From the desk of the Golf Club GM

Rick Lantgen

The Golf Course. We are entering the overseeding process here at SunBird Golf Club and I would like to give you a little insight of the why, and briefly explain the how.

Why overseed? In many cases, Bermuda grass (our summer grass) will stay green nine months of the year if we let it. But, we don’t let it. If left alone Bermuda would be green from mid-March to late October, before it goes into cold induced dormancy, followed by complete loss of color from hard frost. The solution? Overseed with cool season grasses. In our case here at SunBird we use ryegrass, which is the most common type of winter grass used in this area.

How we overseed starts in August by cutting the amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to slow down the growth of Bermuda, and increase the amount of calcium and potash to ready the soils for germinating the ryegrass. Also in the first part of August we start the process of slowly chemically eradicating poa in greens which is a whole other subject. Then about 10 days out from overseed, we stop mowing to elongate the plants. At seven days we will apply a PGR (plant growth regulator) to slow down the growth of Bermuda so it will not compete with the Ryegrass as it germinates and grows. At five days prior to preparation we will cut the amount of water we apply to the golf course to harden off and dry the Bermuda out. Preparing the turf to receive the seed begins with scalping and vacuuming the turf to a point that it opens the canopy enough so the new seed can reach the soil; it may take two to three scalpings to achieve this goal. When all is ready seed is dropped and dragged, sand is then put on top, and the water is applied. At this point we do a lot of praying for the weather to cooperate and the seed to emerge and grow. I have left out some key factors in the overseeding process but I hope this gives you a little understanding of the why and how.

Yours for a better SunBird!