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Bermudagrass for Turf
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TifEagle is a fine-textured 2n=3x=27 chromosome mutant derived by irradiating Tifway II stolons with 7000 rads of Cobalt 60 gamma radiation in 1988 in the U. S. Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Research Service Forage and Turf Research Unit at Tifton, GA. Forty-eight putative mutants were selected, established in plots in the field, and mowed at 0.250 inch in 1989 and 1990. A dense fine-textured off-type was identified in putative mutant # 2. Stolons from this plant were vegetatively increased, tested as TW72 and later named TifEagle. TifEagle is a patented cultivar and cannot be grown or propagated commercially without permission from the University of Georgia. It's main use will be golf course greens, but it can be used in any area requiring turf mowed at 3/16 inch height or less. Interest in commercially propagating TifEagle should be addressed to Earl Elsner, Georgia Seed Development Commission, Fax: 706-227-7159. Rigid propagation and certification standards will improve (over Tifdwarf) the quality of grass delivered to the consumer. Several morphological characteristics give TifEagle it unique advantage:

1. A high quality turf mowed at .188 inch or less

2. Excellent root system development and structure

3. Rhizomatous rather than stoloniferous growth habit

4. Superior color under cool conditions

5. Tolerance to verticutting

6. Rapid regrowth from mechanical injury

7. Tolerance to overseeding

8. Good spring transition

Establishment and management of TifEagle is similar to Tifdwarf, except that more attention needs to be give to thatch prevention. This can be done with light topdresssing, verticutting and grooming. Enough nitrogen should be applied to produce healthy turf. Too much nitrogen can enhance thatch buildup. It is important to soil and tissue test for proper application of nutrients. Brochures on establishing and managing TifEagle are available from the following email address, or phone: 229-386-3184. Always request certified planting material and a certification tag.

TifSport is the best of 66 fine-textured mutants derived from irradiating Midiron stolons with 8000 rads of Cobalt 60 gamma radiation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Reseach Service Forage and Turf Research Unit at Tifton, GA. TifSport was tested in 13 experiments at 7 locations from 1983 to 1994. TifSport produces significantly better quality turf than Midiron. It has produced superior quality turf as far north as Lexington, KY; Stillwater, OK; and Franklin and Ft. Bluff, TN. It has better cold resistance, color and vigor than Tifway. It can be used for golf fairways, athletic fields, landscaping and lawns. It does require a higher level of management than common bermudagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass to maintain quality turf. TifSport is a patented cultivar, therefore permission has to be obtained from the University of Georgia to propagate and/or commercially market TifSport. Contact the Georgia Seed Development Commission, Athens, GA; Fax: 706-227-7159 for permission to market and/or propagate TifSport. Rigid propagation and certification standards will improve (over Tifdwarf) the quality of grass delivered to the consumer. Always request certified planting material and a certification tag. Brochures and information regarding TifSport can be obtained from Wayne Hanna, email: phone: 229-386-3184

Management of TifSport is similar to that of Tifway (419). TifSport has shown excellent cold resistance in the transition area. However, raising the height of cut before frost, starting in September will improve winter survival. TifSport becomes dormant after frost (like all bermudagrasses).  

Tifway was selected and tested cooperatively by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station, and the U.S. and Southern Golf Associations. It is a hybrid between Cynodon transvaalensis and C. dactylon Tifway bermudagrass is a highly disease-resistant selection with a very dark green color. As a consequence, it maintains a desirable green color longer and with less nitrogen than most other selections. Its fine leaves, stiffer than Tifgreen, make it inferior to Tifgreen for putting greens, but superior for tees and fairways. Tifway starts growth earlier in the spring than most bermudagrass. It is also more frost resistant and will, therefore, remain green later into the fall. Tifway is more tolerant of golf cart traffic than common or Tifgreen, but is less tolerant than Tiflawn. It is more resistant than Tifgreen to sod webworm and mole cricket attacks. Tifway makes a very dense sod and is more weed resistant than most bermudagrasses. Tifway has short seed stalks that bear heads with light reddish anthers which shed no pollen. Since Tifway never produces seed, it must be propagated by planting sprigs or laying sod.

Tifdwarf bermudagrass (a natural dwarf mutant of Tifgreen) was officially released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station in 1965. It has many of the same characteristics of Tifgreen. Its anthers are yellow and shed no pollen. Its stigmas, racemes, and panicles are smaller than those of Tifgreen but otherwise are identical. Tifdwarf has small and shorter leaves, stems, and internodes and establishes slower than Tifgreen when sprigged at the same rate. Tifdwarf has a darker green color than Tifgreen and requires less fertilizer to give a comparable degree of greenness. Its purple basic plant color that helps to keep it dark green in the summer becomes very noticeable when temperatures drop in the fall. As a consequence, Tifdwarf takes on a purplish cast that is objectionable to many. Tifdwarf will tolerate closer mowing and makes a faster putting green than Tifgreen. Its softer leaves and fewer seed heads also contribute to its superior putting qualities. Its ability to make a good turf under very close mowing has made Tifdwarf a popular grass.

Tifgreen is a sterile F1 hybrid between a fine-textured common, Cynodon dactylon, selection and Cynodon transvaalensis. It was bred and evaluated at Tifton, GA, and released in 1956. Tifgreen is a product of the turf research supported by the University of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Golf Association, and the Southern Golf Association. Tifgreen is a low-growing, rapidly spreading, disease-resistant hybrid that makes a dense, weed-resistant turf. Its fine, soft, forest green leaves and few seedheads are largely responsible for its excellent putting qualities. It tolerates overseeding with winter grass better that most bermudas. Its short stems bear yellowish-green heads that never shed pollen and never produce seed.