Buffalograss is a warm-season perennial grass species that is native to the Great Plains of North America (Gould, 1979; Shearman et al., 2004; Wenger, 1943). It has excellent high-temperature tolerance (Shearman et al., 2004), drought resistance (Beard and Kim, 1989), and low input requirements. Buffalograss is used for lawns, sport turfs, golf course roughs and fairways, and for soil conservation and erosion control (Pozarnsky, 1983; Shearman et al., 2004). Buffalograss has a strong potential for use on fairways in regions where water is limiting (Shearman et al., 2004). Buffalograss performance decreases during winter dormancy as plants lose green color in fall through spring. The extended dormancy period may limit the acceptance of buffalograss turf, especially in northern climates and intensively used turf sites, like golf course fairways and sports fields (Shearman et al., 2004).
Overseeding cool-season grasses into warm-season grasses to temporarily extend turfgrass performance in the fall and winter is a common practice in the southern United States (Foy, 1998; Longer, 1998). However, efforts to establish long-term mixtures of warm- and cool-season turfgrasses have generally not been successful (Beard, 1973; Johnson, 2003). Researchers in Nebraska and Utah reported improved spring and fall green color retention in buffalograss turfs overseeded with fine fescue (Festuca species) on a long-term basis (Johnson, 2003; Severmutlu et al., 2005). Blue fescues are well adapted to dry situations and are good choices for low-maintenance turfgrass sites (Roberts, 1990). In Nebraska, overseeding buffalograss turfs maintained at lawn heights of cut with blue fescue resulted in improved turfgrass quality and green cover (Severmutlu et al., 2005). With these aspects in mind, this study was initiated to determine the effects of blue fescue overseeding on turfgrass fall and spring color retention and turfgrass performance of buffalograss genotypes maintained under golf course fairway conditions.
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