Turfgrasses

Turfgrasses Commonly Used as Athletic Turf

Cool season grasses are the species adapted to favorable growth during cool portions of the growing season. Optimum growing temperatures range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These grasses are generally found in temperate and subarctic climates and may become dormant or stressed  during high temperatures.

Warm season grasses are the turf species adapted to favorable growth during warm periods of the growing season. Optimum temperatures for growth are between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. These grasses are generally found in tropical and subtropical climates.

The following map depicts the regions most favorable for cool and warm season turf growth.






Cool-Season Turfgrasses
Most cool-season turf growth occurs in the spring and fall. In the spring, there is a strong flush of shoot growth, which slows down or stops depending on the weather in the summer months, then picks back up during cooler temperatures in the fall.




Cool season grasses are made up of the Festucoids. The most common cool season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass, tall fescue, fine fescues, and creeping bentgrass. The most popular cool season turfgrass used on athletic fields include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue.  Click on the following to view more detailed information about each turfgrass species.  You must be a member to view these resources.

Kentucky bluegrass (m)
Annual bluegrass (m)
Perennial ryegrass (m)
Tall Fescue (m)


Warm Season Turfgrasses
Most warm season turf growth occurs between late spring to early fall during the months of May through September.



The most common warm season grasses include bermudagrass, buffalograss, zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, seashore paspalum, kikuyugrass, St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass. The most common warm season grass used on athletic fields is bermudagrass.  Click on the following to view more detailed information about bermudagrass.  You must be a member to view this resource.

Bermudagrass (m)


Additional Resources:

Turfgrass Identification and Selection
     Turfgrass Identification Tool - Purdue University
     Turfgrass Identification - Kansas State University
     Turfgrass Selection - Kansas State University
     Grass Selection - Texas A&M University
     Selection of Grasses for Athletic Fields - University of Kentucky
     National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP)
     Podcast: Turfgrass ID: Using Morphological Characteristics - Ohio State University

Cool Season Turfgrass Resources
     The Cool-Season Turfgrasses: Basic Structures, Growth, and Development - Penn State University
     The Cool-Season Turfgrasses: Identification - Penn State University
     Warm and Cool Season Turfgrasses - University of Georgia
     Turfgrasses - North Carolina State University
     Cultivar Evaluation - Penn State University
     Cool Season Grass Cultivars for Athletic Fields - University of Missouri
     Podcast: Overview of Cool Season Turfgrasses - Ohio State University
     Podcast: Overview of Less Common Sports Turfgrasses - Ohio State University
     Podcast: Hybrid Bluegrasses - Ohio State University
     Podcast: Tall Fescues on Athletic Fields - Ohio State University

Warm Season Turfgrass Resouces
     Turfgrasses - North Carolina State University
     Warm and Cool Season Turfgrasses - University of Georgia
     Podcast: Overview of Warm Season Turfgrasses - Ohio State University
     Podcast: Overview of Less Common Sports Turfgrasses - Ohio State University
     Podcast: Overview of Bermudagrass - Ohio State University 

International Resources

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