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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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