During recent visits in California, very positive results have been observed at courses that adopt a slightly different protocol for managing Poa annua putting greens – less mowing and more rolling. Oregon State University Researchers Golembiewski, Blankenship and McDonald have shown that rolling greens daily and mowing four days per week produced better green speed than mowing daily and rolling on a frequency of only three days per week. California superintendents who use the Oregon State protocol are seeing healthier turf, improved surface quality, and no significant difference in speed on the days the greens are rolled only.
Although many superintendents roll greens two or three times per week in combination with mowing, they have been cautious about increasing the rolling frequency due to concerns about increased soil compaction and additional wear caused by rolling equipment on the edges of greens. So far, the superintendents who use this new protocol have not seen any detrimental effects with the increased rolling frequency and have been very pleased with the appearance and playing quality of the greens.
As with any new product or practice, we recommended that you test the procedures on a small scale and evaluate the results. Here are a few key points to consider, based on conversations with superintendents using this new protocol:
- Continue to make routine applications of the growth regulator product trinexapac-ethyl (Primo MAXX, T-Nex) to maintain a balanced growth rate.
- Roller operators should be very careful when changing direction or turning the machine to avoid abrasion and wear on the edges of greens.
- Rotate the direction of rolling as much as possible to prevent wear damage.
Source: Pat Gross, firstname.lastname@example.org and 714-542-5766