Sunday, 17 May 2015

Poa Annua and the Importance of Repairing Ball Marks

Controlling and removing poa annua (annual bluegrass) on bentgrass putting greens can be the thorn in the side of many turf care departments. The infestation of poa on a bentgrass putting green often results in less than ideal putting conditions (mainly ball roll). The primary reason behind this is poa has a different growth rate and leaf texture (width of leaf blade) than bentgrass.
Poa Annua plant surrounded by bentgrass

Poa Annua plant surrounded by bentgrass
Recently, turf care staff have been picking poa out of both the practice putting green and 15 Hawk green. In order to effectively control the poa population on these greens, it is key that poa which has already been established be removed as soon as possible. Both these greens were initially sodded with pure bentgrass sod. However, over time tracking of poa seed and in the case of 15 Hawk, unrepaired ball marks have led to small pockets of poa establishing on the putting surface. Unrepaired ball marks provide a perfect pocket for poa seed to establish itself in. Poa seed brought onto the green by foot traffic or even wind, will establish much more easily in an unrepaired ball mark than it will in a ball mark that has been repaired. Repairing ball marks will greatly reduce the amount of poa encroaching in the bentgrass putting green.
Turf Care Staff Removing Poa from 15 Hawk Green

Hole left in green after removal of poa

Finished product filled with sand after removal