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Kentucky Bluegrass Characterization and Blending Strategies . Leah A. Brilman, Ph.D. Research Director Seed Research of Oregon. Why Blends and Mixtures. No perfect grass cultivar Increased genetic diversity Strengths and weaknesses matched Natural selection for microenvironments

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why blends and mixtures
Why Blends and Mixtures
  • No perfect grass cultivar
  • Increased genetic diversity
  • Strengths and weaknesses matched
  • Natural selection for microenvironments
  • Insurance policy
  • Match color, growth form carefully
  • Price competiveness
why blends and mixtures4
Why Blends and Mixtures
  • Kentucky bluegrass apomictic
  • Single genotype - other turfgrass species are mixture of genotypes
  • Vegetative cultivars comparison
  • Vegetative bentgrasses
  • Vegetative bermudas, zoysias, St. Augustine
  • Merion Kentucky bluegrass - stripe smut
  • Not just for disease resistance
why blends and mixtures5
Why Blends and Mixtures
  • Sports Turf Needs
  • Rapid establishment
  • Strong lateral spread
  • High shoot density
  • High sod tensile-strengthRapid repair of wear
  • Late fall, winter and early spring growth
  • Shade tolerance
  • Abiotic and biotic stress resistance
types of kentucky bluegrasses
Types of KentuckyBluegrasses
  • Compact Types CELA Type
  • Compact BVMG Type
  • Midnight Shamrock type
  • America Cheri Type
  • Aggressive Type Julia Type
  • Bellevue Type Common Type
  • Mid-Atlantic Type Other Type
slide7

Midnight Type Cultivars

  • Do not have blend of only this type
  • Very dark green color
  • Low, compact growth
  • High quality turf
  • 1/2 inch cutting height
  • Excellent resistance to leaf spot
  • Long winter dormancy
  • Most do poor in the shade
  • High heat tolerance
slide8

Midnight Type Cultivars

  • Midnight Arcadia
  • Liberator Odyssey
  • NuGlade Perfection
  • Tsunami Chicago II
  • Awesome Excursion
  • Freedom II Barrister
  • Beyond Rugby II
  • Impact Quantum Leap
  • Absolute Award
  • Total Eclipse Midnight II
slide9

America Type Cultivars

  • Bright dark green color
  • Low, compact growth
  • 1/2 inch cutting height
  • Excellent resistance to leaf spot, powdery mildew
  • Finer leaf, higher density
  • Moderate winter dormancy
  • Moderate summer recovery
  • High summer patch resistance
  • Good in shade
slide10

America Type Cultivars

  • America Showcase
  • Apollo SR 2284
  • Unique SR 2394
  • BrilliantLangara
  • Avalanche Blue Ridge
  • Glenmont Royale
  • Lakeshore Goldstar
  • Arrow Mallard
slide12

Shamrock Type

  • Moderate winter color
  • Good resistance to leaf spot
  • Good turf quality and sod strength
  • Billbug susceptible
  • High seed yields
  • Less stemmy than BVMG types
  • Summer performance variable
  • This type is an excellent substitute for BVMG type - Higher quality with reduced costs
  • Shamrock Type Varieties
  • Shamrock SR 2100
  • Champagne Atlantis
  • Parkland
slide13

BVMG Type Cultivars

  • High seed yields
  • Medium-good turf
  • Drought tolerance
  • Medium low growth
  • Medium wide leaves
  • Very stemmy in spring
  • Good resistance to necrotic ring spot
  • Often used to reduce costs, can reduce quality
slide14

BVMG Type Cultivars

  • Baron Cannon
  • Victa Merit
  • Gnome Clearwater
  • Goldrush Dragon
  • Abbey BlueStar
  • Crest Nassua
  • Raven Marquis
  • BlueChip Fortuna
  • Envicta Baronette
slide15

Aggressive Type

  • Aggressive lateral growth
  • High shoot density
  • Very wear tolerant
  • Quickly knit sod and repair
  • May predominate in blend
  • Variable in other characteristics
slide16

Julia Type

  • High turf quality
  • High density
  • Good summer performance
  • Moderate winter performance
  • Good leaf spot, stripe smut resistance
  • Susceptible to brown patch and dollar spot
  • High winter wear tolerance
  • Julia Type Varieties
  • Julia SR 27832
  • Caliber Ikone
slide17

