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Selecting Lawn Grasses

Selecting Lawn Grasses

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Selecting Lawn Grasses

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  1. Selecting Lawn Grasses By: Matthew Flanders Dr. Keith KarnokDr. Frank Flanders

  2. Importance of a Lawn The lawn and other landscape components should complement the house and provide a pleasant area for family activities.

  3. Importance of a Lawn Sound establishment and maintenance practices will improve the appearance of your lawn.

  4. Importance of a Lawn Unkept Lawns reflect the people who live there and are unappealing to the neighborhood.

  5. Selecting Turfgrasses The first and most important step is to choose the proper grass species.

  6. Building a Good Lawn The characteristics of your site should be considered when selecting a turfgrass. Grasses will not grow in incorrect conditions without any regard to your effort.

  7. Selecting Turfgrasses Do not make the assumption that all grasses are alike. There are several grasses to choose from and they require various conditions and treatment for good growth. They also differ in appearance. Color variation is easily seen here.

  8. Selecting Turfgrasses A homeowner should become familiar with the turfgrasses adapted to his/her area and then select a species based his/her personal preference and the environmental requirements of the species.

  9. Turfgrasses for Georgia can be divided into two categories, warm season and cool season. If you live south of Atlanta and Athens you should not consider a cool season grass because of stress from summer heat and drought. The warm season grasses generally can be grown all over the state, but with the exception of the North Georgia mountain areas. Warm Season vs. Cool Season

  10. Warm Season Grasses Common Bermuda Hybrid Bermuda Centipede St. Augustine Zoysia Bahia Seashore Paspalum Cool Season Grasses Tall Fescue Fine Fescue Rye Grass Kentucky Bluegrass Types of Grasses

  11. Cool Season Grass Characteristics • Cool season grasses as the name implies, grows best during the cool part of the year; fall, winter and early spring. • They are recommended only north of Atlanta and Athens area. • If properly managed the grasses will remain green all year. • The major problem of cool season grasses is the lack of heat tolerance.

  12. Tall Fescue Fine Fescue Rye Grass Kentucky Bluegrass Types of Cool Season Grasses

  13. Tall Fescue • Most heat tolerant cool season grass • Easily established from seed • Very economical

  14. Tall Fescue The biggest problem of fescue is that it doesn’t spread and becomes clumpy and spotty. It lacks rhizomes and stolons to fill in bare ground in the landscape.

  15. Tall Fescue Reseeding is recommended each fall to reduces the gaps between clumps.

  16. Tall Fescue • Should be mowed to about 3 inches. • Shorter mowing will stress the grass especially during summer.

  17. Tall Fescue • Very Coarse Texture • Wide Leaf Blade • Unappealing to some

  18. Tall Fescue Poorly managed fescue lawns quickly become unattractive.

  19. Fine Fescue • Not widely used in Georgia • Less heat tolerance than tall fescue

  20. Fine Fescue Tall Fescue

  21. Fescue Varieties of fine fescue are being researched and there is promise of heat and drought tolerant varieties for the south.

  22. Kentucky Bluegrass • Most popular lawngrass in the Northern United States • Limited to only the northern part of Georgia due to poor hear tolerance

  23. Kentucky Bluegrass • Medium Textured Grass • Found commonly in mixed stands with fescue

  24. Kentucky Bluegrass The boat shaped leaf tips readily distinguish Kentucky Bluegrass.

  25. Ryegrass • Two types: Annual and Perennial • Not usually grown in Georgia as a single grass lawns. • Used mostly to overseed dormant warm season grasses for winter color.

  26. Cool Season Grass Mixes • Sold commonly in Georgia. • Suitable for Georgia in or north of Athens or Atlanta or if your lawn has a variety of conditions such as sun and shade or dry and wet • Usually more expensive than single grass seed • There may not be any advantages over a single grass lawn.

  27. Warm Season Grass Characteristics • A major disadvantage is that they become dormant and turn brown in the winter. • They can be overseeded with ryegrass to provide green color in the winter. • Grow during late spring, summer and fall.

  28. Types of Warm Season Grass • Common Bermuda • Hybrid Bermuda • Centipede • St. Augustine • Zoysia • Bahia

  29. Warm Season Grasses- Vegetative Reproduction Most of the finest grasses are hybrids and must be reproduced vegetatively. This can be slow if sprigged or plugged and expensive if completely sodded.

  30. Bermudagrasses • Most popular warm season grass • Most adapted grass to Georgia • Can be mowed at short desirable lengths

  31. Bermudagrass • Selecting and breeding of bermudagrass has been present since 1950. • The University of Georgia Coastal Experiment Station in Tifton has been a leading producer of successful cultivars.

  32. Bermudagrass Seed Heads • Seeds are most abundant on common bermuda. • A very unattractive characteristic. • Hybrid breeds have been selected for their lower number of seed heads.

  33. Four Groups of Bermudagrass • Common (Arizona Common) • Improved Common or Seeded- have better color, density, or traffic tolerance than common bermuda, depending on the type. • Hybrid- produces sterile seed and can only be propagated vegetatively. Has a finer leaf blade than common. • Ultradwarf- relatively new, they are selected for their low mowing height. Used mostly for golf greens.

  34. Common Bermudagrass • Distinguished by its coarse texture and open habit of growth. • Most widely used lawngrass in Georgia • Grows very easily • Can be reproduced by seeds

  35. Bermudagrass The difference in texture of the finer hybrid bermuda and the more course common Bermuda can be seen here.

  36. Bermudagrass Hybrids Hybrid bermuda grasses can be very beautiful if given the extra care that is required.

  37. Bermudagrass Hybrids

  38. Bermudagrass Hybrids Tifgreen 328 is best used on golf greens, but can be used on lawns.

  39. Bermudagrasses for Lawns Tifway 419 is the most popular hybrid bermuda used for lawns. It is also well suited for golf fairways and football fields.

  40. Bermudagrass- Ultradwarf • Used only for golf greens • Selected for their close mowing ability • Have a high maintenance requirement

  41. Bermudagrass Characteristics • Bermuda is commonly confused with Zoysia • The leave angles are different for the two species. Bermuda leaves are at 45º angles, while Zoysia leaves are at 80 º angles. • Zoysia is also much stiffer and spindly to the touch than Bermuda.

  42. Zoysiagrass • Provides a neat and clean appearance. • A slow grower • Cannot be grown from seed • Zoysia sod is expensive and the sprigs grow slow.

  43. Zoysiagrass Zoysia can spread by stolons and rhizomes, shown here, as does bermuda.

  44. Zoysiagrass vs. Bermudagrass Zoysia and bermuda are difficult to tell apart. Bermuda leaves, on the right, stand at 45º angles to its stems. Zoysia, on the left, has leaves that stand at about 80º to its stems.

  45. Zoysiagrass Hybrid Bermuda

  46. Zoysiagrass Zoysia makes a beautiful lawn but grow slowly and requires a lot of extra care. It can be grown in light shade, unlike bermuda.

  47. Zoysiagrass These plots were planted at the same time, ten months ago. The zoysia has not spread as well as the bermuda.

  48. Meyer Zoysia The most widely used cultivar. Is known for its improved growing rate.

  49. El Toro Zoysia The El Toro variety is a high quality hybrid. This fine textured grass has a low growth habit, attractive color and high density. However, its cold tolerance is less than other varieties of Zoysia.

  50. Emerald Zoysia • Very fine leaf texture • Poor cold tolerance