Full TGIF Record # 147207
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Publication Type:
Content Type:Abstract or Summary only
Author(s):Dernoeden, P. H.
Author Affiliation:University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Title:Selection and management of fine leaf fescues for naturalized areas
Section:Abstracts and project summaries
Other records with the "Abstracts and project summaries" Section
Source:2008 Turfgrass Pathology and Weed Science ResearchSummaries [Maryland]. 2008, p. 69.
# of Pages:1
Publishing Information:College Park, MD: University of Maryland Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture
Abstract/Contents:"Fine leaf fescues (FLF) generally are best suited for use in shaded sites and large grassy areas that do not receive heavy traffic, where a lower level of management is desired, and where tall and infrequent mowing is acceptable. There are several species, but not all are suited for use in naturalized areas in the mid-Atlantic region. The most important species for this region include: creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra); Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. commutata); sheep fescue (Festuca ovina); hard fescue (Festuca brevipilia); blue fescue (Festuca glauca); and hybrid blue sheep fescue (F. ovina x F. glauca). There are several fescue subspecies that will not be discussed. Research conducted at the University of Maryland indicated that hard and sheep fescues were best suited for use in naturalized and other low maintenance areas in the mid- Atlantic region. Creeping red fescue and Chewings fescue are very susceptible to dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa), red thread (Laetisaria fuciformis) and summer patch (Magnaporthe poae) and generally exhibit below average summer color and overall quality compared to hard and sheep fescue in the region. Several of the newer strong creeping red and Chewings fescue cultivars that contain fungal endophyte have improved resistance to dollar spot. Research underway at Rutgers University indicates that blue x hard fescue hybrids are promising for use in naturalized areas. Seed of only a few sheep fescue cultivars are commercially available. Since genetic diversity is important, especially in low maintenance sustainable situations, mixes of fine leaf fescue species are highly recommended. Strong creeping red fescues produce rhizomes and are recommended components of mixtures. Mixes (wt/wt) that perform well in the region include: 90% hard fescue plus 10% of either sheep fescue or strong creeping red fescue; 90% sheep fescue plus either 10% hard fescue or strong creeping red fescue; and 45% hard fescue + 45% sheep fescue + 10% strong creeping fescue. The suggested seeding rate is 3 to 4 pounds of seed per 1000 ft2, but more research is needed to better define the lowest effective seeding rate for naturalized areas. Cultivar selection should be based on field trials conducted at universities within the region where the grasses will be grown. Seed lose viability within one year; use current year crop for best germination or get a current year germination test. FLF should be seeded into a properly prepared seedbed in the autumn (avoid seeding in spring or summer), fertilized with a complete fertilizer and the seedbed should be rolled. FLF perform well in acid soils, but amending the seedbed with lime is suggested if pH is below 6.0. Seedlings emerge in about 10 to 14 days if there is suitable temperature and rainfall, but generally they do not tiller or fill-in prior to winter. The most important keys to success in maintaining FLF quality is to eliminate weeds the spring following autumn establishment and to never mow during periods of heat and drought stress in summer and to generally avoid summer mowing. FLF seedheads are aesthetic and managers often wait until they become necrotic in June before stands are first mowed for the season. Occasional mowing can be delayed until mid-to-late autumn or winter, and the mowing height generally should be above 4 inches. Periodic spot-applications of herbicides may be necessary. In heavy textured soils (clay and silt loams) with sufficient P and K levels, N fertilizer normally can be withheld for many years as long as stands are dense. In sandy soils, more frequent fertilizer application may be required."
Note:This item is an abstract only!
ASA/CSSA/SSSA Citation (Crop Science-Like - may be incomplete):
Dernoeden, P. H. 2008. Selection and management of fine leaf fescues for naturalized areas. Turfgrass Pathol. Weed Sci. Res. Sum. p. 69.
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