Now that the groundhog has done his business, it’s time to start thinking about the approaching season. Chances are you have Poa annua on your golf course. The supposed “annual” grass is a prolific pain and although it gets bad press, most of us would look quite bare if it all went away. It always amazed me as a superintendent how every spring the “consulting (golfer) agronomists” were quick to point out how much Poa annua the golf course had. However, once July rolled around they were equally amazed with my job to eliminate the grass.

Since most have to live with Poa annua, there is a way to reduce the unsightly seed head while making the plant stronger and more able to handle summer stress. Not only does the ugly white seed negatively impact playability, it also forces the plant to use valuable energy reserves. Making timely growth regulator applications will give you the best chance to reduce the impact of seed heads and help the plant save energy for other functions. Many turf managers utilize degree-day models. Based on the GGD50 model, it’s suggested to make the first application between 30-50 GGD. I have also seen great success by closely watching a southern-facing mound on your property. Once seed heads begin to develop in these areas, immediately make your growth regulator application. Ethephon combined with ArmorTechÆ PGR 113 is a great combo.  I also like to add Iron to the tank, as it will help with overall color and possibly enhance plant uptake. Repeat the application in 2-3 weeks.  As an added bonus, this combination does a great job regulating turf growth, dramatically reducing mowing frequency at a time of year when help is scarce and there is plenty to do!