#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bleach Blonde

We are still maintaining the course under normal conditions but starting soon we will be raising the height of cut on greens and minimizing mowing to let the grass get ready for winter.   Greens aeration awaits on October 15, but we will be using small solid tines so putting quality should be OK for the remainder of the month.

As you have seen if you have been out to Wild Horse lately we have been dyeing our hair (turf).  (Unfortunately I haven't taken a picture of it to show).  No it's not the peroxide used by you wanna be beach blondes.  It is a chemical called Tenacity that has turned 1, 6, 7, 12, and 14 fairways white.  This is an attempt to control Poa annua as we head into winter.  The bleaching is most pronounced on the ryegrass and the bluegrass is unaffected so it is quite interesting to see the different types of grasses exhibit their reaction to this chemical.  What looks mostly uniform under normal conditions is now a patchwork of green, yellow-white, to bleach white turf.  Again the bluegrass handles this chemical well, but the ryegrass can struggle with it especially in higher traffic areas like on 12 fairway.  Some ryegrass will be sacrificed and the remaining bluegrass will fill in.  I liken this process to cancer chemo or radiation where you go to the brink to kill the bad cells which can really make a person feel sick but the end result is the bad cells (Poa in this turf case) are killed off and the remaining good cells can thrive.

We have also done this application on greens surrounds but they do not show as much whitening because of a higher population of bluegrass, less cart traffic, and also less compaction.  Our goal is to clean these up so they look really good next spring minus the poa seedheads.

We have always focused our poa control program in the fall using Prograss, but we are mixing in more Tenacity this fall for a change in chemistry to fight resistance.  We will still be using Prograss in certain areas this fall and look forward to trying a new chemical next spring in our battle against Poa.  It takes diligence and persistence to try to keep fairways and greens as poa free as possible, but it is a long term program that can keep poa populations at a minimum.