The Groundsman

August 2015

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WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman August 2015 Late summer to build winter reserves Recent weeks of hot temperatures and dry conditions across southern and eastern England will have induced turf stress that could typically result in over 30 per cent reduction in root mass. The primary weather trend for August in recent seasons had been the shift to warmer conditions. The reference average temperature for the UK has risen by over 0.5°C for the period 1981-2010, compared to 1961-1990. Periods of drought or hot temperatures could further stress plants and make surfaces more susceptible to disease and damage. In fact, last year was the first time for 20 years that temperature was significantly below the long- term average – down around 1.0°C compared to the recent average, at 15°C for England and 12.2°C for Scotland. With an average 50 per cent more rainfall and high sunshine levels, it was a good season for turf recovery. Root health Where growing conditions allow, an effective autumn nutrition and Primo Maxx programme could help to stimulate root development, increase essential plant carbohydrate reserves and build up levels of stress-relieving anti-oxidants during August and September. Trials have shown this enhanced autumn turf health can enable plants to better survive harsh winter conditions and disease attacks. Results can be further improved with the use of the wetting agent, Qualibra, to move surface water down through the profile and hold moisture deeper and evenly in the soil profile. This creates conditions to increase root mass and turf health. Water movement August frequently sees an outbreak of heavy rainstorms, swept across the Atlantic and triggered by summer hot air movement. The phenomena has once again created serious deluges and extensive flooding in parts of northern England and Scotland through July. Qualibra programmes can aid water movement to maintain dry and firm playing surfaces. Disease risk The consequence of the hot weather had 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, had been shown to • 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 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. 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. 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 Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Days with more than 1mm of rain 2014 13.9 14.1 15.5 12.2 Rain (mm) UK N.England S.England Scotland Diff to historic av. Diff to historic av. -1.0 -1.0 -1.0 -0.8 2014 171 180 193 146 + 5% + 10% 0% + 9% 2014 139 118 102 190 + 55% + 43% + 63% + 63% 2014 17 17 13 19 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 4 Diff to historic av. Diff to historic av. August 2014 weather compared to historic average. After successive years of hot, dry weather for August, 2014 saw cooler temperatures and higher rainfall - with many experiencing good turf growth and recovery

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