Seeking the Perfect Seed Variety
by Matt Lindner, Director, SavaLawn
New Options for Easygoing Turfgrass
It might be a stretch to say the relationship between you and your turfgrass is like a marriage, but it should certainly be a long-term, mutually enjoyable relationship. So to make sure that you and your grass seed are a good match, here are a few things to consider before committing:
- Do you want a lawn that can withstand the wear-and-tear of significant foot traffic and game playing? Or will your lawn just need to look good?
- Are you willing to give your grass lots of attention – e.g., irrigation, soil nutrition, insect and disease treatments? Or do you prefer a low-maintenance turf – drought tolerant naturally resistant to insects and fungus, and able to go dormant during high stress summer months?
- What conditions on your property will the turf need to thrive in? Sandy soil? Lots of shade, or sun? Wet, poorly drained areas?
When SavATree arborists are recommending appropriate turf varieties to clients, we consult the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), a widely-respected research program that tests turfgrass species in forty U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. In their evaluation data, we look for seed varieties that are: disease resistant (especially against Dollar Spot, Red Thread, Leaf Spot, and Patch diseases); pest resistant (such as endophyte enhanced varieties that repel sucking and chewing insects like Chinch bugs); and drought tolerant. We also seek strong aesthetic qualities, such as dense turf, with good color, that greens up early in the spring.
No matter the turf variety, all lawns benefit from vital fall services such as core aeration, core aeration with overseeding, and slice seeding – especially after the stresses of dry and hot summer conditions.
Ask your SavATree professional for advice on the services, and timing, that will most benefit the particular types of grass on your lawn.
Here are some new seed varieties that check off many or all of the must- haves on our list:
RYEGRASSES Sideways, SR 4650 Perennial Ryegrass and Zoom (combo) Dense, fine textured leaves and attractive color; drought tolerant
FINE FESCUES SR 5250 Strong Creeping Red Fescue, SR 5130 Chewings Fine Fescue Dark green color and moderately fine leaf; highly adaptable: grows well in sun and shade
BLUEGRASSES Arcadia, Fielder and Quantum Leap Kentucky Bluegrass Dark green, fine-textured; excellent resistance to diseases
TALL FESCUES Blackwatch, Rebound and Speedway Turf-Type Tall Fescue Fine textured, darker green leaf than other tall fescues; less mowing required