0 May 2022 Pitch Diaries

One of the benefits of doing this monthly agronomy diary is that you get to build up an excellent picture of what the conditions have been like over a period of time.

Image: Wolfgang Hasselmann

As we head into May, I can't clearly recall what conditions were like at this time last year, but reading back through my notes, it is apparent it was very similar to what we have experienced this year. Very challenging in terms of producing growth that will either bring together a surface or give sufficient recovery from play.

Relatively mild day temperatures, with periods of sunshine coupled with low night-time temperatures, have put the grass plant under considerable stress; especially when you also factor in the lack of rainfall we have had. Irrigation can and has had to be used, but in doing so, you are acutely aware that the irrigation water is cold after a long winter and isn't helping to encourage soil temperatures to rise. This has pushed progress a bit further back for some in terms of where they predicted their surfaces would be heading into May. It is not ideal to unrealistically manufacture growth in these conditions, therefore it is advised to work with nature, where possible, rather than try to force growth.

In this month's diaries we address plant nutrition and look at plant stress and disease, how to manage nutritional inputs, nitrogen sources and biostimulants. Plus some advice on the recent Crane fly emergence and how to tackle this pest.

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Don't forget, you can also use our Pitchcare Forum, where members can ask for and offer advice on the whole range of sports turf surfaces issues.

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