We've been working the past couple of weeks in the area to the front and left of 16 tee and to the left of Hole #2. This is an area that we are going to grow bentgrass for next fall to begin replacement of some of our poa infested collars. It will also serve us during the season in case any collars become damaged and need replacement turf. It will be mowed at our current collar height of .300" once it has matured next season.
A few weeks ago we used roundup and broadleaf weed control products to kill the weeds including bermuda that were growing in the area. We also had to use our sod cutter to remove some of the material that was laying on top and to cut a border around the outside of the area.
The area is about 55 x 100 feet. The lower 1/4 of the area will be placed in fescue because it has a tendency to hold too much moisture. Our total bent nursery area will be about 3500-4000 square feet.
The pictures below show the nursery with water being applied to it. We placed a granular soil fumigant material on the surface to eliminate any additional weed seeds and disease which could be in the soil. We watered this material in and continue to place moisture on top of the sand to keep the material active in the subsurface. In about 10-12 days, we will add some nutrients to the base and will seed it with our Cato/Crenshaw mixture which is currently on our greens.
The picture below is of our collar on the practice green near Dr. Ott's clock. The area between the Sweetgum tree and the planter wall in fron of the pro shop is mostly poa annua. The rest of the collar is in pretty good shape and has a majority of bentgrass in its area. Right now, we are treating our greens with Trimmit(Paclobutrazol) which is a growth regulator that slows the growth of both our bent and poa. An added benefit of applying this material is that it suppresses and reduces the competitiveness of the poa, and in some cases will kill the poa. The fall applications do not usually kill the poa. Its the spring to summer applications that can put some serious harm in the poa so this is a product we have to be very careful in applying.
Ok, the picture below shows a spot of bentgrass that my telephone is in the middle of. The bentgrass has a tendency to be darker in color and lays over. Poa makes for a great putting surface because of the number of plants per square foot and it stays more upright but it has serious disease and heat issues in our part of the country.
The following picture is a collar on the same green that has a majority of bentgrass in it. The phone is sitting in a small population of poa. Our spray program will have the affect of continuing to reduce this poa population plus at the same time increasing the bentgrass population. When we aerify in October, we intend to seed some additional bentgrass into the greens to continue to add to our bentgrass plant bank and add more new plants to the green surface.