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December advice from Alan Abel

Alan Abel, a Complete Weed Control franchisee for over thirty years, gives his advice for turf managers over the festive period. 

The past six weeks have brought nothing but torrential rain which has been bad news for golf clubs and sports pitches all over the UK. Many golf clubs have had to close because of rainfall and football and rugby pitches come under real pressure. Many grass roots games may be cancelled so revenue will be hit badly for clubs in the run up to the Christmas holidays. 

We all hope for just a break from the Atlantic lows and storms that we have recently seen. Even today the waves are breaking over the seafront at Porthcawl: but the sky is, well, nearly blue. At least the wind will help dry things - or is it blowing in another front?

For turf managers; the weather has caused lots of headaches with machinery unable to travel on rain soaked and flooded grou‎nd. A dry spell is very much needed by everyone - even if it results in cold weather. At least it would be more beneficial compared to what we have just now. 

 Grass and weeds are still growing in areas, and with many council’s carrying out their last cut in October, the verges and open spaces will be difficult to bring into order come Easter. 

Moss is much‎ more prevalent these days, not only due to the damp weather, but because our air is so much cleaner than it used to be. The Clean Air Act has meant that acid rain is a thing of the past and moss spores thrive in the conditions we now have. Also, with dichlorophen no longer used to combat moss, we are left with products that do a decent job but not an excellent one. 

See link for products and application rates - recommended moss control products

Worm control has been difficult since the wet weather began and it would seem as though we are in for a long season. Worm casts are the ideal seed bed for weed seedlings so suppressing casts is an important part of a spraying programme. Carbendazim is the active ingredient, and a penetrant is always advisable to add to the mixture, to ensure that the pesticide gets into the soil as well as the usual pH buffer to ‎make the water more acidic and therefore produce your desired result. The use of the correct nozzle and water rate is also important. 

Fusarium has also ‎been apparent on fine turf surfaces such as golf greens and bowling greens. With the mild temperatures and some growth, patches have been recovering quite quickly. It is always worth applying different fungicides to avoid a build-up of ‎resistance. 

The Grandfather Rights date has now passed and new laws are in force and so trainers in NPTC pesticide application have seen a marked increase in business. Where someone hasn't gone through the relevant training and certification is where Complete Weed Control can help. We have teams all over the country that are all Amenity Assured who are happy to give advice and apply the necessary pesticide within the law. 

We also have our winter maintenance and gritting services available – Complete Ice Control and will be at BTME in January on stand number C48 with our new Complete Grounds Maintenance service.

Have a great Christmas and New Year and hopefully we will see you in Harrogate. 


Posted 09/12/2015 10:15AM Updated 27/09/2016 14:42PM

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Complete Weed Control Ltd registered in England and Wales. Company Nº 2832234. Registered Office: Unit 16, Hurworth Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham DL5 6UD