Voice of a Greenkeeper: June tips

That long wet winter and heavy rain at the end of April now seems a distant memory as we come to the end of a very hot May, and some people in the country are now praying for rain after a very hot dry spell combined with irrigation problems!

We’ve had some good flushes of growth late April and into early May that has helped to repair and recover some winter damage and early renovation works.

But this has come at a cost with an explosion of the dreaded poa annua seed heads!

People ask why do seed heads seem to be increasing? Certainly there are varying views on this; from the climate having more moisture over the last few years which increases thatch levels, to the reduction of nutrition stressing the plant leading to more seed heads, or perhaps the increase in the use of some bio stimulants that are more bacterial based – any or all of these things could have helped increased the poa population.

Everyone looks at reducing seed heads in different ways.

Common operations include spraying a PGR to reduce their growth or a silicone-based product to firm cell walls standing the plant up to cut them off.

Taking a more cultural approach we can look at reducing poa by changing the biology in the rootzone from a bacterial dominant one that’s supports the poa annua, to a more fungal dominant one.

This is achieved with the use of good biology; compost teas, supported by good fungal food sources such as seaweed or fish hydrolysate, combined with good aeration.

Oxygen is so important for biology – we could not survive with our head under water or with a plastic bag over our head, so neither can biology! Managing moisture and nutrition inputs is crucial.

Achieve a better percolation rate by reducing thatch levels to give a firmer and dryer surface and this will help to encourage finer perennial grass compositions, thus reducing the seed head population.

At GreenTek we have a wide range of products to work on reducing the seed heads with mechanical procedures such as the Thatch-Away Supa-System verticutting, brushing and poa buster units to reduce and remove them.

For the cultural operations there are various aeration and over seeding products too.

That’s it for this month, better get back to it – cut, water, grow, sleep, repeat, spray, strim, rake, sleep, repeat…..