The Groundsman

August 2016

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Use summer sun to build winter strength Excellent weather conditions for growth over the summer and into the autumn can be harnessed to build carbohydrate reserves in the root mass that can significantly aid winter plant health and turf quality. The danger lies if any prolonged periods of hot temperatures and dry conditions create turf stress that could typically result in over 30 per cent reduction in root mass over the summer - and make surfaces more susceptible to disease and damage. Until recently, the primary weather trend for August had been the shift to hotter conditions. The reference average temperature for the UK has risen by over 0.5°C for the period 1981-2010, compared to 1961-1990. In fact, the past two years have been the first time for 20 years that temperatures were significantly below the long-term average – down around 0.5 - 1.0°C compared to the recent trends; but still warmer than two decades ago. Coupled to that, has been an average 50 per cent more rainfall and high sunshine levels over recent years. The downside, has been the increase in extreme weather events with sporadic flooding. 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. It movees excess surface water down through the profile and holds moisture deeper and evenly in the soil profile, where the water and nutrients can be best utilisied by plants to increase root mass and turf health. 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. • 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 But when disease pressure is high, a proactive preventative fungicide application with Banner Maxx, combined with GreenMaster liquid fertiliser, had been shown to minimise the impact. 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 could preventing turf damage to stadium and training ground playing surfaces. 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 August 2016 August weather compared to average. After successive years of hot, dry weather for August, 2014 and 2015 saw cooler temperatures and higher rainfall – in some instances very wet and dull last year Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Rain (mm) Days with more than 1mm of rain 2014 2015 Av 2014 2015 Av 2014 2015 Av 2014 2015 Av UK 13.9 14.7 14.9 171 149 162 139 105 90 17 14 12 N. England 14.1 15.1 15.2 180 169 166 118 84 82 17 13 11 S. England 15.5 16.3 16.6 193 150 192 102 97 62 13 12 9 Scotland 12.2 12.9 13.0 146 138 136 190 117 117 19 17 15

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