Each year, beginning on January 1, we monitor growing degree days in order to determine the optimum timing for our spray program targeted at preventing Poa seed head development on the greens.
If you looked at the greens last week, prior to being aerified, there definitely was a flush of seed heads on the greens. At first glance, one might think that our applications of plant growth regulators did little to prevent seed head formation.
So how do we know how we really did this year? One of the best ways to evaluate the efficacy of any treatment on the golf course is to leave untreated check plots. The rectangular area in the picture below is a check plot on #14 green, absolutely filled with Poa seed.
While our applications didn't prevent all seed head formation, they clearly made a big difference in the quality of the greens this spring. Without them, the entire putting surface would be like the check plot area.
For those seed heads that still did form, thanks to some of our maintenance practices such as grooming, mowing and rolling, the bumpiness caused by Poa seeds hasn't been too bad throughout most of the day.