Dictionary.com defines the word “weed” as the following:
“a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop”.
This defines the Bermuda grass that is growing on the tees, collars, fairways, and roughs through out the golf course! This warm season plant (thrives in the summer) has a very aggressive and invasive growth pattern. Its spreads via rhizomes (underground horizontal stem, that produces leaves and roots) and stolons ( a prostate stem that produces new plants, usually found at the surface) and can be very difficult to control!
Bermuda invading the nursery green!!
In case your wondering how it got here at Bala, and other area golf courses, it was the turf of choice back in the 1950’s before fairway irrigation was the norm. This plant needs very little water to survive and is very winter hardy! So it made a good fit for the times.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be attempting to control this weed though out the course! i say control because it is almost impossible to kill it without costly soil sterilization. And since it doesn’t even make a half decent playing surface, letting it grow is not an option either as it will eventually take over the playing surface!
Last summer I experimented with a new herbicide called Pylex, the results were very impressive although there is some discoloration of both the bermudagrass( it will actually turn white over time) and the desirable perennial ryegrass. Here is a pic from the18th fairway from last August.
So there is no reason for fear when you come across these areas. The discoloration will subside with time. Please remember the game is played on a surface not a color! And as we over seed during aerification of these invaded areas, the new seedlings will fill in the voids from the declining bermudagrass.
Oh and to show you how tough of a plant it is, this is the asphalt curb on #11!!
yes its growing through the curb!!!!