Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Zoysia/bermuda surrounds

Over the last few weeks, I have been questioned on a number of occasions regarding the potential fate of the zoysia/bermuda intermediate cut around our greens. I believe a majority of this turf will be in good shape when we get some good warm season growing conditions. If we look at a number of fairways and or tees, some of the warm season grass is still trying to come alive so it is not just the green surrounds that are having the difficulty. No doubt the green surrounds are the most visible because of the overall weakness in the turf. A majority of the problem has to do with zoysia's inability to handle wear and tear during its non-growing season
and other stressors which are put on the zoysia by surrounding it in an area that is dominated by cool season turf. Different fertilization, water, and some of the chemisty is not compatible between the two different turf types.

What steps are we going to take to help with the situation? In the areas where it appears that there is no hope, we will replace the dead or near dead material with zoysia from our nursery; pg, 5, 7, 12, 15 and other areas which we will continue to evaluate.

Today, we just repaired the the front left of #11 green approach.

The picture below does not show up as well as the area appeared today when we tore out the dead material.

We replaced a section of zoysia from our nursery fairway that was 6 feet wide by 27 feet long. The guys did a nice job in removing the old material and placing new sod in its place.

We are going to test some carpet for walking greens mower turning tomorrow morning which will ease some potential wear issues. We also will be making adjustments in our green spray program to reduce inputs to the zoysia/bermuda areas. We will beging to lay plastic sheeting over the zoysia turf from our sprayer operation for our greens. A round green requires you to keep booms on to spray through the collar which may cause some of the material to get onto the zoysia/bermuda. Fertilizers and growth regulators can cause the most potential harm to zoysia turf during the spring and the fall of the year. Zoysia uses 50-70% less fertilizer than bentgrass and does not like to be regulated until it is actively growing in the summer. Also, some regulators used for greens are somewhat harsh for zoysia/bermuda combinations to handle.
You can be assured we are taking steps to improve this situation as the weather and overall conditions improve.
In two of the last four seasons that I am aware, there has been damage to green surfaces because of the use of roundup and revolver which was tracked or drifted on the bentgrass from the surrounds. We have made very light and directed applications with backpack sprayers on the surrounds in an attempt to remove cool season grass(clumps of grass) from the green surrounds. As you probably are witnessing, we are fighting a losing battle right now but we have not given up the fight. We have been sending staff out with knives and they have been removing some of this extra turf. They have been filling the holes with sand to mask some of this work. We will also continue to do some chemical treatments in very light back pack spraying in an effort to remove this material.
We will do some additional cultural practices to the zoysia as the weather improves.

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