Location: Rangeland and Pasture Research
Project Number: 3074-21630-010-06-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jan 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2017
The objectives of this project are to test the performance of a set of novel seed producing Texas x Kentucky derived bluegrass hybrids for use as low-input turf. This will include a small-scale greenhouse based germination and turf quality trial, establishment of field-based seed increase blocks, and initiating out-door seeded trials using national turfgrass evaluation program (NTEP) 'low' and 'medium' maintenance standards.
In July/August 2013, the small-scale quantity of seed produced from the hybrids will be used to initiate a greenhouse-based germination and turf quality study in 4" pots. Individual seedlings will also be cultured in greenhouse flats for use in establishing field-based seed increase blocks. In September 2013, seedlings for the seed increase blocks will be transferred to the field. Seed increase blocks will be harvested in June 2014. Before harvest, different seed increase blocks will be rated for uniformity (% apomixis). Data on harvest date, seed yield, and ease of seed processing will also be recorded. Hybrid entries that produced enough seed will be included in a September 2014 (fall) and March 2015 (spring) outdoor NTEP-like trial. A randomized complete block design with three replications will be used. The spring and fall trials will each include a trial using "medium" (1.5 to 2.5 inch mowing height, 3 to 4 lbs of N/1,000 ft2/yr, irrigation to prevent stress or dormancy) and "low" (3+ inch mowing height, 0 to 2 lbs of N/1,000 ft2/yr, no irrigation after establishment) maintenance management protocols. Standard turfgrass ratings will be taken monthly and include summer color, spring green-up, leaf texture, seedling vigor, drought tolerance, turf quality, and any other relevant ratings available, i.e., disease ratings, etc. Kentucky bluegrass, commercially available hybrid bluegrass and Texas bluegrass entries will be included as checks/controls. Data collected will be summarized and used to rank the performance of the hybrid entries.