Here we are again moving into September and after a quieter August (for me anyway!) things are starting to go crazy again.
Whilst some of the calls are about Microdochium patch just starting, some of the calls are about Cranefly and LeatherJackets the one that always catches me by surprise is Anthracnose.
It always feels like we have just made it through the season and then boom - the phone starts ringing.
In summary here's the lowdown on how to keep this pest at bay
- Keep the cutting heights high
- Regular topdressing to protect the crown
- Keep moisture levels right
- Ensure adequate nutrition
- Get all that right and you reduce the pressure
- With reduced pressure a well timed fungicide around the stress period can help keep you clean.
This is something myself and Henry have spent alot of time talking about this year and if you haven't heard us yet - you can listen in at "On the Horizon"
When I'm talking to course managers about these problems, there tends to be common themes:
- Generally members are happy and the putting surfaces are pretty good
- Course managers often describe their surfaces as healthy
- When pushed I'm often surprised by how little clippings they are removing whilst cutting
- They tend not to have to undertake additional operations to achieve green speed
- We still have some pretty decent growing temperatures at the moment and should still be seeing
- They are still at summer cutting heights
Anthracnose management is a game of best management practices, you can reduce the impact or even eliminate the it if you keep the basics in place during the growing season:
- Higher cutting heights
- Regular topdressing
- Good water management
- Good levels of nutrition
This is where the common themes show up, 99% of the time something has had to have been dropped.
Either the topdressing programme is down, or cutting heights are still low or they are still pretty lean in order to meet the members or budget expectations.
This is a trap that course managers who work really hard to keep the membership satisfied seem to fall into.
If that's you and you feel like you are stuck in that position where you can't back off due to membership expectations. Ensure you communicate the problem and commit to a fungicide program next year.
Look at historically when you hit this problem (always surprises me but it generally seems to be the first week of September that my phone goes mad) and then pencil in a fungicide application around 2 - 3 weeks earlier to ensure you come through clean.
BUT do not give up on explaining to the membership that maintaining those standards into September needs additional resources.
Have a look at my next blog looking at what we can do NOW with anthracnose ...
And here is where you can all the resourses, advice and videos about anthracnose.