Turfgrass choices are the species, cultivar, type of planting material, and quality, for
a specific site. In conjunction with choosing the turfgrass, the landscape and
turfgrass manager is concerned with getting the turf to the site in healthy condition.
The lecture will contain much more specifics, so this write-up is intended to provide
The consequences of turfgrass selection are both long- and short-term, and
somewhat unpredictable. Long-term consequences of turfgrass selection include
longevity, maintenance cost, and suitability of a turf to a site or use. Short-term
consequences of turf selection are the purchase price, including any delivery or
contract installation costs, and associated costs such as consultant's fees, travel to
visit the sod farm, and inspection costs.
Hardest to estimate in turfgrass selection are risk factors, that is, the variability of,
performance and quality. A grass that does well on one site may do poorly at
another, due to factors that were not known or not sufficiently understood
previously. Although plantings at both sites cost the same initially, the failed
planting may cost two or more times as much as the successful planting.
A turfgrass species such as bahiagrass,
, may be poorly adapted
to a site because it requires more illumination (i.e., "photosynthetically active
radiation") than the site provides, due to tree shade. Such a planting in South
Florida fails typically within two years, as the bahiagrass thins and becomes infested
sp., is sometimes planted as an accent for high-end
properties such as homes for the wealthy. Such an application serves to provide a
visual distinction from neighboring properties, but often the maintenance costs is
out of proportion to the benefit, for that use.
Knowing how to choose a turfgrass enables the landscape and turfgrass manager to
make appropriate decisions for the client or employer.
Species and cultivars
There are hundreds of turfgrass cultivars available. Few are suited to a particular
use. In Florida a vegetatively propagated clone, 'Floratam' St. Augustinegrass,