Today I talked about the National Turf Grass Evaluation Program, we have here, a Tall Fescue evaluation of 116 different cultivars of Tall Fescue and low management practices, so they relieve about two pounds of nitrogen a year. And what we are doing is looking at them for turf grass quality, rating 1-9, 9 being the best. We also look at disease incidence with it, we look at leaf texture and leaf color. And we try to find the best cultivars for quality that can be made. Some of them may be already commercially available; some of them may be considered for using them in the market place. So that is primarily what we talked about today and also the uses for which we could use these cultivars in the industry.
Well, turf type Tall Fescue along with Fine Fescue, are really often considered low input grasses. So the plots that I have out, even though they were planted in 2012, have not been irrigated since establishment. So they do very well in drought avoidance, they also do low input as far as fertility and they do pretty hold up pretty good under traffic. So Parks and Rec may look at these grasses at a higher mowing height in athletic fields if they are limited on their water and their budget for nutrient practices. And homeowners can utilize them as well in areas that they might have less input. So it’s really kind of a low input grass. Some things you have to be concerned with, though, is that they are prone to some diseases, like brown patch disease can be problematic especially if you don’t have a lot of air movement or shady environment.
It’s just exciting, a lot of the research that is done here is focused on providing good quality turf and trying to reduce the amount of inputs while providing that quality turf. It’s exciting to be here with faculty that is energetic about what they do. I’m enjoying it!