This past week we slit seeded bentgrass into some of our weaker fairway locations. Of course these weaker fairway turf areas are made up of predominately poa annua. During the course of the summer the weaker, shallower rooted poa annua in many areas on the edges of our fairways around our fairway bunkers checked out. A combination of heat stress as well a loss of poa annua from a disease called Summer Patch, we were left with some pretty thin turf.
During the week of aeration we core aerated the weaker turf areas. This week we slit seeded bentgrass into these same areas. It's getting a little late in the season for seeding bentgrass, but we are hopeful we will see some germination as well as establishment. For the next few weeks we will keep these areas roped off. We want to keep cart traffic off the seeded areas as much as we can so we can increase our chances of success.
Over the past 3 years we have seen a huge swing in our bentgrass population on fairways. So much so that now the majority of our clean-up pass areas (the area where our fairway mower cuts the edge of the fairway) have converted to creeping bentgrass. The only areas where we still have a good stand of poa annua is the edges of fairways next to fairway bunkers and on only a few locations where the fairway and the approach intersect. In another 1-2 seasons I expect the majority of all of these areas to have fully converted to creeping bentgrass. With a few adjustments to our management practices in these areas know we can turn these areas around.