Unlock and Play – The Lowdown

The Lockdown Trial is over – long live Unlock and Play!

Whilst lockdown now seems like a distant memory and the Lockdown trial ceases to have a direct relevance we still wanted to gather some useful data..

We also wanted to use this trial plot to start examining the value of a BioStimulant we’re working along with Ryder, our turf Pigment during stressful summer periods and since you started this journey with us we thought you might like to see the whole thing through.

Clipping yield

We’ve ensured we can keep collecting the Clipping yield data throughout the trial. We’re now seeing some really interesting stuff. All three Primo applications are now offering very comparable benefits. This is because the temperature has now picked up and the GDD windows have pulled closer together.

We have also continued to apply Primo every 7 days at Max label rate (0.4L/ha on greens) throughout the trial to see how much we could suppress growth (a priority during lockdown). The below graph shows how we saw high levels of turf suppression during the spring but now we have seen more consistent temperatures we see less variance.

The question we should now ask ourselves is – Would we want that level of growth suppression during a “normal” spring? I don’t think I would. I’d be trying to achieve a consistent level of suppression throughout the year which lends itself to using a GDD model. Check out my GDD beginners guide if this is new to you……

As a guideline I’d recommend applying primo to greens between the window of 100 GDD to 150GDD.

Turf Colour

The colour scores in the Primo plots have really separated out now. The more Primo the higher the colour score.

Turf Quality

However we are not seeing big differences in the turf quality scores. This is a visual assessment and does not take colour or the way the surface would perform into account.

At the beginning we saw a slight advantage to no Primo and as time goes on we see a slight advantage to applying primo.

The good news is there was no downside to applying large amounts of primo on a regular basis with no additional N (which we’d normally recommend) and we have the plant prepped ready to cope with any stress Yorkshire can throw at it!

We can now see that using Primo in our trial has shown the more we use the higher levels of growth suppression we see and the greener the turf but at this stage no large turf quality benefits.

But what we are doing is preparing the turf for the stress that it will now begin to see. That tighter plant that is utilising the light much better (the additional greening isn’t an effect of additional N). As we enter stress periods the plant should be in a much better position to cope with additional light, less water, more traffic and higher temperatures.

The question is – will Yorkshire deliver any of those stresses to see how well the turf will cope??

The most frequently asked questions in June were … read the monthly round up here.

The new elements of the trial

This is all still early on so we’re not seeing any big differences yet BUT… here is what we do have.

The two plots are being treated slightly differently – the Primo application windows remain the same but in one set of plots we have a standard nutrition program but in the other we have a BioStimulant and Pigment. The hypothesis is that the UV protection from Ryder and plant health benefits of a BioStimulant coupled with a Primo program will offer benefits through the stressful summer.

In the first few assessments we have seen a decent uplift in colour which is down to the Ryder, you shouldn’t see immediate effects from a biostimulant, if you do that tends to mean that there is additional iron or nutrition added to the product.

However we are seeing no difference in turf quality, but that’s fine. We are now trying to build on the plant health benefits that Primo has given us and prepare the plant for the stressful period.

Why add Ryder

The purpose of this trial is to look to see how we can prepare the turf for stressful conditions. Ryder is a great tool to help protect the turf from high levels of harmful UV rays we get during the long summer days.

We have just passed the longest day and Ryder has been added to help reduce the damage of additional light during these periods.

As the trial is in Yorkshire seeing extreme damage from light is unlikely but it will contribute to the stresses. I’ve plotted the light levels on the below graph, Bingley is the line in green and I’ve plotted Deal in the South East as a comparison.

We certainly see more light the further South we go but and this year Deal has seen 29% more light than Bingley has. Light stress should not be underestimated check these blogs out for more…... Whilst immediate impacts won’t be obvious, all of these tools are an investment into the plant to help it get through the tough times.

As we cant control the the light, temperature and have limited control of moisture we are imparting wear stress courtesy of STRI’s legendary wear machine.

Watch this space for updates.

Take a look at the latest blogs on Turf Management here.

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter below.

Leave a Reply