|Hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) putting greens are often overseeded with a cool season species at the onset of fall dormancy. Intended to provide winter color for the putting surface and added protection from traffic, many new generation ultradwarf putting greens are overseeded with the smaller seeded grass Poa trivialis (L). However, little is known about the impact of winter play management on the overseed, and the subsequent bermudagrass as it emerges from dormancy in the spring. Thus, the objective of this research was to examine the combined effects of overseeding, traffic and N rate on the performance of a hybrid bermudagrass (‘TifEagle’) putting green that had been overseeded with Poa trivialis.
The two-year study was conducted at the Auburn University Turfgrass Research Unit, with N rate and overseed treatments arranged in a factorial design of 4 N rates (0, 0.5, 1 and 2 g N m-2) and overseeding (yes or no). These plots were all split in traffic (yes or no), which was applied twice weekly via a traffic simulator. Collected data included color, quality, shoot density, clipping yield, N content of clippings, total non-structural carbohydrates, and golf ball roll via stimpmeter.
In general, plots needed the highest N rate of 2 g N m-2 month-1 for best color and quality. Traffic had the greatest effect on turf quality, and the presence of the overseed did not provide any further improvement in turf quality, either for the overseed or the bermudagrass. The presence of the overseed did affect bermudagrass shoot density, with significantly fewer bermudagrass shoots measured during the transition period. In conclusion, the presence of the overseed negatively affected the bermudagrass, and other options for the provision of winter color (such as painting) should be considered.