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Selection of grass species

       January 1, 0000    597

 

Grasses are classified as cool-season and warm-season grasses. The former have active growth in fall and spring (particularly when soil temperature is between 50-65 degrees F and air temperature between 60-75 degrees F) and are dormant in summer. The latter can stand high temperature and drought circumstances. Good growth occurs when soil temperature is from 70-90 degrees F and air temperature between 80-95 degrees F. Some examples are St. Augustine, Bermuda, Buffalo, Centipede, Tall Fescue, Zoysia japonica, Zoysia matrella, Bahiagrass, Carpet grass, Seashore paspalum, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial ryegrass, Rough Bluegrass, Alkali grass, Bentgrass.

Selection

Different grass species of lawns have varying needs with respect to Shade Tolerance, Water requirement, Traffic Tolerance, Disease vulnerability, Salinity requirement, Cold Tolerance, Frequency of Mowing, Mowing height, Leaf texture and fertility requirement. To select a grass for lawns reflect on the atmospheric conditions, maintenance required, desired quality, lawn colour, texture, density, uniformity and use of the lawn. Consider the resistance to insects, diseases, mowing and wear. Always choose the grass well adapted to the site and fulfilling the aesthetic aspect, as the lawn is intended to be permanent. Also taking into account the seedling rate, upkeep costs and sun requirement use sometimes mixtures of grasses.

Characteristics

Kentucky Bluegrass is a long lasting, high quality and fine texture sod. Its rhizomes produces new plants enabling to revive from injuries. It needs moist, well-drained lawns and cannot stand acid or alkaline soils and perpetual shade. Perennial ryegrass has a fast germination speed, less cold tolerance and bad disease resistance qualities. The ideal mowing height is two to two and half inches. Tall fescue has a coarse texture and can be used in soils of low fertility. It shows a good resistance to insects and diseases. Bentgrass creates a fine textured, high density and uniform turf. But it is exorbitant and consumes a lot of time and not recommended for home lawns. Zoysiagrass has a slow growing speed, less mowing height, tendency to form a thick thatch making it unsuitable with other cool season grasses. Annual bluegrass is compatible with cool and wet weather. It has shallow roots and perishes during hot and dry periods and requires irrigation. As it is not consistent, it is not recommended.

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