Turfgrasses - An Overview

Authors: Namita, Prabhat Kumar and Sapna Panwar
Division of Floriculture and Landscaping
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-12

Turfgrasses are considered to be an integral part of landscape ecological systems which provide aesthetic value. These are narrow-leaved grass species that form a uniform, long-lived ground cover that can tolerate traffic and low mowing heights.

On the basis of season adaptation, turf grasses are divided into cool and warm season species.

Cool season turfgrasses

These species thrive best in temperatures from 18 to 24°C. These species emerge from dormancy and grow rapidly during spring. To some extent, these are intolerant to summer stress periods and their growth slowed down in mid-summer. Their growth also increases in the fall but not to the same extent as in spring. Cool-season grasses maintain their green colour in fall and may remain green throughout the winter.

Warm season turfgrasses

These are best adapted to temperatures ranging between 25 to 35°C and have a deeper root system. These species emerge from dormancy very slowly and do not reach at maximum growth rate until mid-summer. During fall their growth rate slows and they go into dormancy when soil temperatures are below 10°C. These grasses lose their chlorophyll content as they go dormant and remain brown until spring.

Common Name Scientific Name Common Name Scientific Name
Cool season grasses
Kentucky blue grass Poa pratensis L. Colonial Bentgrass Agrostis capillaries L.
Perennial Rye grass Lolium perene L. Creeping Red Fescue Festuca rubra L.
Tall fescue Festuca arundinacea Schred. Creeping Bent grass Agrostis palustris L.
Warm season grasses
Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon Rich Zoysia grass Zoysia japonica Willd.
Bahia grass Paspalum notatum Flugge St. Augustine grass Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze
Seashore paspalum Paspalum vaginatum Swarz. Buffalo grass Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.

Establishment of Turfgrasses

Grasses can be established in a number of ways, depending upon the characteristics of the species and cultivar. Turfgrasses can be established through following methods

• Seeding
• Sodding
• Sprigging/Dibbling/Stolonization
• Plugging
• Strip sodding
• Turf Plastering

Turfgrass Maintenance

In order to enjoy a beautiful lush green, disease free, turfs or lawn, a number of maintenance operations are required. These operations include

• Irrigation
• Weeding
• Mowing
• Rolling
• Fertilization
• Scarping and Raking
• Slicing and Spiking
• Top Dressing
• Matting
• Dethatching
• Sweeping
• Core Aerification
• Over Seeding
• Liming
• Sulphuring

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