The Groundsman

July 2016

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WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman July 2016 Daily highs and sudden storms add turf stress Weather conditions this year have already proven stressful for turf - and turf managers. An initial burst of growth after the mild winter, was followed by a slow, cold spring. And then intense storm rainfall in June, with flash flooding breaking localised records. Temperatures have been above the long-term average in 12 of the past 15 years – peaking over 3°C above the norm in 2006. Last year's bizarre summer saw unprecedented variance in daily high temperatures across the country, with the eastern counties 1°C above average, but Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland were nearly 1°C below average. In recent years, temperatures have hit over 28°C daily for over two weeks. That can have severe effects on the UK's cool- season grasses, affecting leaf quality and colour, but also causing significant root die-back as plants struggle to survive. Coupled to these prolonged dry periods, has been the increasing incidence of intense summer thunderstorms. July downpours have seen over 100 per cent of the month's rainfall in just 48 hours every year for the past four seasons in some areas. Last year, for example, East Anglia had the country's highest above average max daily temperature, of 22.4°C (+1.3°C), and the highest above average rainfall (+69 per cent @ 85mm). Keeping growth regulated with Primo Maxx applications over the summer makes turf easier to manage, especially in wet conditions. It can also help plants cope with weather induced stress and to recover quicker. Treated plants use water more efficiently, retain their green colour and leaf quality for longer during stress periods and, importantly, retain root mass over the summer to promote turf health. To further help turf through intermittent periods of hot, dry weather and heavy rainfall, 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. Disease risk Excessive nutrient leaching caused by • 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 high rainfall could create problems of deficiencies whilst 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. Local forecasts of high disease risk periods on the free web site www.greencast.co.uk will help turf managers time applications of systemic summer fungicides 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 July 2013 weather compared to long-term average. A wet, warm July brought good growing conditions for much of the UK. But most noticeable was the significant variations in conditions across the country Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Rain (mm) Days with more than 1mm of rain 2013 Diff to av. 2013 Diff to av. 2013 Diff to av. 2013 Diff to av. UK 14.4 0 161 - 4% 108 + 47% 16 + 5 N. England 14.6 0 171 + 2% 91 + 31% 15 + 5 S. England 16.4 + 0.4 194 0 73 + 37% 11 + 3 Scotland 12.2 - 0.3 125 - 12% 152 + 59% 21 + 7 Wales 14.4 - 0.2 168 - 4% 114 + 37% 18 + 8 N Ireland 13.3 - 0.7 113 - 19% 120 + 68% 19 + 6

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