It’s a War out There!

As I have mentioned before in these blogs, we are in an environment that breeds healthy warm season grasses. That is both a positive and negative. The bulk of warm season grasses will widen their footprint naturally, this is the positive. They use stolons (on top of the ground) or rhizomes (beneath the surface of the ground) to spread their roots. Cooler season grasses typically generate a root system per seed, but that isn’t how Bermuda grass works, which covers our property. Our greens are Champions Bermuda grass and they were replaced in the summer of 2009. I have been told since moving to Florida that greens need to be replaced about every 10 years due to the fact that other warm season contaminant grasses embed themselves with the “dominant” grass. This thought scares me for 2 reasons, first I think we consistently have the best greens in Tampa and second, if it is true we will have to close for 3 or 4 months in the summer of 2019. A healthy foundation of grass is the best combatant against disease and contaminants. This is the negative to being in a warm growing climate, all of the contaminant grasses are also warm season grasses. In other areas, you can promote the warm season grass while the cool season grass is weakened because of the contrary growing conditions. Jason is going to do this with cultural practices on our greens and see if he can’t manage us deeper into our 10 year window. We received most of our new Maintenance Equipment and our roller has brushes on each side so that after rolling the surface, it lifts the leaf blade allowing the mower to cut for a smoother surface. Champions Bermuda grass was developed to tolerate a very low mowing height which fits right into this practice. All of the contaminant grasses are not and they will be stressed out with the aggressive mowing heights and rolling patterns. As the contaminants weaken, you may see areas that look “blotchy,” but with sunlight and warm dry weather, which are the conditions that Champions thrives it, their stolons and rhizomes will spread out over those areas and fill in and we will have a more consistent putting surface on the greens. With Jason’s expertise, I think we will have the best greens in Tampa for another 10 years, but it is a War our there between these competing grasses.


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