FINE FESCUE SPECIES AND CULTIVARS FOR GOLF COURSE ROUGH AND MOUND USE

in HortScience
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  • 1 Northeast Turf and Ornamental Research, Milford, NH 02055

Five species and 27 cultivars of fine-leaved fescues (Festuca sp.) were evaluated for low-maintenance utility turf in a variety of golf course conditions. Cultivar selection and management techniques varied across six sites in 4 years. Germination, tillering, rapidity of establishment, turf density, and general turfgrass quality were significantly different between both species and cultivars. Annual and seasonal decline and recovery of turf quality was also dependent on both species and cultivar. Greater differences exist within cultivars in some species than between species. Aspect, slope, soil disturbance, shade, seeding date, irrigation, fertility regime, mulch, and mowing influenced establishment and seedling development. Absence of endophytic fungi and development of diseases, insects, weeds, and post-germination disturbance markedly contributed to losses in turf quality, percent living cover, and increased erosion potential. Success and duration of fescue slope plantings are both positively and negatively correlated to various site characteristics and management techniques. Fescues are an appropriate choice in specific circumstances.

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