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Turfgrass

Overview

Not all Georgia agricultural products cover your table. Some cover the playing fields and golf courses of the world. In 2009, almost 34 thousand acres of turfgrass were harvested in Georgia.

Cool- & Warm-Season Varieties

There are two main types of grasses used for turfgrass: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Popular cool-season grasses include bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, which are both prominently grown in the north. In the south however, warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass are more popular and will thrive better in a hot and humid climate.

Choosing Turf

Most turfgrass is available through seeds, plugs, and sods. However, only grasses with rhizomes and or stolons will spread out, making your lawn thicker over time. For example, bermudagrass is a spreading grass but fescue is not.

Choosing the right type of grass is critical to a successful lawn or playing field. Factors such as sunlight and soil type are important to consider in order to keep you from stressing over your grass in the long run. Some grass types also require more care than others and may need to be fertilized or mown more often.

Extension Research

University of Georgia Experiment Station researchers pioneered the worldwide success of turfgrasses starting in the 1950s. Tifway and Tifgreen, two bermudagrass hybrids developed by researchers at the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, cover more golf courses, athletic fields and lawns than any other turf varieties in the world.

Today, a multidisciplinary team of experiment station scientists and Extension service specialists support this burgeoning agricultural industry, which already has more than a $1 billion impact on Georgia's economy annually.

Sod Farms

Most turfgrass is grown in central Georgia on sod farms. In 2009, Macon and Cook counties led in the production of turfgrass products. Turfgrass sod is harvested when the sod has developed enough strength to remain intact with minimum soil removal when cut. Mechanical sod cutters harvest strips 16 to 24 inches wide and 2 to 8 feet long. Sod is then stacked on wooden pallets either in small rolls or as flat slabs.

Growers may harvest up to 4,444 square yards per acre per cutting; however, normal yields are generally between 3,800 and 4,200 square yards per acre.

Publications

Commercial and Professional Publications

General Publications

To see other publications, go to the CAES Publications site or the FACS Publications listing.

News

For the latest news about Extension, visit Georgia FACES. News you can use about Georgia family, agricultural, consumer and enviromental sciences.

Websites

UGA-affiliated sites

  • Georgia Turf
    Gives detailed identification and growing recommendations for the species. Links to relevant publications from Extension and researchers, turfgrass management courses and other websites.
  • Impact Statements: Turfgrass
    Descriptions of Extension efforts to improve knowledge & practices related to turfgrass.
  • Turfgrass
    Briefly summarizes turfgrass varieties and Georgia's turfgrass production.
  • Warm-Season Grass Breeding: Turf
    Provides information about various turfgrass cultivars.

External sites

  • Georgia Turfgrass Association
    Offers newsletters, pest management guides and legislative reports. Includes extensive list of businesses and other association members.