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All Quiet….

As most superintendents in Southern New England are aware, winterkill was a major problem from NYC to Boston by the time the snow melted in April.  However, once turf recovered, we were rewarded with a cool and surprisingly dry spring.  Although this year has not been as good as last year in the Northeast for growing grass, it is certainly a close second.  Since the season began I have seen very little disease in my lab.  Approximately 3 weeks ago the summer heat arrived with high humidity but even Pythium blight has only been sporadic. Dollar spot activity has picked up in the past few weeks but if fungicide coverage is in place, it has not been a problem. The only other disease of note  is the occasional bout of basal rot anthracnose, likely a result of the high humidity. Some foliar anthracnose was apparent in June on bentgrass (in response to drought). Water reserves are still holding and I have not gotten any complaints about ponds running dry. Summer patch has been completely absent this year. Unfortunately, golf courses with nematode problems are still experiencing problems. The snows of January and February probably did a good job of insulating them from temperature extremes.  With any luck, the summer heat will start to tail off in the next couple weeks and injury from traffic and high soil temperatures will start to recover.

Categories: Uncategorized

DO NOT send samples via USPS Express Mail.

Today I discovered another reason why the United States Postal Service is going bankrupt.  When mail comes to URI, it comes from the USPS Wakefield Distribution Center to URI Central Receiving.  No mail is delivered by the USPS directly to URI offices.  The bulk delivery happens once a day, sometime before 10 am.  This is the ONLY time USPS will deliver anything to URI.  What this means is that if your “Express Mail Before 3 pm” package arrives at the USPS Wakefield Distribution Center at noon, USPS WILL NOT deliver it to URI.  They only make one run a day.  Period. Even if you spent $50 for 1-day delivery you delivery will have to wait until the next morning.  And you know what is even worse?  They scan the package “Delivery Attempted, Office Closed”.  I was told by a USPS employee at another post office that they do this intentionally because if they did not, it would be considered a failed delivery and you could get your money refunded.  So in effect, USPS will not deliver the package if it arrives late but will not refund your money even though it is through their own sloth that the package will not be delivered.  Just in case you were wondering, URI is ten minutes from the Wakefield Distribution Center.   So please use FedEx or UPS.  Those packages come straight to the lab.

Categories: Uncategorized

May 2013, Week 4 Update

On about April 12th, it stopped raining.  Most places in New England went  20+ days without any rain.  After that, the humidity plummeted to zero and it stayed cool.  As a result, most of the samples I saw during that period were LDS.  But it started raining on May 9th and has continued to do so, on and off, for the past 10-14 days.  During the last two weeks, frost has continued to be  a localized problem and many of the samples received in that period had turned purpled from cold shock or frost injury. Drought stress exacerbated the frost injury.  Finally, Proxy applied in the cold will cause a lot of purpling and plenty of folks did apply Proxy, no one expecting frost on May 14th.

However, in the past week basal rot anthracnose has popped up in PA and MASS and red leaf spot has also started to move, thanks to all that cold rain.  Despite the fact that there was snow in Vermont 3 days ago, the good news is that the next 4 days will be 90 degrees and extremely humid!   I guess it’s time to keep your eyes out for Pythium blight.

Categories: Uncategorized

Red Leaf Spot too..

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past week I’ve seen even more gray leaf spot.  It whacked my yard pretty hard and I was forced to go out and put down some granular Eagle before I lost the whole thing.  I just received a sample from Vermont of bengtrass loaded with red leaf spot.  I usually see this in the spring (just a little this spring) but it was raging in 2009, from spring to fall with the cool weather.  I’m not sure how widespread it is but when I first got the pictures, I could have sworn it was dollar spot, the damage was so severe.  But the spores don’t lie….

A DMI is my recommendation.  The strobilurins will also work but it’s an expensive standalone spray to make just for leaf spot.

Categories: Uncategorized

Gray Leaf Spot is on the Move!

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past week I’ve gotten six different samples that were positive for gray leaf spot from Mass, CT, RI and Long Island.  In at least half of those cases, strobilurins have been used to try and control the disease and failed.   This is not unexpected, gray leaf spot frequently develops resistance to these fungicides (Compass, Heritage, Insignia and Disarm).  The best approach is to tankmix chlorothalonil with a DMI.  High humidity, rain and warm temperatures will drive the disease. It will slow a bit when things cool down and dry out.

Categories: Uncategorized