Poa Annua

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The Annual Bluegrass or “Poa Annua” is seeding now. Most golfers have heard of it but are not really sure what it is. It is an invasive turf grass that thrives on closely mown turf (greens) in all cool regions of the world. It also grows well in shade, wet soils, compacted soils, and stressed areas. It will invade a creeping bentgrass green where ever and when ever the bent grass is stressed from ball marks, foot traffic, damage from disease etc. Most golf courses have a combination of creeping bentgrass and poa annua thus the term poa/bent greens. Some older courses have greens with virtually 100% poa annua where as brand new golf course will have 100% creeping bentgrass greens for the first few years. The problem with poa annua greens is the seed heads it produces this time of year giving the green a whitish appearance. These seed heads affect ball roll making greens bumpy and slower than other times of the year. It is also a weaker grass during the heat of the summer and is very susceptible to winter injury as Victoria Park East experienced last year. Other than that it is actually a really good grass to putt on. In fact some of the best golf courses in North America have all poa  greens. An example of these would be Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania and closer to home would be Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener and Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster. The seed heads will last another couple of weeks here at Victoria Park East. The seed heads along with the grass growing like crazy and the wet conditions are causing issues for optimum ball roll. I am are aware of this issue and am thankful for your patience.
Until next time.
David DeCorso

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