September extension for healthy growth
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
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)
Days with more than 1mm of rain
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.
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.