Turfgrass Seed 2004
By Laurence Gale
The second of our Pitchcare book reviews features this years Turfgrass Seed 2004 booklet produced by the British Society of Plant Breeders Limited. (BSPB) This booklet provides details of grass seed varieties for use in the amenity and the sports turf Industry. The purpose of the turfgrass seed booklet is to report on the comprehensive trial results of available grass varieties in the UK.
The trials include all grass varieties bred for use on:
- Winter sports, (football, rugby and municipal recreation sites).
- Use in lawns (summer sport pitches, tennis and general landscaping).
- Use in intensive management facilities (golf, bowls and close mown trials).
The seed trials were conducted by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI). The independent turf research organisation based in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
The BSPB is the trade association based in Ely in Cambridgeshire which represents the interest of companies with plant breeding and seeds supply businesses in the UK The main functions of the BSPB include:
- Acting on behalf of plant breeders to licence and collect royalties for the production of seed of protected varieties by third parties.
- Representing the interests of its members opposite government and the European Commission.
- Co-ordinate agreements with trialing organisations to facilitate the production of recommended and descriptive lists of varieties.
- Co-ordinate independent funding of amenity variety trailing and continue the integrity of the Turfgrass seed as a source of impartial and valid information to buyers and users of amenity grass seed.
The lists of grass varieties obtained in this booklet are designed to enable users of turfgrass seed to evaluate the suitability of different cultivars for various amenity uses. The information is set out in table format with the results set out in numerical scores, Cultivars with a score of 8.0 for shoot density would be expected to produce denser turf than those that score 7.0. Cultivars at the top of the lists may not necessarily be the best for every use. Users should identify which characteristics are most important for their intended use and select the cultivars accordingly.
Series S sport uses (mown at 30mm) winter rugby and municipal sport areas.
- Table S1. (Perennial ryegrasses).
- Table S2 (Smooth stalked meadow grasses).
Series L landscaping, summer sports and turf trials (mown at 10-15mm).
- Table L1. (Perennial rye grasses).
- Table L2. (Smooth stalked meadow grasses).
- Table L3 (Chewings fescue).
- Table L4 (Slender creeping red fescues).
- Table L5 (Strong creeping red fescues).
- Table L6 (Hard and sheeps fescues).
- Table L7 (Bent grasses).
Series G close mown trials (mown at 4-7mm) golf and bowling greens.
- Table G1 (Bent grasses).
- Table G2 (chewing fescues).
- Table G3.(Slender creeping red fescue greens).
Series M Miscellaneous grasses, tall fescue and other grasses
- Table M1 (Tall fescue and other grasses).
The seeds tested are from the following companies:
- Advanta seeds
- Barenbrug UK Ltd
- British Seed Houses
- Cebeco Seeds
- DLF- Perryfields ltd / Johnsons
- Deutsche Saatveredelung, Lippstadt-Bremen GmbH
- Power seeds UK ltd
- Rigby Taylor
- Seed research of Oregon
- Semundo ltd
- Top green
- Turf seed Europe ltd.
The booklet is in a paperback A5 size format with over 24 pages of information giving a very good comprehensive guide to the choice and use of turfgrass seed cultivars. The information and data has been categorised into easily read tables that detail the performance of the grasses by variety, use and mowing heights. The seed varieties are compared against a number of factors, visual merit, shoot density, live ground cover, slow re-growth, fineness of leaf, cleanness of cutting, freedom of disease and colour.
This booklet will be a valuable resource for any turfgrass manager who needs to decide on what are the best suitable seed varieties available for their facilities, backed up with the knowledge that these seed varieties have been tried and tested independently.
What makes this book even more appealing is that the cost is only £3.50, making it a viable purchase for all turf grass managers.
The Booklets can be obtained from BSPB and STRI
British Society of Plant Breeders Limited (BSPB).
Woolpack Chambers, Market Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4ND. Tel 01353653000 . Website www.bspb.co.uk
Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).
Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD161AU. Tel 01274 565131. website www.stri.co.uk