The weatherman has predicted a touch of fall is approaching Citrus County. With that, it is time for us to begin preparations for our winter overseeding.
We are going to change things up a little bit this year. A little background is necessary so that hopefully our decision makes sense to you. When you are trying to be both a summer grass and winter grass golf course, something must suffer, and in our case that is weed control.
There are two methods of weed control. Pre-emerge to keep seeds from germinating, and post emerge to eliminate plants that have emerged. When we overseed the fairways for the winter, we must suspend the pre emerge applications or the winter grass could not germinate. The problem with that is undesirable weeds germinate also. When the winter grass leaves in late spring each year, we have a healthy stand of weeds that had a chance to mature all winter. They aren’t too noticeable when they are covered up with the winter grass, but as soon as that leaves, they are very noticeable and detrimental to course conditions during the summer and early fall.
Following much discussion with turfgrass experts, it has been recommended that we skip fairway overseeding once every 3 or 4 years so that we can continue to pre emerge the golf course for 12 consecutive months. By doing this, we will be able to continue our pre-emerge program year-round, which will enhance our weed control. We will continue our fall overseeding of tees, approaches, collars, and greens. In anticipation of this decision, we have raised the height of cut in the fairways and intermediate rough to maintain a good stand of grass through the winter.
Golf cart traffic will be restricted to cart paths and roughs more often during the winter to better protect the fairways from compaction. We will be applying turf pigments to maintain the desirable green color throughout the winter. This is not a new practice, just new to us. Many courses have been doing this for the past few years with great success. It has always and will continue to be our desire to offer the best year-round conditions as possible at an affordable cost.
Tommy Lyman, PGA
Chuck Barclay, GCSAA