What We Talk About When We Talk About Disturbance

When I think about disturbance, I think primarily of verticutting and hollow-tine coring and sand topdressing and then brushing that sand in. Such an approach—one with disturbance—requires a faster growth rate too, and higher nutrient inputs, in order to recover from the disturbance.

I'd generally like to minimize disturbance, to have less of a need to care for the grass.
I’d generally like to minimize disturbance, to have less of a need to care for the grass.

There was a discussion about this on the atc-turf Discord, and I mentioned how I think of disturbance. This is an elaboration on that, because when I think of a mixed stand of bentgrass and Poa annua, and minimal disturbance, I think of David Bataller and the bentgrass greens at PGA Catalunya.

Here’s a short clip from Flying Blind in which David explains this.

The first time I went to PGA Catalunya it was late autumn of 2012 and there was already plenty of snow in the Pyrenees.

I was also there in 2015 and 2016, and I saw the Poa annua on the most infested greens was weak, and had creeping bentgrass growing through it.

There is minimal disturbance and low nutrient inputs and a slow growth rate. David mentions in the video that he can’t remember the last time he saw mower stripes on the greens. I was impressed in 2016 to see lines from a long-ago scarification still visible.

Sure, there has to be some disturbance, but when a trained eye can see lines from a scarification conducted years ago, that’s something.

When I was back in January 2018, there was even more bentgrass on the greens. It’s amazing how that works. And that’s what’s in my mind when I’m thinking about disturbance.

Related

Next
Previous