|Written by Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Area Extension|
Reveille grass and other lawn tips
What is Reveille? This new grass hybrid is a cross between Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and Texas Native Bluegrass (Poa arachnifera) developed by Dr. James Read of Texas A&M.
Listed below are the benefits of this new hybrid:
—Less irrigation required because of deeper roots and excellent heat tolerance.
—Excellent heat tolerance allows this hybrid to remain active during temperatures of 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
—Deep extensive root system with aggressive rhizomes. Rhizomes are growing points on the root system that produce new plants. With such aggressiveness, this translates into recovering from foot traffic better.
—Low mowing height tolerance helps during the heat of the summer. This is useful on sports fields.
—This hybrid grows up to 9,000 feet in elevation.
This information was gathered by Dr. Tony Koski, CSU turf specialist, from their limited research with this turf grass and information from a number of sod producers and those who have planted this hybrid in the western United States.
Here are a few hybrid Bluegrass Cultivars which are commercially available:
—Fahrenheit 90 (Mountain View Seeds).
—Fire and Ice (Turf Merchants).
—Longhorn (Scotts Turf-Seed).
—Bandera (Seed Research of Oregon).
—Spitfire (Seed Research of Oregon).
—Reveille (Gardner Turfgrass).
—Dura Blue (Scotts).
—Solar Green (Scotts).
—Thermal Blue (Scotts).
—Thermal Blue Blaze (Scotts).
In terms of irrigation requirements of various grasses, the following is a list from lowest requirements to highest:
—Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) can tolerate 0.8-2.0 inches/week of supplement irrigation but survives without any supplemental irrigation along with blue grama, bromegrass, wheatgrass and bermuda grass.
—Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) requires 2.0-3.8 inches/week.
—Kentucky bluegrass requires 1-2.5 inches/week or more depending on whether it is dormant or actively growing. It can survive three to six months in a dormant state, but this may cause thinning in the turf.
The key to water conservation is cutting your lawn at the proper height. The shorter you cut your lawn, the more you expose the crowns of the grass plants and they dry the plant out faster. This causes you to water more.
The preferred height for mowing many different species of turf grass lawns, especially Kentucky bluegrass and fescue, is two and a half inches to three inches. The minimum height is two inches. If you cut your lawn in spring to two inches, mow the lawn when it is three inches. It is important not to remove more than one-third of the leaf blade surface. If you do, you will place the healthy condition of your grass under stress.
Another very important factor is to fertilize late in the fall. Why? Research shows your lawn will have better disease tolerance and less insect problems in the spring.
This will also help with winter survival and early spring recovery. It is advised to use up to two pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet of lawn.
If you care to read more about managing your lawn, go online to http://westernslopeturf.org/.
Holyoke Enterprise May 3, 2012