Thursday, August 4, 2016

What Happened to the ROUGH!

My last post I talked about the heat. rain and diseases.  The rough took it on the chin!  After the rains, then came dry weather.  Peat soils are just not a great place to grow Kentucky Bluegrass, but Poa trivialis grows great when things are cool and wet, but hot, wet, humid then dry is not what it likes!  Brown Patch and Dollar Spot fungi love those conditions, especially if they can feast on Poa trivialis (or Poa for short and also called Roughstalk Bluegrass).

The other issue is we have removed quite a few trees (Ash mainly) and the turf (Poa) that use to live under them loved the shade, but was not to fond of full sun/heat.  So what looks like dead grass, is actually dormant Poa just waiting for cool, wet weather to return, I only wish it was really dead.  The stolon (root like things) are just waiting in the soil for the right conditions and then it will be back to "Biltmore Rough" once again.

The last few years we have had cool summers and the Poa made great inroads (not a good thing).  Some may remember when we started a program to kill all the Poa (Tenacity Treatments).  Since we stopped trying to keep it under control, it spread quickly in the cool summers.

This fall we will go back into the worst areas and rototill them and seed new varieties of bluegrass that in most years can hold their own against Poa.

The telltale signs that a tree was once here - Green sod with "dead" Poa trivialis that use to live in the shade of the tree.

In cool summers, the Poa can move into other areas (mix stands of turf), but when the tough weather comes - it checks out.

Quiz question - was there a tree here??  Yup!  There is also more shade on the North side of the tree, which is where you find more Poa triv.