Traffic tolerance of overseeded meadow fescue and tetraploid ryegrass as affected by cultural practices

J.A. Summerford, D.E. Karcher, M.D. Richardson
Overseeding warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers., C. dactylon × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) is practiced to achieve actively growing, green turfgrass surfaces year round. The traditional species for overseeding is perennial ryegrass (PR) (Lolium perenne L.) owing to its good turf quality and rapid establishment. Continued breeding improvements of PR have resulted in cultivars that persist into the summer and interfere with the spring green-up of bermudagrass. Two newer turfgrass species, meadow fescue (MF) (Festuca pratensis Huds.) and tetraploid perennial ryegrass (TPR) (Lolium perenne L. 2n=4x=28), have demonstrated good turfgrass quality when overseeded, as well as easier spring transition to bermudagrass. However, little is known about the cultural practices necessary to optimize turfgrass quality for these species. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of mowing height and N fertility on the overseeding quality of MF and TPR species under traffic. A range of mowing heights and N rates were applied to plots overseeded with PR, TPR, and MF on sand-based and native soil rootzones in the presence of traffic stress. Increased N rate and mowing height improved the traffic tolerance of TPR and MF. Tetraploid ryegrass was comparable with PR in quality and coverage at mowing heights of 1.27 cm and above under high traffic. Performance of MF was relatively poor under traffic stress.
Summerford, J.A., Karcher, D.E. and Richardson, M.D. (2016). Traffic tolerance of overseeded meadow fescue and tetraploid ryegrass as affected by cultural practices. Acta Hortic. 1122, 97-102
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1122.13
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1122.13
nitrogen, fertility, mowing height, turfgrass coverage
English

Acta Horticulturae