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September extension for healthy growth

Productivity
03.09.2017
September mowing
Good growing conditions experienced in September over recent years offers the chance to build healthy turf plant strength for coming winter months

Weather patterns over recent seasons have typically recorded good growing conditions continuing well into September and the autumn. That gives opportunities to improve turf health and surface quality, but does create other issues to manage.  

This year’s weather has created varying challenges for turf managers. In the south and east, after an intense early hot dry spell, growth and turf health has been impacted by cool, dull and wet weather. Further north, the complete opposite has occurred - with problems of wet and cold conditions, followed by extended dry summer heat.

September 2016 Highs’n’Lows

  • For the UK as a whole, sunshine and rainfall were a perfect average
  • Temperatures were significantly higher – up by 2.8°C for central southern England, compared to the historical long term average
  • In Scotland, the west had 20% above recent average rainfall, but the east nearly 20% below
  • East Anglia had just six days with rain, compared to 21 days in the west of Scotland – with an average of nearly 6 mm of rain per rainy day

Making the most of available conditions with healthy green leaf area is crucial as September light levels start to fall quickly, and evenings start to get cooler. Typically, night time temperatures are an average 2°C cooler, compared to August, with 40 hours less sunshine – a reduction of 25%.

 

Av Temp (°C)

Sun (hours)

Rain (mm)

Days with more than 1mm of rain

 

2014

2015

2016

2014

2015

2016

2014

2015

2016

2014

2015

2016

UK

13.9

11.9

14.6

123

157

120

23

52

97

5

9

14

N. England

13.8

11.8

15.0

118

128

136

18

43

69

4

8

11

S. England

15.4

13.0

16.4

140

181

136

14

55

59

4

8

10

Scotland

12.5

10.8

12.7

102

130

97

39

50

144

8

9

18

Table 1. September weather, compared to recent seasons. Rainfall and sunshire were remarkably close to average in 2016, although somewhat duller and wetter than in 2015. However, the most noticeable feature was the significantly warmer temperature throughout.  

Enhancing turf health with Primo Maxx PGR, Qualibra wetting agent and a proactive fungicide strategy is paramount in helping turf to effectively recover from renovation and to prepare it to withstand the winter stresses of disease and weather.

Damp disease risk

As conditions cool through September, any rain or moisture raises the risk of an early Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) attack, from pathogens that have survived the summer in the thatch - especially through wet conditions experienced for much of the country this year.

GreenCast weather and disease records has highlighted weather conditions over recent seasons 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 planning proactive preventative systemic treatments, such as Banner Maxx or Headway.

Rough Rescue

The weather conditions this summer has seen many areas of golf course rough growing out of control - creating thick, clumpy unplayable lies. However, good growing conditions in September will help achieve rapid herbicide uptake and good levels of selective removal of Ryegrass with autumn Rescue applications.