Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bermuda Encroachment in Greens

Chalky residue from Tupersan application
Each season, we enter into a power struggle between the warm-season Bermudagrass collars and the cool-season Bentgrass putting greens.  The lateral growth habit, and aggressive nature, of Bermudagrass during the summer is at odds with the Bentgrass just trying to survive.  This can cause
Slot created from edger
the Bermudagrass to creep into the greens, therefore reducing the size of the greens over time.  Allowing greens to shrink has several negative impacts: more difficult to hit with an approach shot, reduction in pin locations, and foot traffic is concentrated within a smaller area which will affect turf quality.

At the start of spring, when the collars begin to green up, we use two popular methods to prevent this encroachment from occurring.  First, we spray a pre-emergent product called Tupersan.  This herbicide has the ability to prevent the Bermudagrass from rooting into the green with no negative effects to the underlying Bentgrass.  Doug, our chemical technician, applies this product along the edge of the green every 4 weeks throughout the growing season.  The second method we use is weekly edging of the green.  A walk-behind edger is used to cut down approximately two inches into the soil to sever the Bermudagrass stolons that are creeping into the greens edge.  This weekly process will continue until the Bermudagrass goes dormant again this fall.        

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