As we roll into the summer holidays and many of us are looking desperately at the UK weather forecasts praying for a dry period it seems appropriate that we talk about Moisture Stress and it's impact on the turf in our Unlock and Play trial.
We have taken our Original Primo trial and now have two different treatments going onto it. A standard liquid fertilisation programme and a Biostimulant based stress mitigation programme.
The constant question we end up asking is "Can Yorkshire deliver enough stress to tease out some differences?"
The answer continues to be NO.
When looking at Moisture stress there are two factors to look at:
This is how much water is lost by the plant - it's heavily driven by
- Day length
- Thatch levels
- Soil temperature
This one's obvious - the more rain the wetter it is.
This years ET and Rainfall are logged below - you can see we have seen a nice steady flow of rain with no prolonged periods of dry weather since the end of May.
Compare that with 2018 and you can see that June was incredibly "stressy"
The ET rates this year haven't really got too high either, the occasional day that they have jumped they have quickly returned to lower levels. In 2018 you can see that we had prolonged periods of High ET.
Yorkshire was by no means the driest part of the country either in 2018.
We have spent the last few weeks preparing the sward for some stress that just isn't arriving. That I guess is the challenge with managing turf. If you knew what the weather would do for the next 6 weeks you'd be able to make much better decisions.
What have we achieved?
The turf quality has remained steady with the other plots (remember this is still a good programme we're running in these - so we'd expect them to perform). The plant is now prepped and ready to cope with additional stress whether that be Foot traffic, Heat, Drought, Anthracnose, Microdochium patch, etc, etc. Once again I ask - Can Yorkshire deliver?
The clipping yields continue to show the value of using a GDD program with very little difference in yields between the 3 Primo programs but significantly less applications than the calendar based applications.