Usually at the start of the year there a few key points to follow, it’s best to keep off the surface as much as possible, a little mowing and some aeration are usually sufficient:
The grass roots are desperate for some air and you will find the square will be sodden, if not saturated. Try and do some aerating, some sarrel rolling or selected forking when it dries out sufficiently.
A slow release low nitrogen feed will be in order to nourish the sward, as temperatures are unusually high.
Weeds, Pests & Diseases
Regular drag brushing/caning of the green will be necessary if you find earthworms are a problem, as it will keep the surface free of debris and worm casts. Aeration on a regular basis will keep the surface open and aid in drying, which helps towards reducing the effects of earthworm activity.
The combination of early morning dews, warm and wet weather and diminishing daylight hours increases the risk of fungal disease outbreaks.
The typical types of diseases you may come across this time of year are:
These diseases are occurring as a response to the unusually warm weather conditions. Relative humidity is important for spore germination and penetration of leaf tissues, and constant wet conditions will allow the development and transportation of active fungi spores.
Most fungi grow well between 10°C - 40°C and function best at a pH range of 4-7pH. The current lack of cooler weather and sharp frosts has not helped in reducing these active pathogens.
The first step in turf grass disease management is identifying the true nature of the problem. Diseases are only one cause of turf loss, and disease control measures will do nothing to alleviate damage from other causes such as management, wear or plant stress. It is therefore essential to determine whether the problem is disease, and if so, which disease.
It is important to maintain machines by carrying out regular servicing and repairs.
As grass growth slows down, use the time to take some machines out of operation for an overhaul.