Voice of a Greenkeeper: June 2019 Tips

Date: 06/06/19

That warm false spring start at the end of February now seems such a long time ago, and March, April and May have not given their usual growth patterns.

With the soils so dry from last year, and a relatively dry winter, there is very little moisture in the soil profile for the plant, so recovery from some of last year’s conditions is slow, and a lot of greens are struggling to achieve smoothness,

We will probably see an increase of poa annua seed head’s over the next couple of weeks.

People ask why they seem to be increasing, and again, we have varying views on this. Some feel it is due to the climate being wet a few years ago and now dry, with more irrigation being applied, this leading to increasing thatch levels. Some suspect that the reduction of nutrition where they are trying to reduce inputs is stressing the plant and leading to more seed head population. Others suggest that the increased use of sugar-based bio stimulants that support a more bacterial dominant rootzone could be increasing the poa population.

Everyone looks at reducing poa seed heads in different ways with varying operations. One way is spraying a PGR to reduce their growth or a silicone-based product to firm cell walls standing the plant up to cut them.

Alternatively, taking a cultural approach, we can look at reducing poa by changing the environment and the biology in the rootzone, by moving from a bacterial dominant one that supports the poa annua, to a more fungal dominant environment that supports perennial grasses. Use good biology products supported by fungal food sources such as seaweed and fish, combined with a good aeration program.

Oxygen is the best bio-stimulant for all biology and is free. We could not survive with a plastic bag over our head, and neither can biology. Managing moisture and nutrition inputs will help, but always apply enough on to keep good plant health and maintain a good surface for your customers.

Reducing thatch levels enables a better percolation rate, giving you firmer and dryer surfaces which will help to encourage finer perennial grass compositions, thus reducing poa and their seed head population.


At GreenTek we have a wide range of products to work on reducing the seed heads with mechanical procedures such as verticutting, brushing, and Poa Buster units to reduce and remove them, and Dyna-Seeders to introduce finer species to the sward.

If you are looking to change the composition of your grass species, then we have plenty of products for aeration and seeding for these processes.

Click here to find out more about the world famous Thatch-Away Supa-System.

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