Sandy Pentecost visited greenkeeper JonJo Pitts of Chesfield Downs Golf Course to learn how overseeding has improved the disease resistance of the playing surface.
Jonjo explained to Germinal expert Sandy that they overseed at Chesfield Downs GC to repair damaged areas and improve density while increasing the number of disease-resistant species.
Overseeding in summer
Discussing this decision, JonJo revealed the benefits he has experienced by overseeding in summer.
"We overseed in late summer. In my experience it offers the best growth potential leading to higher survival rates long term."
Annual overseeding schedule
Along with summer overseeding, Chesfield Downs is also overseeding in early spring to improve the turf density in time for the playing season.
JonJo explained that they aim to overseed twice a year due to the course experiencing more play year-round along with increased disease pressure.
"Modern pest controls are not as effective, which means more winter damage from worms and leather jackets. Overseeding with bentgrasses is required to cope with all these issues."
Preferred overseeding methods
"We create holes first followed by a drop spreader sowing at 5g/m2, JonJo reveals. After trialling various methods, he realised that this yields the best results.
JonJo also likes to turn negatives into opportunities. "If we get an anthracnose outbreak, I like to turn this into an opportunity by letting the disease run a little to take out the poa, before treating and overseeding afterwards."
This positive approach has served JonJo well in improving the overall quality of the course.
Proactively seeding to improve disease resistance
When outlining his overseeding programme, JonJo revealed that he started off with AberMajesty but last year they moved to ForeFront Greens.
"The AberMajesty worked well but I have noticed that the 007 creeping bent in ForeFront helped fill in anthracnose damage quickly."
By combining 007, creeping bentgrass with two of the top British-bred browntop bentgrass varieties, ForeFront Greens delivers the highest levels of disease and stress resistance.
"If we can introduce more disease resistant species, it reduces our risk while improving the quality of surfaces. Our greens' overseeding program has led to and increase in bentgrass populations which will serve us well in years to come."
If you want to learn more about which mixtures are best suited to your golf course, contact your local Germinal expert here.