Bellevue Type

  • Medium growth and shoot density
  • Medium wide leaves
  • Excellent winter color, early spring green-up
  • Stemmy in spring
  • Moderate recovery from summer
  • Good leaf spot, stripe smut resistance
  • Susceptible to billbugs
  • Bellevue Type Varieties
  • Bellevue Suffolk
  • Georgetown Parade
  • Classic Dawn
slide18

Mid-Atlantic Type

  • Deep extensive roots and rhizomes
  • Vigorous turf and medium-high density
  • High summer stress tolerance
  • Early spring green-up
  • Good winter performance
  • Rapid recovery from disease
  • Mid-Atlantic Type Varieties
  • Monopoly SR 2000
  • Preakness Eagleton
  • Livingston Plush
  • Wabash
slide19

Common Type

  • Erect growth and narrow leaf blades
  • Good summer stress tolerance
  • May go dormant in summer
  • High leaf spot susceptibility
  • Poor winter color and performance
  • Early seed production, dryland
  • Common type Varieties
  • South Dakota Kenblue
  • Geary Park
  • S-21 Newport
  • Alene Ginger
  • Garfield Piedmont
  • Huntsville
science and nonscience of blends
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Blending of resistant / susceptible varieties
  • Creeping bentgrass - dollar spot
  • (Abernathy, et al. 2001. Crop Sci. 41:806-809.)
  • Crenshaw - susceptible, L-93 resistant, others
  • Blends of resistant and moderately resistant cultivars with Crenshaw reduced dollar spot from 46 to 67 % less infection centers and 71 to 91% less blighted area
  • Benefit of including Crenshaw for heat tolerance
science and nonscience of blends21
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • (Vargas and Turgeon, 1980. Proc. Third ITRC 45-52.)
  • Melting-out resistance of blend of two
  • cultivars intermediate between same
  • cultivars in monostands
  • Inoculum from susceptible cultivar reduced
  • resistance of resistant cultivar
  • Blends of two cultivars generally show resistance intermediate between each alone
science and nonscience of blends22
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Problems with disease resistance data
  • Disease organism not verified
  • Large CV in disease data - uneven in trial
  • Disease races
  • Different in different locations
  • Change over time
  • Stripe smut - Merion, Adelphi and BVMG
  • Dollar spot in bentgrasses
  • Summer patch
summer patch
Summer patch
  • 96-00 NJ NTEP 91-95 MD NTEP
  • Summer Summer
  • Cultivar Patch Patch
  • SR 2000 6.8 8.5
  • Unique 8.2 7.8
  • Nustar 5.4 7.7
  • Eclipse 8.2 7.5
  • Midnight 7.3 7.5
  • SR 2100 7.8 7.5
  • Blacksburg 4.5 7.3
  • LSD@5% 1.8 1.5
science and nonscience of blends24
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Early blend analysis - Dr. Funk, Rutgers
  • Sprigged out plants to ID
  • Aggressive types dominated
  • Aggressive types based on invasion in plots
  • New DNA techniques allow blend analysis
  • (Lickfeldt et al, 2002. Crop Sci. 42:842-847.)
  • 3-way blend - Unique, Midnight, Blacksburg
  • Different management, % of each at seeding
  • Final composition, 40%, 46%, 14%
science and nonscience of blends25
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Stiers et al. 2003.
  • Most cool-season turf areas and athletic fields are mixtures of Poa pratensis and Lolium perenne
  • A 50:50 sward is desirable for traction,
  • recovery, and disease resistance
  • L. perenne germinates quickly and can outcompete P. pratensis seedlings
science and nonscience of blends26
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Main plot: % P. pratensis:L. perenne
  • 95:5 90:10 85:15 75:25
  • 65:35 50:50 25:75
  • Sub-plot: P. pratensis type
  • Aggressive: Touchdown, Limousine, Fairfax
  • BVMG: Victa, Merit, Cannon
  • Compact: Midnight, Indigo, Alpine
  • Common: Alene, Kenblue, Ronde
science and nonscience of blends28
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Turf quality occasionally better with primarily
  • Poa pratensis.
  • All types of P. pratensis provided similar
  • results except for common types
  • At least 85% P. pratensis needed in seed mixture to provide approximately 50:50 Poa:Lolium turf sward
  • Fairfax predominated in Aggressive blend although classified as Other.
science and nonscience of blends29
Science and nonscience of blends
  • How to determine which cultivar will
  • predominate in a blend?
  • How to predict aggressiveness?
