The Groundsman

September 2015

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Keep turf green for recovery growth Weather patterns over recent seasons have seen good growing conditions continuing well into September and the autumn. That does bring opportunities for turf health and surface quality to recover, but also creates a host of other issues to manage. This year's weather has created immense challenges for turf managers. In the south and east, growth and turf health has been severely impacted by hot, dry weather and persistent drying winds; irrigation use and costs have escalated. Further north, the complete opposite has occurred - and problems of wet and cold conditions have prevailed. All areas would welcome a return to more consistent better growing conditions. Last year September was typical of recent years, with temperatures universally well above average. Those in Scotland would doubtless welcome another dry year, but in the south it would be a worrying prospect. Making the most of available conditions is even more important as September light levels start to fall quickly, and evenings start to get cooler. Typically, night time temperatures are an average 2°C cooler in September, compared to August, with 40 hours less sunshine – a reduction of 25%. Extending Primo Maxx treatments into the autumn has shown to increase chlorophyll concentration and enhance photochemical efficiency in treated leaves. That helps to build carbohydrate reserves for healthier and stronger plants going into the winter. Enhancing turf health in this way is paramount in helping turf to effectively withstand the stresses of disease and weather over the winter. Improved turf health and colour is especially beneficial in shaded or low light conditions, as well as managing cutting regimes more efficiently. Damp disease risk As conditions cool through September, any rain or moisture raises the spectre of an early Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) attack, from pathogens that have survived the summer in the thatch - especially through wet conditions experienced north of the midlands through June and July. GreenCast weather and disease records for golf courses in the west of Scotland, for example, highlight that, over recent seasons, weather conditions have created protracted risk periods for disease attack throughout September, rising significantly to high risk at the beginning of October. This has helped to pinpoint the ideal timing for proactive preventative cool-weather systemic treatments, such as Banner Maxx or Headway. In more variable weather conditions, or if poor weather prevent treatment and disease does breakout, being able to quickly react with the multi-active contact and protectant properties of Instrata, working inside and outside the leaf, can help prevent disease spread and maintain stronger turf surfaces on golf courses going into the winter. • Over seed while conditions remain good • Remove weed Ryegrass with Rescue whilst actively growing • Regulate turf growth to build winter turf strength • Watch out for early fungal attacks • Use GreenCast to predict disease risk September Top Tips Rough Rescue The weather conditions for some regions this summer have seen many areas of golf course rough growing out of control, creating thick, clumpy unplayable lies. However, good growing conditions in September will help in the selective removal of Ryegrass with autumn Rescue applications – assuring rapid herbicide uptake and good levels of control. September conditions can also be ideal for establishing Operation Pollinator wildflower habitat in areas of rough; enabling deep scarification to expose bare earth and providing sufficient warmth and moisture for seedling establishment. 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 September 2015 Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Days with more than 1mm of rain 2014 13.9 13.8 15.4 12.5 Rain (mm) UK 1(ngland S(ngland Scotland Diff to av. Diff to av. + 1.3 + 1.0 + 1.2 + 1.6 2014 123 118 140 102 - 1% - 7% - 2% - 3% 2014 23 18 14 39 - 76% - 78% - 78% - 71% 2014 5 4 4 8 - 7 - 7 - 6 - 8 Diff to av. Diff to av. September 2014 weather compared to past 30-year average. Temperatures were again well above average across the country, even against recent warmer years; compared to a longer-term historic average it was up nearly 2°C. It was very dry again

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