Turfgrasses for Athletic Fields

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 turfgrass 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 map depicts the regions most favorable for cool- and warm-season turfgrass 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.

 

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.

 

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