Hi All,

General Weather Situation

The last week has been characterised by very strong westerly winds, reaching gale force on Sunday and Monday and making life tricky,,,I attempted to fish Rutland Water on Sunday and you could have surfed on there, the waves were that big, finally Health & Safety intervened and I was hauled off, ho hum. The winds will stay with us for the rest of this week as the weather continues to be affected by low pressure systems.

These are predicted to bring rain to all areas over the coming 5 days, with the strongest rain pulse moving through on Thursday. Last weeks rain by and large moved North-East over the country, so areas from the Midlands south received little (2mm) and this was soon lost in E.T during a warm, windy Saturday.

From tomorrow, a new rain front moves into West Ireland and Scotland during the morning and pushed eastwards reaching Dublin by the afternoon and Wales / S.West by the evening. During Thursday morning, these rain showers consolidate and move eastwards reaching Scotland, the North of England and The Midlands by late morning and everywhere else by early afternoon, clearing at night. Friday looks largely dry, just a few showers around, but it’ll feel cooler on Thur and Fri as the wind swings round from the West-South-West on Wednesday to the North-West / North on Thur / Friday, before changing back again on Saturday, though all the time they’ll be significantly strong.

This rain signal is quite strong, none the least because I’m off in my camper van to Wales, so it’ll definitely rain and many thanks to all of you who have offered your golf courses as an overnight stopping point, such is your belief that wherever I go, it’ll rain :). Still at least the surfs going to be big !!!

For the weekend, a new rain front moves into Ireland on Saturday pushing showers through to Wales and The Midlands, but the South-East / East will stay largely dry save for a few heavy showers. Rain will continue to affect Ireland on Sunday and these showers will localise themselves over Wales, Scotland and the North of England for Sunday. (Told you)

Temperatures will be on the cool side, particularly when the wind pushes round to the north, so Thur / Fri and the start of next week, I think we’ll get low to mid-teens in most places, with the South-East, the warmest. That wind will also push the Icelandic ash cloud our way, so expect disruption to flights continuing over the next 5 days at least, though apparently the ash particles are bigger meaning they’ll drop to earth quicker.

Outlook

Next week continues the unsettled theme until Wednesday with blustery showers, then finally those winds start to drop as a high pressure system moves into Ireland and the rest of the U.K picking up temperatures dramatically. By the end of next week, I can see it being warm to very warm, with temperatures in the low twenties at least, possibly higher.

Agronomics

The south and east of the U.K is still extremely dry, despite the unsettled theme over the last week or so and that means irrigation management is key.
This run of weather just hasn’t suited Perennial Poa (Poa annua var. reptans) and it stubbornly refuses to grow in most cases, unless nutrient inputs are light and regular (every 10 days). Depending on your cutting height, and ability to brush and topdress, maintaining a good surface has been and remains tricky, though at least the seedhead flush is on the wane. For the moment, I’d continue to suggest leaving off verticutting, scarifying, Graden work unless your sward is of good vigour and growth.

As we push out of May into June, that’s normally the time of year when night temperatures begin to stabilise, removing the hand brake off greens growth. That said, we do need more moisture than we’ve currently been receiving and nowhere is this more acute than in the East of England, but let’s hope Thursday’s rain manages to reach the east, I think it will.

The rain will kick off some Fusarium and Fairy Ring activity and since the dry, stressy weather is now in the prolonged stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Anthracnose making an appearance in June, i.e a month earlier than usual. Light rate, cool-temperature available foliars remain the way to go, with iron to maintain colour, but application conditions aren’t ideal with the strong winds of late. The rain should kick into play, previously applied granular fertilisers, which up until now have been pretty ineffective regardless of formulation.

I’m away next week, so won’t be able to do an update until w/c June 6th, but in the meantime, I wish you all a good Bank Holiday.

All the best.
Mark Hunt