Just Trying To Keep Up

By John H. Foy, director, Florida Region
June 25, 2013

In many respects, actively growing turf is a good problem to have and with implementation of regular applications of trinexapac-ethyl (Primo), it will be possible to regain better control over growth of the turf. While not a common practice in the past, treatment of rough areas with trinexapac ethyl is being performed at more courses to slow down growth and in turn, reduce the number of labor hours required for routine mowing during the very busy summer months.

After a cool and prolonged spring, summer finally arrived in Florida. With the onset of typical hot and humid days and nights, an explosion in bermudagrass growth rates has been experienced on all courses. A very common challenge being encountered on site visits over the past two to three weeks is being able to mow often enough on fairways and especially through rough areas. Along with increased mower scalping damage, heavy clipping accumulation is a concern when rapid bermudagrass growth is occurring.

For many years the use of turfgrass growth regulators has been common on fairways as well as on tees and putting greens at most Florida golf courses. During a couple of recent visits it has been noted that trinexapac-ethyl treatment of bermudagrass roughs is now being performed. While this does not totally eliminate scalping and clipping problems, they are greatly reduced when it is not possible to keep up with an adequate mowing frequency of the roughs due to thunderstorms or when the staff is tied up for several days conducting aeration operations, other cultural management practices or projects during the hectic summer months. At the courses where roughs are being treated with a growth regulator, it is felt that the benefits provided justify the cost. This is a practice that warrants consideration at other courses where keeping up with an adequate mowing frequency during the summer is a challenge.

Source: John Foy (jfoy@usga.org)

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