Management, harvest, and storage characteristics of low-input cool-season turfgrass sod mixtures

Ross C. Braun, Eric Watkins, Andrew B. Hollman, Nicole T Mihelich, Aaron J. Patton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The lack of turfgrass diversity in cool-season sod production is related to information inefficiencies, such as the lack of agronomic information available on improved, low-input species, such as fine fescues (Festuca spp.). Collaborative research between Purdue University and University of Minnesota investigated the influence of cool-season turfgrass species mixtures on the harvest (production and strength) and storage limitations of sod. Field experiments were established in 2018 in West Lafayette, IN, and in 2019 in St. Paul, MN. Treatments included 12 turfgrass species mixtures that consisted of the following five species: strong creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. rubra Gaudin), Chewings fescue (F. rubra ssp. commutata Gaudin), hard fescue (F. brevipila Tracey), tall fescue (F. arundinacea Schreb.), and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Data on turf cover, vertical growth rate, sod tensile strength, sod handling, and shelf-life storage and transplant success were collected at multiple harvest timings from 10 to 24 mo after planting. The majority of the sod mixtures, especially those containing ≥33% strong creeping red fescue, produced high quality sod similar to the standard comparison of 100% Kentucky bluegrass sod and transplant success was not severely affected when stored for 24–72 h immediately following a spring or autumn harvest. Sod mixtures containing tall fescue, including “rhizomatous tall fescue,” consistently resulted in the lowest sod strength and handling. Overall, sod producers growing fine fescue sod may be able to not only reduce management inputs, but also yield good sod strength with low-input sod mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1752-1768
Number of pages17
JournalAgronomy Journal
Volume114
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
informationUSDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, Grant/Award Number: A337-19-SCMP-18-001The authors wish to acknowledge the funding support by the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Multi-State Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, under award number A337-19-SCMP-18-001. We also thank the Knox Fertilizer Company (Knox, IN) for supplying fertilizer, Mountain View Seeds (Salem, OR), DLF Pickseed (Halsey, OR), LebanonTurf (Lebanon, PA), and Landmark Seed Company (Salem, OR) for supplying seed for this research, and Kirby Kalbaugh for microcomputer construction and technical support.

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the funding support by the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Multi‐State Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, under award number A337‐19‐SCMP‐18‐001. We also thank the Knox Fertilizer Company (Knox, IN) for supplying fertilizer, Mountain View Seeds (Salem, OR), DLF Pickseed (Halsey, OR), LebanonTurf (Lebanon, PA), and Landmark Seed Company (Salem, OR) for supplying seed for this research, and Kirby Kalbaugh for microcomputer construction and technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Agronomy Journal © 2022 American Society of Agronomy.

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