Monday, July 26, 2010

Singing the Low Mow Blues

This post comes from John Newton, CGCS, Veenker Memorial Golf Course. Veenker renovated their facility during the fall of 2008. Part of the renovation involved converting the intermediate cut of rough from common cultivars of perennial ryegrass to low mow Kentucky bluegrass. John’s note is below:

After a great opening spring with some of the new varieties of low mow bluegrass, I very impressed with the color, density, winter survival, and establishment after only 18 months of establishment. It sure looked like the perfect turf for central Iowa.

Currently, it is having a real difficult time and is very thin in some areas, especially in areas of partial shade. The damage seems to be from various disease infestations and generally appears as a weak, poor looking turf. I have to say I’m very disappointing after the success with removing the annual bluegrass out of the bluegrass last fall and this spring with Tenacity herbicide.

I’m not sure about a plan of action moving forward because some of the older turf varieties right beside the low mow blues look great, along with the ryegrass, the bentgrass fairways, and some of low mow bluegrass that was treated with Heritage in mid June. The Heritage application was made to the fairways but in spots where the booms hung over into the intermediate cut the bluegrass looks great. That was our only fungicide application to our bentgrass until recently. Probably a combination of leaf spot and patch disease’s just disappointing that we now will need to treat these new varieties. One of the main reasons for the conversion was to cut our applications of fungicides and other chemicals. The bentgrass fairways so far have been great.

One thought that crossed my mind was that it may be only certain cultivars that are susceptible to the damage. The low mow blues we used were a 4 way low mow blue mix. I would be interested to hear what others who have also converted to this turf are experiencing.

John Newton, CGCS
Veenker Memorial Golf Course


Anonymous said...

What were the 4 varieties that were used?

Leah A. Brilman said...

Hi John,

Do you know what cultivars are actually in this?

Much of what is sold as low mow bluegrasses come from the Jacklin breeding program and are all what we call Midnight-types. These are all extremely closely related and you lose the advantage of blending if they are the only thing in a blend. They are all also not tolerant to shade at all. There are other bluegrass types that will take low mowing and have shade tolerance, and these have different genetics. Some of these all greenup earlier in the spring. Many sod growers put in all of these Midnight types since they are dark green.

Marcus said...

Hi Leah,

I spoke with John and he wanted me to pass along this note:

It was Scotts four way low mow premium blend. Not sure of exact cultivars. I will do some research to find out the exact cultivars, but just reading your short memo that all these low mow blues are related to the midnight types makes perfect sense. The color was awesome this spring and they are not tolerant of shade. My plans as of today is to seed something like sure shot (if it is a little more shade tolerant) into the poorer areas and possible make a fungicide application in the spring and or early summer to control some of the summer patch, leaf spot diseases, and continue the Tenacity herbicide.


Hancey said...

This seems to be some Good varieties of turf , Have a look on some New Ones .Please tell me some about this . Thanks

Turf varieties