Putting Green Maintenance: Pest Management – Insects, Diseases and Weeds

Posted by Demetro Carbone on October 23, 2013

The cultural practices discussed above are intended to develop fine putting greens as well as to reduce pest-related problems. Practices that promote healthy, dense turf also help prevent many pest problems. Proper mowing, fertilization and watering practices help resist invasions of weeds and reduce outbreaks of some diseases. However, even where recommended cultural practices are routinely followed, problems occur when environmental conditions are favorable for insect, disease or weed development.

Preventive applications of pesticides are recommended on golf greens when environmental conditions favor pest development. For example, fungicides should be applied under humid conditions in the spring and fall for brownpatch. Similarly, preemergence herbicides may be applied in the fall to prevent annual bluegrass infestations. Pest problems such as brownpatch, annual bluegrass and others that have history of developing each year should be controlled on a preventive schedule.

Other pest problems that are less predictable should be controlled on a curative, or as needed basis. Repeated use of some pesticides can lead to problems such as pest resistance thatch accumulation or injury to turfgrass. Therefore, only those applications that are needed to prevent damage to greens should be made.