Successful reestablishment of golf greens following winter damages

Summary

This project examines some important factors that can influence the success rate for re-establishing golf greens following winter kill.

Work package 1 examines how phytotoxic metabolites, which can be produced during long-lasting ice cover, affect the establishment of different green grass species used on golf greens. A field experiment was run at the NIBIO research facility at Apelsvoll in southern Norway in 2015 and 2016. Soil water extracts taken following ice encasement did not negatively affect germination of the various grass species tested in either of the years, compared with soil water extracts taken from an area that had been killed with glyphosate or saline water. However, soil water taken from the area treated with glyphosate had a negative influence on root growth of all species in 2016. In both 2015 and 2016, there were significant effects of species and the two germination temperatures (day/night) 25/15 and 15/5 °C. Annual meadowgrass (Poa annua) germinated faster than the other species, particularly at the lower temperature. The slowest species to germinate was red fescue. In a second experiment, root growth of annual meadowgrass was also shown to be significantly faster than that of the other species. These results have implications for competition between seedlings on a golf green. A third experiment investigated whether aeration following ice encasement or postponed seeding could improve plant establishment. Germination was not influenced by the ice encasement treatments in either of the years, but the percent coverage and dry weight of plants samples was lower in core samples taken from the control area that had been killed by glyphosate. The aeration treatments did not have any impact on seedling establishment. Delayed seeding in 2015 improved seedling germination, most likely due to warmer temperatures and improved nutrient availability. The results of delayed seeding in 2016 were not consistent with those obtained in 2015.

In spring 2016, one trial was established on an ice-damaged green at Sundsvalls GK in Northern Sweden using the same four sowing machines as in 2015. The results of the trial showed, as in 2015, that sowing techniques that bury the seed and create good seed-soil contact result in an more even and dense plant cover than the drop methods.

FACTS
Category: Overwintering
Status: Ongoing
Project period: July 2014 – July 2017

Fundings (kSEK)

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

STERF

75

222

174

108

 

579

Other sources

40

60

60

20

 

180

SUM

115

282

234

128

 

759

Project objectives

To provide new knowledge that can help the greenkeepers to achieve faster reestablishment of turf after winter kill. More specifically, to:

  • Give species-specific guidelines for re-seeding after winter kill caused by anoxia
  • Investigate how sowing techniques and use of spring covers influence the rate of success
  • Provide golf clubs with information that is useful when deciding the optimal time for reseeding
  • Disseminate research-based recommendations to the golf industry

Project participants

Wendy Waalen

Researcher

NIBIO - Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Apelsvoll, Nylinna 226, Kapp, NO-2849.

+47 45286790

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