fine fescue

Improving fine fescue disease resistance with endophytes

By Ruying “Wrennie” Wang and Alec Kowalewski, Oregon State University

A woman spraying plants in a greenhouse

The inherent disease resistance associated with fine fescues is partially the result of Epichloë endophytes. Epichloë endophytes are symbiotic fungi that live within the turfgrass and help protect the host plant from various environments stress and pathogens. Previous research has identified Epichloë endophyte strains in hard fescue that provide resistance to dollar spot and red thread diseases.

How much nitrogen fertilizer do fine fescues need during establishment?

By Ross Braun and Aaron Patton, Purdue University

a closeup of soil with fine fescue seedling emerging

A team of scientists at Purdue University, Oregon State University, and University of Minnesota investigated establishment differences among the fine fescue taxa and at the same time investigated the influences of different levels of nitrogen fertilizer and including clover. The objectives were to investigate differences among fine fescue taxa and determine optimal N fertility or clover-inclusion programs for fine fescue taxa during establishment for future low-input sites.

Open-field burning in Oregon fine fescue seed production

By Nicole P. Anderson and Brian C. Donovan, Oregon State University

A field with burned vegetation

Since the late 1940s, open-field burning has been used as a widespread practice in grass seed production in the Pacific Northwest. Post-harvest residue management is an important factor in several fine fescues, including creeping red fescue and Chewings fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass seed crops.

Optimum mulching material for fine fescue establishment

By Emily Braithwaite and Alec Kowalewski, Oregon State University

Six types of mulching materials side by side

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to begin using commercial “patch and repair” products on their lawns to seed bare or damaged areas from the previous seasons. These products contain about 85 to 90% inert matter (i.e. wood or paper based-mulch) to help retain moisture, and the other 10 to 15% is fertilizer and grass seed.

When it comes to snow mold, fine fescue is the choice

By Paul Koch, University of Wisconsin – Madison

turfgrass plots with ones on the left greener than the ones on the right

As the Midwest and Northeast U.S. emerged from their winter snow covers in mid-March, it was clear that snow mold across the region was more damaging than normal. This was especially true in areas that don’t normally experience lots of snow mold such as southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Other fine fescue research at the University of Minnesota: Bee lawns

By Kristine Moncada, University of Minnesota

a bumblebee pollinating a white clover flower in a residential lawn

The Low Input Turf project is not the only fine fescue work we do at the University of Minnesota. Our team does other research that includes: fine fescues in roadside mixes, fine fescue sod, fine fescues in golf course roughs and fine fescue seed production. Yet another project that involves fine fescues is bee lawns.

Project News - 11/25/20

Learn more about our latest work! The Low Input Turf project team has published three journal articles on our research.

Video: Fine Fescue Breeding from Rutgers University

Stacy Bonos video

Turfgrass researchers from Rutgers recently produced many interesting videos as part of their 2020 Virtual Turfgrass Research Field Day. This video features Dr. Stacy Bonos, a turfgrass breeder at Rutgers who collaborates on our Low Input Turf project, discussing Rutger's fine fescue breeding program.

Project News - 9/15/20

Learn more about our latest work!  The Low Input Turf project team has written two recent articles.

Heat tolerance in fine fescue species

Rows of small containers of turfgrass with varying degress of heat stress

By Bingru Huang, Rutgers University

Heat stress is a primary limiting factor for the growth of cool-season turfgrass species, as the optimal temperature for these species are between 60 and 75 oF, but summer temperatures in many areas are often much higher than this temperature range. One of the most desirable traits for cool-season turfgrasses, such as fine fescue, is good heat tolerance, which enables sustainable turf growth through hot summer months with reduced inputs.