Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slit Seeding in Progress

Before the flood, I wrote about the problems with annual bluegrass, or Poa annua, that golf courses have been experiencing this summer.  We started work on this problem today.  Our first step is to slit seed the tees and fairways with bentgrass.  Some areas, like the par-3 approaches, already have a significant Penncross population so we will focus on the areas that do not.

With a lot of care and some luck, we should be able to get some good germination in less than a week.  Seeding in the summer can be difficult, but since the annual bluegrass is weak at this time we should be able to "get the jump on it" with bentgrass.  If we waited for cooler temperatures, the annual bluegrass would germinate and outcompete our new bentgrass seed.  The drawback to seeding bentgrass in the summer is the likelihood of "damping off" which we will have to watch for.

One of the advantages of slit seeding is the minimal disruption to play it causes.  Many areas can be slit seeded without any obvious effect.  Areas with patches of declined annual bluegrass will show the slits for a while before they close up or germination occurs.

Slit seeding the fairways
Here is a spot on the tees:

Some areas we will have to do more than slit seed, but a slit seeding program will help most of our problem areas greatly.  I will update when germination occurs!

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