Across the country, many golf courses are preparing to overseed or renovate their turf. There’s a lot of pressure to get the greens looking and playing just right so golfers can continue to enjoy the sport into the fall and winter seasons. While the steps for overseeding are tried and true, there are always a few best practices to help improve the process. Here are a few quick overseeding tips from an experienced golf industry professional, John Pollok, Ewing’s Golf Account Manager in Nevada.
- Don’t dry your golf course out too much, instead reduce water gradually over a couple of weeks prior to seeding. I never completely shut my system down until 2 or 3 days prior to seeding. The overseeded turf still likes a little moisture.
- Gradually lower height of cut to achieve 100% of the first mow. For example, mow down to .325 and the first cut should be around .650 with fresh ground/back lapped reels.
- Spray the highest labeled rate of a plant growth regulator (PGR) a couple of days before throwing seed. I never used an herbicide to burn down the Bermuda base.
- Verti-cut the Bermuda base lightly, seed and then mow the seeded areas, leaving a light layer of clippings on top of the seed.
- Check your controller database to apply the water, where you need it.
- If you have a Rain Bird central controller program, utilize “Force Progression.”
- Write an a.m. and p.m. program with multiple start times for each area. This helps if you have a malfunction with your pump station, controller program or power outage. This will also allow you to make adjustment in-between start times.
- Every area is different, but I’ve seen overall success by applying a starter fertilizer at the time of seeding, or after a mow or two. It depends a lot on your water source and manpower.
- I’ve seen PGR applications after the second or third mowing, but I never did that. I like to grow grass and manage the top growth by never letting the new seedlings get too high.
- We all appear to get a bit nervous about the germination of seed and we tend to apply a little bit more water than necessary. Monitor it closely and remember ryegrass grows really well in the cracks of our cart paths.
- Enjoy having the course closed and I hope you all have a successful overseed.
What are some of your best practices or tips for overseeding your golf course?