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Bekele G. Abeyo, Robert C. Shearman, Roch E. Gaussoin, Leonard A. Wit, Desalegn D. Serba, and Ugur Bilgili

Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] use as a fairway turfgrass is limited in northern portions of its adaptation zone by its extended winter dormancy and tan coloration in early spring and late fall. Cool-season grasses mixed with buffalograss could enhance turfgrass appearance and performance in fall and early spring. Research was conducted near Mead, NE, with eight buffalograss genotypes maintained under fairway conditions to determine the effect of blue fescue (Festuca ovina L. var. glauca Lam.) overseeding rate on turfgrass performance. Interactions were nonsignificant in most cases so main effects are emphasized. Differences were observed between seeding rates and genotypes for most traits studied. Overseeding blue fescue enhanced spring green-up, fall color retention, stand density, and turfgrass quality. These effects were most pronounced in late fall and early spring, when buffalograss plants were entering or exiting winter dormancy. The 5 g·m−2 blue fescue overseeding rate improved all performance traits studied when compared with the nonoverseeded buffalograss control and was not different from the 10 g·m−2 seeding rate treatment. Thus, the 5 g·m−2 blue fescue overseeding rate appeared to be near optimum for overall turfgrass performance, offering reduced seed cost and decreased potential for species interference. The ‘Legacy’ buffalograss and ‘SR-3200’ blue fescue mixture had the best performance of the genotypes studied as a result of their visual compatibility in terms of color similarity.