New guide aids turfgrass cultivar choice

Robert Jacksonin Industry News

turfgrass booklet 2011Selecting the right grass cultivars is the first vital step in producing the perfect playing surface or lawn.

That's why Turfgrass Seed 2012, the definitive independent guide to the best grasses available for sports, landscaping and general amenity use, is essential reading for all groundsmen, greenkeepers, other amenity and turf industry professionals and even gardeners.

The new Turfgrass Seed 2012 guide, published on 24th January 2012, contains all the information needed to help professional users assess the suitability of different cultivars for a range of applications, and to determine which grasses best suit their particular needs.

The guide provides comparative information based on the results of comprehensive trials designed to test suitability in three key areas of application:

- Winter sports pitches and municipal recreation areas
- Lawns, summer sports pitches, tennis courts, turf and general landscaping
- Intensive, close-mown surfaces such as golf and bowling greens

A wide range of characteristics are assessed to test and score the performance of different species and cultivars, ranging from physical attributes such as colour, fineness of leaf and sward density to agronomic factors such as disease resistance, re-growth rate and recovery from wear.

The annual guide is supported by the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), based on independent trials conducted by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).

The BSPB is the trade association for the UK plant breeding industry, responsible for seed royalty licensing and collection, industry representation and trials co-ordination across a range of agricultural and horticultural crops.

The Society's members include all the major grass breeding and seed supply businesses, who through the BSPB Amenity Committee support the co-ordination and funding of Turfgrass Seed as a comprehensive source of impartial information to buyers and users of amenity seed.

Based in Bingley, West Yorkshire, STRI is recognised as an international centre of excellence in turfgrass research and agronomy. Since its establishment more than 80 years ago, the Institute has been closely involved in the testing and evaluation of grass cultivars for sports and amenity uses.

Announcing the new guide's launch, BSPB Trials Co-ordinator Robert Jackson said:

"Breeding new improved grass cultivars is a costly and time-consuming business, taking at least 10 years of crossing, selection and pre-commercial trials to reach the market. For professional amenity users, making the most of the investment and innovation by plant breeders requires expert guidance and advice in cultivar selection. Turfgrass Seed is the best available source of reliable and impartial data on high quality amenity grasses, based on trials conducted by the UK's leading independent centre in turfgrass research."

The new guide will be available online from 24th January 2012 at or alternatively place your order for a hard copy (priced at £4.00 per copy) via Robert Jackson at BSPB - or tel. 01353 653202.

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