Hi All,

Didn’t manage to get a weather update out last week, my apologies, it’s the first week I’ve missed this year, but to be honest, it got to 11.20 p.m and it was either, do the update or do my ironing for the week ahead…..the ironing won 🙁

General Weather Situation

Well, it’s pretty much the same as last week and the week before that, high pressure remains in charge, but unlike last week, it’s a warmer high pressure this week, so day temperatures will be mid to high teens in places, nights will be mild and no risk of frost until we approach the back end of the week.  Where skies clear, it’ll be simply glorious, a real shame to be at work says me.

There is no rain this week, but if you look below at the outlook, those of you who need it, are likely to get your wishes granted from the mid-part of next week onwards.
As we approach the end of the week/ weekend, temperatures will drop away as a cool wind comes in from the east, so that will mean a high risk of night frost on Friday night / Saturday morning and much cooler days, typically only high single figures.

Regional Specifics

It’s a straight-forward picture for the whole of the U.K and Ireland with warm days, temperatures dependent on cloud cover and mild nights.

As we approach Friday, the cooler North-East / East wind will drop temperatures, with frost risk likely in Scotland on Thursday night, moving down the U.K on Friday night, though Ireland should escape the frost.  Saturday will be cool in the U.K / Ireland on the back of a brisk easterly wind, but the first signs of a change come to Ireland initially on Sunday as the wind swings round to the west, affecting the U.K later, signalling that an Atlantic low is on the way and removing the risk of frost for next week.

Outlook

Looking into next week, I expect temperatures to rise gradually from their dip over the weekend and as we approach mid-week, the wind will intensify in strength from the west and rain will move into Ireland first and then the U.K from Wednesday / Thursday on the back of some pretty strong South-West winds. The rainfall intensity looks heavy, so more than a passing shower from this weather system.

Agronomics

These last few weeks have given us a chance to dry out, an opportunity to catch up on winter projects and the tricky to manage combination of dry warm days and dry cold nights. Moisture levels in the surface are now growth-limiting in some parts of the country, so a light syringe wouldn’t go amiss if your irrigation system is up and running. Lower down the profile there’s plenty of moisture, but it’s at the surface that things are drying out, particularly if you have a surface organic matter accumulation.

The normal objection to this is the effect of watering with cold water impacting negatively on growth, but this is a bit of a non-starter because firstly, a lack of surface moisture is impacting on growth already and secondly, irrigating in the morning will only drop soil temperatures for a couple of hours before they return to normal during the warmer days. It also goes without saying that a first application of wetting agent / biostimulant is ideal at this time to facilitate the above.

Growth-wise, areas with moisture are growing well, usually higher-height of cut tees, approaches, fairways and semi-rough, but greens growth is slow, so recovery from March aeration is sub-optimal. That should be corrected after the weekend, as soil temperatures rise and stay higher than of late with the arrival of westerly moisture.
I appreciate soil temperatures are close to double figures during the day (I measured 12°C during the day in Cornwall last week), but the cool nights are keeping the daily average down and as commented upon earlier, it’s the lack of moisture that is limiting growth, not temperature.

The familiar purpling pattern is discernible across greens at present and is particularly evident on more exposed greens or those that go through bigger temperature transitions during the day and night, as opposed to shady, sheltered greens.

I’ve attached an article that explains the purpling phenomenon in more detail for anyone that hasn’t read this before.

I would expect increased Fusarium pressure at the moment because of the warmer nights, but we’ll soon be reaching a point where the level of growth exceeds the speed of development of the disease, so we can grow it out, without applying a fungicide.

Fertiliser-wise, the time is right for applying granular fertilisers this week in readiness for next weeks rainfall or to pick up areas with a light liquid tonic as this week is a good spraying week and next week probably won’t be because of the rainfall and high winds.

All the best.
Mark Hunt