Sam Bauer – Home Lawn Species Conversion: The Easy Approach


As a community we have been demanding the introduction of low maintenance turfgrass species in settings ranging from residential landscapes to golf courses. Over recent years we’ve identified many turfgrass species that fall under the criteria of lower maintenance, while preserving the aesthetic and function qualities of a landscape. Still, the task of converting a residential landscape is daunting for most consumers. This study was initiated to determine a quick and effective way for consumers to convert an existing high maintenance or low quality lawn, to a lower maintenance turfgrass species. Study factors include: 1) conversion strategy, and 2) turfgrass species. To control existing vegetation, glyphosate was applied to the entire study area.

The conversion strategy treatments include: 1) slit seeding, 2) flail mowing, 3) scalping, and 4) no disruption. Seed mixtures include: 1) fine fescues, 2) tall fescues, 3) Kentucky bluegrass/fine fescue/perennial ryegrass, 4) shortgrass prairie, and 5) control. This study is being conducted on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus and at the Landscape Arboretum. Results will be available in the winter of 2012-13.