Poa Decline on Our Greens

July 24, 2019 Dean Baker


Poa Decline on Our Greens

Some will be noticing yellowing patches on our greens… the decline of these “poa annua spots” has an explanation.

As our greens maintain a high percentage of bentgrass, poa has crept in through the last 5 years. The question has been asked many times, will we ever eliminate poa annua from our greens? Considering the population of poa on the entire course, this is a tough challenge. Our goal has always been to maintain our bentgrass on greens by vigorously managing the poa invasion. Both cultural and chemical programs all favour bentgrass over poa. Some poa spots on greens will be inevitable. Controlling the size of the spots will be what we concentrate our efforts on.

In the spring, poa is very aggressive as it favours cooler temperatures. This long cold spring gave poa a strong head start over our bentgrass. The summer is when bentgrass becomes more predominant. With its strong root systems and heat tolerance, it can out perform poa through the summer months.

We bring this to everyone’s attention for we are starting to see a weakening in the poa. With the extreme heat we witnessed through last week, some of our smaller heavier traffic greens (i.e. 1, 2, 11), started to see the poa under stress & yellowing. With close monitoring, we are keeping the poa at this “stress level” to allow the bent a chance to move in and take over. Some of the bigger poa spots, we continue to plug out through regular maintenance practices.

Please note: Although some greens will see the effect of this decline more than others, the true health, roll and speed of our greens will not be compromised!!

As the summer heat persists, this will help in these cultural controls to reduce poa invasion. Our greens are enjoying a strong season so far, this poa weakening is part of keeping a strong bentgrass population.

About the Author

Dean Baker

Dean Baker, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (Since 1989). He joined Burlington Golf & Country Club in 2012, where he has enjoyed the remodeling and renovation of this historic 1922 Stanley Thompson design. Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph where he remains involved with the program he graduated from, Associate Diploma in Turf Management. There he lends his expertise as an instructor to upcoming turf managers, by instructing the Human Resources for Turf Managers Course.

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