The Groundsman

August 2014

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WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman August 2014 Use August growth to build winter reserves Recent weeks of hot temperatures and dry conditions will have induced turf stress that typically results in over 30% reduction in root mass of turf grass plants during the summer. Turf plants need a period of good weather conditions for growth to build carbohydrate reserves through the autumn, or they will be at greater risk of more severe disease attack and frost damage this winter. Over recent years, the key weather trend had been the shift to warmer conditions in August. The reference average temperature for the UK has risen by over 0.5°C for the period 1981-2010, compared to 1961-1990. The last time temperatures were significantly below the long-term average was 1993 and, although there had been cooler Augusts in recent seasons, it had still been above average for more than a decade. Periods of drought or hot temperatures could further stress plants and make surfaces more susceptible to disease and damage - particularly where Qualibra wetting agent or Primo Maxx growth regulation programmes have not been used Where growing conditions allow, an effective autumn nutrition and Primo Maxx programme could help to stimulate development of essential plant carbohydrate reserves and build up levels of stress-relieving anti- oxidants during August and September. Trials have shown this enhanced turf health can enable plants to better survive harsh winter conditions and disease attacks. Disease risk The consequence of the hot summer weather has seen Anthracnose, favoured by warmer conditions, reported as an increasing issue. Integrated Turf Management (ITM) practices to alleviate stress - including ensuring adequate nutrition and irrigation scheduling - will help reduce the risk. But when disease pressure is high, a proactive preventative fungicide application with Banner Maxx, combined with GreenMaster liquid fertiliser, has been shown to minimise the impact. GreenCast weather and disease forecasting - www.greencast.co.uk - provides a valuable early warning of potential risk, to optimise fungicide timing and turf management actions. Renovation help Strong August turf growth can restrict establishment of new seedlings over sown during golf green renovations. Primo Maxx application five days before over sowing has been shown to suppress existing turf and allow new seedlings to establish. Furthermore, regulating growth as part of an ITM approach can relieve stress on plants and reduce their susceptibility to disease attack. • Minimise turf stress that may trigger Anthracnose • Watch out for Leaf Spot on hot humid days • Regulate turf growth to enhance turf health • Use GreenCast to predict disease attacks August Top Tips World-leading on-line advice for turf • Up to the minute weather forecasting • Advance warning of turf diseases • Application zone for practical pointers • NEW interactive forums www.greencast.co.uk Stadium Leaf Spot Hot humid days in August can be the precursor for Leaf Spot breaking out, especially in a sheltered stadium environment and where cutting height is being reduced ready for the playing season. Attacks of melting out now will leave little chance for recovery. Medallion TL has proven extremely effective in preventing turf damage to stadium and training ground playing surfaces. Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Days with more than 1mm of rain Diff to 30-yr av 2013 15.6 16.0 17.3 13.7 15.5 15 2013 Rain (mm) 0% +5% +9% -13% -5% -17% 158 166 198 118 155 112 2013 -20% -25% -21% -14% -1% -31% 73 75 50 89 109 56 2013 -1 -2 -2 0 -2 -1 11 10 8 15 11 13 August 2013 weather compared to historic average. August had once again well above average temperatures, particularly in eastern and northern England. Rainfall was also lower, especially in eastern Scotland and Northern Ireland +1.3 +1.5 +1.4 +1.2 +1.2 +1.2 UK N.England S.England Scotland N Ireland Diff to 30-yr av Diff to 30-yr av Diff to 30-yr av Wales

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