Low-maintenance turfgrass species that provide acceptable quality with reduced inputs and less mowing are of interest to homeowners and turf managers looking to reduce management costs and environmental impacts. In a recent study, Watkins et al. (2011) evaluated 12 grass species under mowed and unmowed conditions in eight U.S. states of the north-central region and found that hard fescue (Festuca tracyphylla), tall fescue, and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina) performed well at most locations. Several native grass species also show potential for low-maintenance turfgrass areas. Mintenko et al. (2002) evaluated 12 species of native grasses adapted to the northern Great Plains for 4 years at Winnipeg and Carmen, MB, Canada, and found blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) had potential for use as low-maintenance turf. Mixtures of turfgrasses provide genetic diversity that can potentially decrease susceptibility to environmental and pest pressures (Beard, 1973); however, relatively few low-maintenance turf studies have been conducted to evaluate mixtures or blends (Dernoeden et al., 1998; McKernan et al., 2001; Meyer and Pedersen, 1999). The objective of this project was to evaluate commercially available, low-maintenance grass mixtures or blends for turf quality under minimal input conditions.
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Mintenko, A., Smith, S. & Cattani, D. 2002 Turfgrass evaluation of native grasses for the northern Great Plains region Crop Sci. 42 2018 2024
Watkins, E., Fei, S., Gardner, D., Stier, J., Bughrara, S., Li, D., Bigelow, C., Schliecher, L., Horgan, B. & Diesburg, K. 2011 Low-input turfgrass species for the north central United States. Online. Appl. Turfgrass Sci. doi:10.1094/ATS-2011-0126-02-RS