  • Dependent on components
  • Dependent on environment
  • Competitive environment
components of il blend
Components of IL Blend
  • 1996 - 2000 NTEP
  • Cultivar Mean length/width UB Sod Strength
  • 7/97 11/98 MD NE Mean
  • Princeton 105 28.5 65.3 28.7 42.8 35.8
  • Unique 29.1 59.9 22.3 38.7 30.5
  • Midnight 26.0 56.4 21.0 37.7 29.3
  • Blacksburg 23.6 47.8 19.7 10.8 15.3
  • Limousine 22.9 36.6 15.7 21.0 18.3
  • LSD@5% 4.7 8.0 5.4 20.9 14.6
components of il blend31
Components of IL Blend
  • 96-00 NTEP 91-95 NTEP
  • Leaf Seedling Leaf Seedling
  • Cultivar Spot Vigor Spot Vigor
  • Blacksburg 7.1 5.1 7.8 3.0
  • Midnight 6.8 5.1 6.8 5.1
  • Unique 5.2 5.3 6.8 5.2
  • LSD@5% 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.8
components of il blend32
Components of IL Blend
  • Lickfeldt et al, 2002. Golf Course Management.
  • Third site reported, Univ. of IL
  • Managed as lawn, year after
  • establishment no irrigation or herbicides
  • Blacksburg 24%, Unique 35%,
  • Midnight41%.
  • Higher percentage Blacksburg.
  • Blacksburg good stress survival, dark color
science and nonscience of blends33
Science and nonscience of blends
  • How to determine which cultivar will
  • predominate in a blend?
  • How to predict aggressiveness?
  • Further studies to compare competitiveness
  • within and between types
  • Compare in varying environments
  • Climatic zones, wear, shade, management
  • Coordinate with NTEP / Financing?
science and nonscience of blends34
Science and nonscience of blends
  • How to determine which cultivar will
  • predominate in a blend?
  • Examination of blends with sports field management - Irrigated, nonirrigated
  • Look at blends after wear during different seasons
  • Management after wear
  • Sports managers work with universities to examine
science and nonscience of blends35
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Why combine types in blends?
  • Each type has weakness as well as strengths
  • Single type has weaknesses
  • Midnight types - powdery mildew, winter color
  • America types - not as dark green
  • Aggressive - dominate in blends
  • Shamrock types - billbug susceptible
  • BVMG - Very stemmy turf, poor winter performance, stripe smut susceptible
science and nonscience of blends36
Science and nonscience of blends
  • How to select best in type?
  • Ask breeders what varieties are in type
  • Visit local test sites
  • Review data from similar locations
  • Examine data for important characteristics
  • Data can be sorted by NTEP for special reports
  • Darkest in type
  • Establishment rate
  • Influenced by age of seed
  • Important diseases
science and nonscience of blends37
Science and nonscience of blends
  • Cultivar availability
  • Seed availability and price
  • No production of low yielding varieties
  • Hard to determine yields outside fields
  • Seed quality - true sod quality
  • Previous agreements with other buyers
  • Blends by seed companies - each company only has access to certain varieties
long term performance
Long Term Performance
  • Older cultivars may no longer be available
  • Looking at sod older than 6 years may find information not useful
  • Many varieties in 1990 to 1995 NTEP no
  • longer produced
  • Some types are seeing less varietal
  • development such as Bellevue or CELA types
  • Decisions on development often made first few years of trials
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Blends do provide benefit
  • Best method and number of types uncertain
  • Kentucky bluegrasses difficult to breed
  • Multiple Julia hybrids - little improvement
  • Unique type hybrids - good potential
  • Mid-Atlantic types - difficult to obtain seed
  • Cooperative work breeders and NTEP to
  • define types and publish
  • Contributions to looking at competitiveness in different environments and management
  • Tall fescue/ bluegrass blends need to be examined
slide40

Texas x Kentucky bluegrass

  • Female P. arachnifera x P. pratensis
  • Texas bluegrass drought and heat tolerant
  • Kentucky bluegrass higher quality
  • Combine attributes
  • Can be used with tall fescue
  • Selection for improved establishment
  • Apomixis needs to be restored
  • Improved types
  • Reveille - Dr. James Reed, Texas A&M
  • Scott’s Company - Thermal Blue
  • SRX 2TK95 in initial increase