Monitoring and Managing Nematodes on Golf Course Greens
We're approaching the end of February, and soon the temperatures will start to rise and it will be go-time for golf course superintendents. During this time superintendents will have a lot on their plate from applying pre-emegence, fertilizing, aerification, transition, initiating fungicide programs, and for many, monitoring and preparing to treat for nematodes.
Golf course putting greens are the most important area on the golf course. Some of the factors that are considered for great putting greens are color, quality of turf, density, consistent ball speed, and a uniform playing surface. Each of these factors can be negatively impacted by plant-parasitic nematodes.
Nematodes in turf are small microscopic roundworms that survive in the soil or the root of the plants. Not all nematodes species are harmful to turf, but there is a handful of nematode species that can cause a lot of damage to golf course putting greens. These nematodes cause damage to the turf plant’s roots system affecting water and nutrient uptake, which makes the plant more susceptible to wilting, thinning, disease pressure, and unacceptable turf quality.
It is therefore important for superintendents to monitor their greens and come up with a management plan to control nematodes. Both Syngenta and Bayer have introduced products and resources to help control and combat these pests. Here are several resources on monitoring and sampling, application methods, and products.