Golf Course News

On-site testing of grasses for overseeding bermuda

On-site testing of grasses for overseeding bermuda

Overseeding bermudagrass fairways is a common practice throughout the southern half of the United States. This project evaluated new cultivars on bermudagrass fairways at ten (10) golf courses in the Southern and Western U.S.

The evaluation trials were jointly sponsored by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the United States Golf Association (USGA) Green Section and the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP). Trials were positioned strategically in the following areas: southern California; Arizona; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Mississippi; central Florida; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Virginia; Atlanta, Ga.; and St. Louis, Mo.

The trials were located on active play sites where golfers hit fairway golf shots and/or drive golf carts. The forty-two (42) entries were established in fall 1999 and then again, in exactly the same physical location, in fall 2000. Grass species entered included perennial ryegrass, intermediate ryegrass, annual ryegrass, Poa trivialis and blends and mixtures of these species.

Data from 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 was compiled and published via hard copy, and posted on the NTEP web site ( Variety performance varied from location to location, however, a number of trends emerged:

Perennial ryegrass entries, in general, provided the highest quality turf averaged over the entire season.

Poa trivialis entries and perennial ryegrass/Poa trivialis mixtures were slower to establish, reducing their quality ratings at most locations. However, at three locations, due to other factors, the Poa trivialis entries finished on top, complicating the ability to predict where Poa trivialis may be used effectively.

Annual ryegrass and intermediate ryegrass entries transitioned faster than most perennial ryegrass entries.

At some sites, the entries that contain Poa trivialis transitioned back to bermuda faster than perennial ryegrass, while at other sites, the opposite was true. This leads us to believe that the transition phenomenon is highly weather and management-related.

Copyright United Publications, Inc. Feb 2004

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