Grass Species And Varieties for severe winter climates (P1)
This fact sheet will help you to choose the most winter-hardy grass species and varieties when establishing, re-seeding or over-seeding turf grass areas on golf courses and elsewhere in the Nordic countries. This fact sheet emphasizes golf greens, but we will also cover fairways, tees, sports fields and ordinary lawns. The description is limited to cool-season turf grasses.
Many golf courses aim to renew their turf to improve winter tolerance. Successfully changing the sward composition on a green is a complicated process that also includes new maintenance strategies. Re-establishing dead areas after winter injuries or gradually changing the genetic composition of a green is not covered in this fact sheet.
The most winter-hardy turf grass species for golf courses and other recreation areas that are not sprayed with fungicides to protect against snow moulds are smooth stalked meadowgrass (Poa pratensis), prostrate meadow grass (Poa supina), velvet bent (Agrostis canina) and Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. commutata).
If fungicides are used, creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera) and brown top bent grass (Agrostis capillaris) is also very winter-hardy.
The species most susceptible to winter damage are perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and annual meadow grass (Poa annua).