Turf Talk: Overseeding
As I’m sure many of you have noticed the driving range tees along with the front entrance have new vibrant green color to them. The decision was made this year to overseed these areas with turf type perennial ryegrass. This is a common strategy among golf courses to provide golfers with not only an aesthetically pleasing view, but a better surface to play and practice from in the winter months when bermudagrass is dormant.
The process of overseeding, at least in our case is fairly simple giving that we are only overseeding 30,000 square ft. It starts with mowing the areas at a height of “.450, followed by a detailed blowing. The shorter height ensures better seed to soil contact which is vital for seed germination and establishment. Next the seed was applied at a rate of 16lbs/1000 square feet with a drop spreader in two directions to ensure and even stand. A “coco” mat is then used to softly drag the seed into the canopy and ensure again that there is good seed to soil contact. Small amounts of water are then applied 3-4 times per day until germination. Once seed has germinated a starter fertilizer is applied and water is cut in half. Generally, depending on weather, the seed germinates in 5-7 days and is ready for use in 14-20 days from the seed date.
Hopefully everyone enjoys the ryegrass this winter, as it will provide a good surface for practice. We will evaluate in the spring/early summer whether or not this was a cost effective process being that there are added labor hours and inputs, as well as the potential harm that overseeding can have on bermudagrass. However, I do not anticipate much noticeable damage since our seed rate is in the moderate range; most damage is seen with higher rates. Thank you for your patience during the establishment process.
Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned formore about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!