Germinal Proactive Seeding campaign for UK greenkeepers
In 2022, Germinal is getting the proactive seeding message out by releasing an omnichannel experience. This will integrate videos, guides, case studies, and social media. There will also be event appearances where attendees can talk to our amenity grass seed experts.
The need for proactive seeding
Germinal first raised the topic of proactive overseeding in 2021, having recognised the growing scarcity of curative chemicals to control turf diseases on UK golf courses. After realising that grass diseases such as Microdochium patch would become more difficult to control, Germinal’s technical experts wanted to provide greenkeepers with a disease management strategy that was proactive rather than reactive.
Fundamentally, golf greens can become vulnerable to disease scarring when cool-season turfgrass species such as Poa annua take over. Although looking desirable when healthy, Poa annua is at risk of scarring from Microdochium patch, which thrives in cool, damp conditions. And, with UK weather patterns now more unpredictable than ever, Microdochium can strike at any time of the year.
Seasonal overseeding methods
Overseeding golf courses can be undertaken seasonally throughout the year. Regarding frequency, one overseed won’t be enough to outcompete Poa Annua, Richard Brown explains.
“If you are serious about outcompeting Poa annua, you are staking a lot on just one overseed per year. We recommend overseeding at least twice a year, with three times being more ideal to combat the efficiency of Poa annua.”
Starting with cold-seeding, greenkeepers can take the opportunity to work outside of busy playing periods and build a bank of seeds. The seeds can then germinate when the temperatures rise and let new seedlings establish earlier.
With spring overseeding, the emerging seedlings will be less exposed to maintenance activity and playing pressure. As for summer overseeding, seedlings can take advantage of optimum temperatures for maximum uniform germination. They can be established ahead of the main period of Poa annua germination in the autumn.
Bentgrass species and varieties
For the purposes of proactive seeding, Germinal’s researchers, technical experts and greenkeeping partners have concluded that Bentgrasses are a perfect choice. Bentgrasses are better at proliferating under cutting heights of 4mm or below and are, therefore, better equipped than other options such as fescues to aggressively outcompete Poa annua.
Leading new varieties of bentgrass have the ability to thrive under low input regimes, meaning minimal water and nitrogen. And these are conditions that weaken Poa annua. In fact, modern creeping bentgrass cultivars such as Germinal’s 007 and Tour Pro GDE can perform on inputs of as low as 50 kg N/ha per annum.
Varietal selection is important as not all grass varieties exhibit the traits above. In fact, choosing the wrong variety can be costly, as they will either struggle to survive or even worse. You will encourage Poa alongside the variety you have introduced.
Proactive seeding with Germinal
For more information on how to overseed golf courses, please visit our Proactive Seeding page for UK greenkeepers. You can find advice on seasonal overseeding methods and varietal selection directly from greenkeepers.
Germinal combines cutting-edge research with proven, on-course knowledge to provide invaluable amenity seed support.