Hi All,

Sorry for not making this earlier in the week, been flat out and also waiting to see how the weather shaped up.

General Weather Situation

At present, we have an Atlantic low pressure system feeding cool, showery weather over the Northern counties of Ireland, the North of England and Scotland, whilst the south and South-West remain dry and warm. Rainfall will be light as it moves South-East across the U.K, barely enough to wet the ground in places, but at least it will keep the E.T down , but as the winds lighten later, temperatures will drop considerably tonight giving a cool / cold one for many.

This sets a pattern for the next 10 days really, as low pressure is in charge over Ireland, the North of England and Scotland in a diagonal line from Newport in Wales across to The Wash. Above that line, it’ll be cool, with frequent showers, below that it’ll be warmer and largely dry. (Cue collective groan – sorry lads)

Thursday will be largely dry, with lighter West – South-Westerly winds and they’ll offer a welcome relief to the battering of the last week or so, but as we approach the end of the week, the winds will strengthen again from the South-West as a new area of low pressure sweeps showers into Kerry and Sligo on Friday late morning and these move across Ireland, lightening in intensity as they go.

A new rain band reaches Kerry on Saturday morning and this stronger rain pulse is projected to push into the South-West of England, Wales, Scotland and the rest of England during the course of Sunday early morning, again lightening as it moves eastwards, so who knows how much the east coast will get. With the rain comes a cooler feel as the winds nip round to the North / North-West and again as they drop at night, so will the temperature for Sunday night.

Outlook

Looking further ahead, this pattern of cooler, wetter weather and North-West wind, alternating with warmer, South-West winds looks set to repeat itself for next week, with Monday and Tuesday cool and mid-week onwards feeling a good bit warmer with further rain for the north of Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland through the week.
This rain looks to extend southwards in the latter part of next week, but since it’s part of an Atlantic low, how far south and east it gets is anyone’s guess and as we know by now, you wouldn’t bet a lunch on it :P. Thereafter, high pressure looks to build again with a high jetstream, the outlook looks to remain dry after this unsettled period.

Agronomic Situation

As May invariably can be, the weather is unsettled, with cold nights holding back growth, though in areas that have received some rainfall, growth will be good on all heights of cut. For the North of England and Scotland, it’s definitely a granular fertiliser, orientated weather pattern with the cooler, wetter weather.

For the south, it’s business as usual, keeping the plant ticking with light rate foliars, using iron to maintain sward colour and light grooming, brushing and dressing to maintain a good, consistent surface. Soil temperatures are sitting around 13°C here, so they’re good enough for growth, but that also depends on plant stress levels and rainfall.

Poa seedheads are still very much in evidence, though new seedheads will start to decline in number in a week or two.

Disease-wise, there’s plenty of light, foliar Fusarium around, especially in those areas that have received some rain and with the mild night, last night and a warm spell next week, mid-week, this will increase in intensity. As usual my advice would be not to spray if your plant is healthy and the clip rate is good, far better to save your money, but as always, its your call. Fairy rings are in evidence, but largely inhibited by the lack of rainfall, which continues to dominate the management practices of us all. On that subject, Glenn Rayfield, Course Manager of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club emailed recently to inform me that up to the 10th May, they’d received 2mm of rain since the first of March, that’s pretty dire Glenn, I hope you pick up some of these showers.

All the best.
Mark Hunt