For Poa pratensis, “Professor” has been introduced in the My Holiday Lawn series (www.MyHolidayLawn.com). With its low-growing canopy and elite turf performance, Professor makes a smart choice for reducing maintenance budgets. It is environmentally friendly because it needs less mowing -- as few as one or two times per month, depending on the season and site. The Ownership will appreciate the time savings and the budget will benefits from reduced labor, fuel, and equipment wear.
While “Professor” is not the first turf product to boast less mowing, it is the first elite variety of seeded Poa pratensis available that can keep a freshly mown appearance for up to a month after mowing. A two-year mowing height and frequency study was conducted with Professor finding the best turf quality was at a mowing height of 5 cm (2”), on a monthly mowing frequency. Professor also maintains elite turf quality if treated like a typical Poa pratensis and mowed every week. Professor’s growth and height is so unique, it should not be mixed with other grasses because they will grow noticeably faster and taller.
“Professor” has been used on clubhouse grounds and common areas where it has been noticed a reduction in mowing requirements. It can also be said the same would happen on tee banks, grass hollows, pond and lake edges.
Advancements in Festuca arundinacea include varieties that are not just the typical bunch-type grass, but spread and regenerate via rhizomes. “Sunlight” and “Flame” are spreading varieties now available and are unique not just because of their ability to spread via rhizomes, but also because of their finer leaf texture and excellent color. As part of the NoNet Festuca arundinacea series, Sunlight and Flame have been grown on turf production farms as 100% pure tall fescue WITHOUT sod netting. These varieties are also better for the environment by eliminating the need for plastic sod netting and safer for golfers since there is no netting to catch on cleats or equipment. The ability of Sunlight and Flame to spread by rhizomes also allows recovery from wear and divots on golf courses in rough areas, while showing desired elite turf quality in density, leaf texture and shade tolerance.
Another new Festuca arundinacea that bears attention is “Summer”. Summer has extremely fine texture with excellent turf density, similar to Poa pratensis. Summer’s fine texture allows it to blend well with Lolium perenne and Poa pratensis, and it can be inter-seeded into existing turfgrass stands. Recently two golf clubs that have hosted major PGA golf tournaments did just that: Muirfield Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio and Inverness CC, Toledo, Ohio. The superintendents appreciate how Summer blends into their existing turfgrass stand. They also value the uncompromised playability and improved disease, traffic, drought and shade tolerance offered with Summer.
New in Lolium perenne are spreading type varieties, including “Corsica” and “New Orleans.” After vernalization (dormancy when exposed to the cold of winter), these special varieties will begin to spread via reproductive stolons and rhizomes. This allows Corsica and New Orleans to cover the seeded area better and recover from damage caused by divots and traffic wear. These varieties also produce less top growth and are very dense, with more tillers per square cm than typical Lolium perenne. Recent studies compared shoot density and top growth on Corsica and New Orleans with 18 other commercial varieties of Lolium perenne. For top growth, all of the varieties were late-summer seeded in test plots at 18 g/m2 and mowed at 1.25 cm. After three years, top growth measurements were taken early-summer between mowings. New Orleans had the least top growth in the four days between mowings and Corsica’s top growth was 2 mm less than the average of all varieties tested.
In shoot density studies, Corsica and New Orleans have the highest average shoots per square centimeter of all varieties tested. With such high shoot density and spreading ability, the recommended seeding rate for these varieties is 19.5 g/m2 versus 49 g/m2 for regular Lolium perenne when planted in a monostand. The low seeding rate, high shoot density and reduced top growth combined with the unique ability to spread, make Corsica and New Orleans the smart and economical choice. These varieties can be mixed with other species, have excellent disease resistance and show superior growth habit in cooler climates.
Seed it to believe it! We care about the environment and we care about helping you achieve great looking turfgrass while keeping your maintenance budget in mind.
This article, supplied by Rick Elyea of Jacklin Seed, is following up on a presentation he made at the EIGCA Conference in Belfast, 2016.
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