SEEDING DATES FOR TALL FESCUE (FESTUCA ARUNDINACEA SCHREB.) ATHLETIC FIELDS ESTABLISHED IN A TEMPERATE CONTINENTAL CLIMATE
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is seldom used for sports turf in the Upper Midwest of the United States due in part to lack of information on its planting date requirements. Our objective was to compare the effects of four seeding dates (late summer, late autumn – "dormant" seeding, early and late spring) on the quality of tall fescue (TF) to develop into a usable sports turf for summer/autumn play. In 2005 and 2006, two levels of traffic were imposed beginning mid-September through mid-November to simulate either 14 or 56 U.S.-style football games. While all seeding dates yielded acceptable quality turf, dormant seedings provided the poorest turf quality and cover. P. annua L. infestation was least in late spring-seeded plots but these plots had the most crabgrass which was nonexistent at other seeding times. Turf cover was greatly reduced at the high traffic level in the second year as freezing autumn temperatures caused growth/recovery to cease. Tall fescue appears to be useful for moderate traffic conditions regardless of planting date, though early spring seeding may yield best results.
Stier, J.C. and Koeritz, E.J. 2008. SEEDING DATES FOR TALL FESCUE (FESTUCA ARUNDINACEA SCHREB.) ATHLETIC FIELDS ESTABLISHED IN A TEMPERATE CONTINENTAL CLIMATE. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:49-56
traffic, sports turf, weeds, ecology