The Groundsman

August 2012

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the Groundsman August 2012 WEATHER WATCH 47 Renovation season pressures After what seems like months of never ending rainfall, August at last offers the hope of some decent summer weather. It will be essential to get golfers back out on the course and generating income, as well aiding final pitch preparations for the onset of the football and rugby seasons. Over recent years the key weather trend had been the shift to warmer conditions. The last August with temperatures significantly below the long-term average was 1993 and, although it has been a cooler August for the last two years, it had been above average for more than a decade. For greenkeepers, August playing surface work involving deep aeration and grooming, to redress some of this season's wet weather issues, can put exceptional stress on turf plants. This could be further exacerbated by periods of drought or hot temperatures stressing plants and making surfaces more susceptible to disease and damage. In an average year, August growing conditions can be very good, with the opportunity to get over sown new seedlings established. But a review of recent years' figures highlight significant differences, with 27 mm of rainfall in 2003 but 160 mm in 2004, for example. The consequence has been two-fold for autumn renovations. Firstly, Anthracnose, which can be triggered by stress created by Av Temp (°C) 2011 Diff to average UK N.England S.England Scotland Wales N Ireland 14.1 14.4 15.9 12.2 14.1 13.3 - 0.6 - 0.4 - 0.5 - 0.7 - 0.6 - 0.8 Sun (hours) 2011 Diff to average 127 136 151 100 131 - 23% - 19% - 22% - 28% - 24% Rain (mm) 2011 Diff to average 106 104 65 164 84 106 - 24% 73 + 25% + 32% + 7% + 52% - 21% - 20% Days with more than 1mm of rain 2011 Diff to average 14 15 10 18 14 14 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 2 - August 2011 weather It was the second consecutive cool, dull and relatively wet August. However, it was significantly drier and brighter in the south west and south Wales management actions, is favoured by warmer conditions and has certainly been 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, has been shown to 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. Strong August turf growth can restrict establishment of new seedlings over sown during renovations. Primo Maxx On record (since 1914) Past Decade (2001-2011) Warmest Coldest Wettest 1917 1995 (17.3o 2003 (16.5o C) C) 1986 (12.2o C) 2011 (14.21o (166mm) 2004 Driest 1947 (10mm) 2003 C) (159mm) (27mm) Sunniest 1947 (257hours) 2003 (198hours) Dullest 2008 (106hours) 2008 (106hours) August weather highs and lows – UK average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours application five days before over sowing has been shown to suppress existing turf and allow new seedlings to establish. Furthermore, regulating growth as part of an ITM approach can relieve stress on plants and reduce their susceptibility to Anthracnose attack. 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 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 surface. August Top Tips • Minimise turf stress that may trigger Anthracnose • Watch out for Leaf Spot on hot humid days • Regulate turf growth to aid over seeding • Use GreenCast to predict disease attacks

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