"That is Poa annua, a sort of outcast blue grass. It drops its seed plentifully and spreads rapidly. Maybe it would be well to try a test bed of it and give the poor old bum a real chance. He may prove a gentleman after all."
- A.W. Tillinghast, 1930s
There is no other plant that causes more controversy than Poa annua. Generally considered a weed, it is extremely adaptive to golf course conditions in the cool temperate regions of the world. Poa annua properly maintained under fairway or putting green conditions provides an excellent playing surface. Poa annua has an upright grown habit that allows the golf ball to “sit up” on fairways and provide a true ball roll on greens.
If Poa annua predominates on your golf course there is a reason. Most likely Poa annua is the best adapted and most competitive grass for the given conditions and management practices. Table 1. A few general guidelines for managing Poa annua greens:
|Parameter||Adaption, Range, Frequency, of Parameter||Comments|
|Mowing Height||3 mm to 5 cm||Poa annua can be maintained at a mowing height as low as any other cool season turfgrass. Caution: the lower your mowing height the higher the potential risk for turf loss|
|Irrigation||Generally, light frequent||Poa annua has a shallower root system than creeping bentgrass and fescues during the summer requiring more frequent irrigation|
|Fertilization||1.5 to 2.0 kg 100 m-2yr||Foliar application of 0.05 kg 100 m-2week-1 during the summer months will reduce the likelihood of anthracnose.|
|Topdressing||Light frequent||Will keep the surface firm and reduce the likelihood of anthracnose|
|Aerification (coring)||1 or 2 times per year (spring and fall)||Not required as often as with creeping bentgrass|
|Major diseases||anthracnose, dollar spot, brown patch, summer patch, Typhula blight, Microdochium patch|
|Insect pests||cutworms, black turfgrass ataenius, grubs, annual bluegrass weevil|
|Plant Growth Regulator||Trinexapac-ethyl||Repeated applications improves the summer tolerance of Poa annua|