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brown patch, pythium, and summer stresses

Hot and humid is the big story this week. Waterlogged soils are an issue in some areas, both in sand-based greens and native soils.

We are starting to see lots of typical summer decline. Poa annua is checking out, and algae and hot spots are checking in. In areas where bentgrass has been stressed, it’s showing decline too. June feels too early to be dealing with this stuff, but that is what Mother Nature has dealt us this year. If June is kicking our butts, I'm worried what July and August have in store.

With the overly wet conditions, some guys are wanting to needle tine and topdress to get some air movement in their putting greens. But, it’s so hot, such cultural practices could seriously stress out the turf. We are all hoping for some cooler temps next week in order to sneak in some cultural practices. A dip in nighttime lows would really be beneficial. The lows over the past week have been in the 70’s in most of Kansas (a bit lower in western Kansas where humidity is lower), and soil temps at 4-inches are hovering around 80 degrees. We might get some highs in the upper 80's (gee, maybe I'll need a jacket or I might get chilly...) and lows in the mid-60's early next week. Then, the forecast calls for more scorching.
I had a couple of interesting diagnostic cases this week where turf was declining and, as is typical this time of year, no turf pathogens were to blame. In one situation, a surfactant was applied as part of a tank mix and then not watered in, and this may have led to some phytotoxicity especially in our hot conditions. A big clue was that the practice green WAS watered in, and that one was not showing damage.
In another, some extra N a couple of weeks ago kicked the turf into high gear on one putting green. The green got a little puffy, then got scalped, and now it is having a hard time recovering in these conditions.

The turf shown in the photo below is not happy to be drowning:

Here is this morning in pictures, to further illustrate the conditions

It’s SO humid…

* My camera fogged up when I first took it out of the case at the turfgrass research facility at 7:00 am. No that’s not real fog in the photo, that’s condensation on my camera lens. It took about 5 minutes to "equilibrate" to the outside air.

* The dew was thick to the point of sloshiness:

* I could hear the brown patch mycelium crawling around (well, not quite, but almost…):

* Pythium blight is making its first appearance: (mycelium had been present earlier)

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