MADISON, Wis. — Turfgrass is also known as “natural grass.” It’s a natural, root-bearing plant. A quality turfgrass can cover land surface and tolerate either foot or vehicle traffic. It also will tolerate mowing. In the world, there are only about 50 grass species that fit this definition.
July 7th, 2022 Sustainable, Secure Food Blog explains how to manage turfgrass to optimize sustainability.
According to blogger Ross Braun, sustainable turfgrass areas are managed using best management practices developed from sustainable agronomic and environmental initiatives.
Sustainable turfgrass systems apply the concept of the “right plant in the right place.” This means you should plant the “right” grass species for your location and site needs. That starts with choosing a grass species that will grow and recover from environmental stresses based on its location and use. Choosing correctly then means you can use fewer “inputs” – things like water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
Another sustainable approach is to use low-input turfgrass species. Fine fescues are a group of five species or subspecies comprised of strong creeping red fescue, slender creeping red fescue, Chewings fescue, hard fescue, and sheep fescue. Buffalograss and zoysiagrass also can be managed with reduced maintenance inputs but still provide similar functional and aesthetic properties as other turfgrass species.
Feeding turfgrass plants with fertilizing should also follow the “right rate and right time of the year.” This will improve overall plant health, quality, and long-term success of your turfgrass area. Most turfgrass areas in lawns in nonarid climates seldom need irrigation during the year. Rainfall supplies in these areas are enough water to keep the grass alive. If there is an extended drought period, however, additional irrigation may be required.
Other tips to help promote more sustainable turfgrass include increasing the mowing height of your grass. A higher mowing height of cut will: a) provide deeper root growth, b) improve the density of your grass, c) help resist weed infestation; d) better tolerate drought stress, and e) require less mowing over time. It’s also good practice to leave the clippings on the grass surface. This returns nutrients to the soil to continue to feed the plants.
To read the entire blog, visit: https://sustainable-
— ASA and CSSA