Turf Talk: Transitional Greens

Transitional greens are often bumpy throughout the growing season due to different growing habits.

In Victoria we have a growing season that allows Poa Annua to grow very vigorously. We can all see that in our fairways right now, with all the seed heads and the amount of irregular grass growth on the greens. Poa thrives in the spring time temperatures of 10 degrees at night and up to 20 degrees during the day time.  When the temperature goes over 20 it slows down the growing rate and when temperatures rise above 25 degrees ‘Poa’ actually struggles to survive.

The correct variety of Poa on its own makes for a great putting surface. So why do we not just seed the greens with the correct variety? It is not available to purchase as it is on the noxious weed list for Canada. It is the grass that gets into every crack in the concrete and consumes your gardens if allowed.

We seed our greens to bent grass because it is readily available and can tolerate the cutting height and diseases. It thrives in our warmer summer temperatures, 15 degrees at night and above 20 degrees during the day time. The majority of golf courses to the south and east of Vancouver Island use bent grass as the main grass seeded to greens, fairways and tees.

Our ‘Poa’ situation and the nature of how it grows means at certain times of the year we are going to experience bumpy greens. We originally seeded the course to bent grass greens and the poa is taking over bit by bit. The Pacific nine is about 70/30 poa and the Highland side is about 50/50. This then leads to different growing rates at different times of the year. This can then cause the greens to be a little bumpy at times.

We have purchased a new greens mower this year that gives us a better quality of cut than in the past and it will help with a smoother surface. We look forward to providing fantastic greens this year.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the golf course conditioning please do not hesitate to email me at geoff@highlandpacificgolf.com.

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