Monday, November 13, 2006 - 12:30 PM

Management of Velvet Bentgrass Putting Greens.

Eric Koeritz and John Stier. University of Wisconsin, Department of Horticulture, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706

Interest in velvet bentgrass, Agrostis canina (L.), has increased in recent years because of its excellent playability characteristics and environmental stress tolerances.  Velvet bentgrass tolerates close mowing, heat, cold, and drought. In addition, velvet bentgrass is the finest textured, most dense, and most shade tolerant of all bentgrass species.  Velvet bentgrass may be a good option for turf managers who are trying to reduce inputs and create an environmentally sustainable golf course because of its environmental stress tolerance and ability to thrive under low fertility. 


Currently there is little information on management requirements for velvet bentgrass putting greens in the mid-western United States.  The previous research done on velvet bentgrass has compared velvet to other bentgrass species but has not looked at the effects of multiple management strategies on the performance of velvet bentgrass under low input conditions. 


The two objectives of this research are to 1) evaluate the effects of fertilizer rate and mowing height on bentgrass growth characteristics in a reduced input green situation, and 2) compare top velvet bentgrass cultivars to top creeping bentgrass cultivars.


A field trial is being conducted at the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Educational Facility in Verona, WI.  Plots were established in June 2004 on USGA specification greens constructed with an 80:20 sand:peat mix.  The experimental design is a split-split plot, randomized incomplete block with four replications.  Treatments are arranged as a factorial to determine turf response to fertilizer rate and mowing height.  Grass type is the main plot with fertility and mowing height as the sub plots.  Grass types include SR7200, Vesper, L-93, and Penncross.  Fertility rates include 48 and 144 kg of nitrogen per hectare per year.  Mowing heights include 2.54, 3.96, and 6.35 mm.  Agronomic and playability data is collected monthly.