Annual Bluegrass, better known as “Poa”, is a predominant grass species in most parts of the world. The fact that it is found in all seven continents speaks volumes to its ability to survive. Its most effective survival strategy is its ability to produce enormous amounts of seed. It can, in fact, produce up to 85,000 seeds per square foot each year.
Managing against Poa to preserve the quality of our new Bentgrass greens has been one of our main goals. Therefore, understanding the growing habits of Poa and the environmental conditions it likes to grow in is very important. The focal point of our greens management program is to promote a good environment for Bentgrass but a bad one for Poa.
Here are a few of our key strategies:
• Keep them as dry as possible (Poa likes wet conditions)
• Minimal fertility (Poa like lots)
• Leave the greens exposed in the winter (Poa doesn’t like winter)
• Physical removal (hand pick)
The photo below is a close up of Bentgrass fighting off a weakened Poa plant and encroaching in its territory. This is a good example of our management strategies paying off dividends. The Poa plant is the more yellowish spot in the center.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent