Last fall I started a small overseeding study to see which turf type would be suitable for our fairways as "if you aren't overseeding improved turfgrass varieties you will invariably get unimproved turfgrass" like poa annua which requires more water, fertilizer and attention than we can give it.
In the study I was testing 3 types of turfgrass. Perennial ryegrass, turf type tall fescue and creeping bentgrass. I couldn't test all the varieties of each species so I chose blends of the species which isn't important for the purpose of this post. All I wanted to see was how each species would establish with virtually no effort other than spreading the seed on the ground. I had plots on dry fairways, wet fairways, shady areas, sunny areas etc.
The seeding rates were super low because the idea was to put improved varieties everywhere for a low cost and then let them spread out over time. The seed germinated in 10 days.
|Seed testing plots|
Around the same time I noticed some really nice looking grass on one of our tees. A closer inspection showed it to be creeping bentgrass. The previous superintendent assured me that no creeping bentgrass was ever seeded on tees, or anywhere other than greens during the winterkill episode of early 2017 where we had record low temperatures and lots of ice!
|That shit is dead.....February 2017 at my previous course|
|Creeping bentgrass is happy and weed free even under low input maintenance|
|The only good grass on the 11th fairway is bentgrass! The 10th green was hit hard in 2017...hmmm|
|Bentgrass spreading across an old cup cutter plug on the left vs Poa on the right. The real question here is why isn't there more poa germinating in the cup cutter scar after 8 months?|
Take this patch of bentgrass in the following picture. It's about 30cm ( 12") across and was likely established in the spring of 2017. It's highly probably this this patch is from a single parent plant and has spread about 10cm (5cm in each direction) per year for the past 3 years. In order to get good bentgrass coverage we don't necessarily need a lot of seed, we need a little bit of seed everywhere and all the time.
|Accidental seeding most likely established in old divots on a shaded fairway|