Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brown Grass in Newly Seeded Areas

If you have been paying close attention, you may have noticed some of the grass in the newly seeded areas (mostly on #10, #11, #13 and #18) is turning brown. Since the past week has been dry, your first thought might be that some of the grass seedlings are drying out. That is not the primary culprit. Two weeks ago, we noticed that a lot of the plants coming in were either crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) or Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus.) These weeds would die off at the first hard frost but would germinate from seeds(crabgrass and nutsedge) and/or tubers (nutsedge) in subsequent years. Luckily, there are herbicides that can kill the weeds and hopefully, prevent that from happening. It is hoped that by spraying this product now, when the areas are first growing in and populations are not high, we can avoid having these weeds in later seasons. What you are seeing as brown grass is the weeds starting to die off. We go at low rates of the herbicide and do multiple applications in order to minimize the risk to the desirable turfgrasses and to prevent herbicide runoff.

Along #18, you can see patches of the brown "grass."

More patches between #10 tee (foreground) and the fairway. Most of this area was Yellow Nutsedge.

The left side of #13 fairway. You can see a greener line to the left of the cart path. This was an area where the contractor had a problem with the irrigation line. They had to dig it up after it was originally seeded and hand spread the seed after fixing the irrigation. This meant they put down more seed per square foot. The resulting turfgrasses came in thick enough to discourage the weeds from germinating.

A closer picture. The brown, spider-like clumps are crabgrass. This form is how it got it's common name.

Here is a much closer image. You can see the turfgrasses are growing amongst the dying crabgrass and are looking very healthy.

The brown clumps here are sedges. The common name for the herbicide we used for sedges is "Sedgehammer" which I think is an awesome and well chosen marketing ploy.

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