Our greens at Reston National are mostly Annual Bluegrass or Poa Annua, more commonly referred to as “Poa” greens. During the spring, Poa aggressively pushes seed heads to reproduce. If allowed to go completely uncontrolled, the greens would be very bumpy. There are also agronomic benefits to controlling the seed heads. The plant will exhaust itself to push the seedhead. Suppressing this allows the plant to store that energy which leads to better roots and healthier greens in the summer.
We spray a growth regulator that will help slow down or stop the plant from pushing a seed head. Even great control with these chemicals is around 80%. These growth regulators happen to essentially shut the plant down, which leads to the off color look of the greens in the spring. We use fertilizers and micronutrients to help balance the color during this time. We also aggressively verticut the greens to thin out the remaining seed heads and try to keep greens as smooth as possible during this time of year. The picture below shows controlled seed heads and uncontrolled seed heads side by side.