Thinking of renovating or putting in a new lawn? Selecting a turf species and particularly a variety of grass can be challenging. Turfgrass seed can be found at most any department store chain that carries gardening supplies and plants but little help is available to suggest what is really adapted to your local area. In fact, many of the seed being sold now is destined to failure since they are not to be planted during the heat of summer if planted at all here in Mississippi.
Sod purchases are not quite as confusing, in at least the sod is grown generally in your climate zone. However, even with sod there are several new turf varieties released recently.
The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) is designed to develop and coordinate uniform evaluation trials of turfgrass varieties and promising selections. Mississippi State University turf researchers, as well as researchers from other universities, conduct these trials and provide data to compare. These test results provide information as to local adaptation, turf maintenance levels, color, texture, density, overall quality, etc.
To help you better select a turf variety that fits your needs you can review this data by logging on to the NTEP web at www.ntep.org.
Another great local source of information is Mississippi State University Extension Service publication #1322 “Establish and Manage Your Home Lawn” which can be obtained from your local extension office or downloaded here.
Published June 26, 2006
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org