The Groundsman

July 2015

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Summer stress hots up Over recent seasons the UK has experienced extremes of both the wettest and the hottest July conditions on record. Weather conditions, be that heat or rainfall, impose immense stress on turf plants, with adverse implications for immediate playing surface quality and long-term performance. Temperatures have been above the long-term average in 12 of the past 15 years – peaking over 3°C above the norm in 2006. More recently, temperatures have reached over 33°C in the south east - but even more unusually in some areas hit over 28°C daily for over two weeks. That can have severe effects on the UK's cool weather grasses, affecting leaf quality and colour, but also causing significant root die-back as plants struggle to survive. Coupled with these prolonged dry periods has been the increasing incidence of intense summer storms. July downpours have seen over 100 per cent of the month's rainfall in just 48 hours every year for the past three seasons in some areas. Last year, for example, East Anglia had the country's highest above average temperature (+2.3°C, @ 18.6°C) and highest above average rainfall (+17% @ 59mm). Keeping turf growth regulated with Primo Maxx applications over the summer can make plants better able to cope with weather induced stress and aid them to recover quicker. Treated plants use water more efficiently, retain their green colour and leaf quality for longer and, importantly, retain root mass over the summer stress period to promote turf health. Furthermore, summer water management could also prove crucial. To cope with summer storms, wetting agents need to facilitate movement down from the surface to aid drainage and maintain playing surface quality. But, in prolonged dry weather, it also needs to hold soil moisture in the root zone that is essential for turf health and irrigation efficiency. Qualibra wetting agent technology provides a unique combination to move water down from the surface, and then hold it in the root zone. It also provides the conditions to enhance root mass retention. Qualibra programmes initiated during July could also help achieve better results in maintaining turf health and playing surface quality through periods of drought that have become the norm for August and September. Nutrient deficiency Excessive nutrient leaching caused by high rainfall could create problems of deficiencies while turf is still actively growing. Nutrient imbalance puts turf health under stress, which also increases the risks for Dollar Spot, Take-all and Anthracnose that historically peak in July. • Use Primo Maxx to manage mowing costs, enhance turf quality and alleviate summer stress • Be aware of Dollar Spot and Anthracnose outbreaks during hot weather • Manage summer soil moisture with Qualibra programmes • Watch for local weather and disease risk warnings on the free GreenCast turf management website July Top Tips Local forecasts of high disease risk periods on the free website www.greencast.co.uk will help turf managers time applications of Heritage Maxx, Banner Maxx or Headway more effectively, to counter stress-induced Anthracnose and other diseases. l 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 WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman July 2015 Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Days with more than 1mm of rain 2013 16.3 16.5 18.1 14.5 16.2 15.7 Rain (mm) UK N.England S.England Scotland N Ireland Diff to 30-yr av. Diff to 30-yr av. +1.9 +1.9 +2.1 +1.9 +1.6 +1.7 2013 223 233 253 193 235 157 +33% +40% +31% +36% +34% +12% 2013 65 61 47 87 57 73 -12% -13% -12% -9% -31% +2% 2013 10 9 7 13 10 15 - 1 - 1 - 1 0 - 1 + 2 Wales Diff to 30-yr av. Diff to 30-yr av. July 2014 weather compared to 30-year average. Another warm, bright July brought good growing conditions. Rainfall was again below average for the country, but particularly in Wales and south west England July weather highs and lows – UK average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours On record (since 1914) Warmest 2006 (17.8ºC) Coldest Wettest Driest Sunniest Dullest 2009 (146mm) 1944 (107 hours) 1922 (12.3ºC) 1955 (31mm) 1955 (256 hours) 2006 (17.8ºC) 2006 (149mm) 2012 (137 hours) 2012 (14.1ºC) 2006 (53mm) 2006 (253 hours) Past decade (2005 – 2014)

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