Series S / Sports Uses (Mown at 25mm)

Football goal

The perennial ryegrass cultivars in Table S1 are ranked on the mean of live ground cover and visual merit during wear. These characteristics are important for sports pitches receiving intensive wear during winter, such as football and Rugby pitches.

Users should identify the particular properties that are important in their individual situations and choose cultivars that score well for those characteristics. In football and Rugby pitches for example, it may be better to choose a cultivar with reduced susceptibility to red thread, if this can be done without compromising too much on wear tolerance. Where good appearance is required before wear, or in low wear situations, good shoot density, fineness of leaf and cleanness of cut scores will be important.

In all wear situations regular over-seeding can have beneficial results. It is strongly advised that this forms part of the end of season renovation programme. Also the addition of new grasses through over-seeding during the playing season will help maintain ground cover.

Cultivars of smooth-stalked meadow-grasses are shown in order of their performance under football-type wear for inclusion in winter pitches (Table S2). Once established, smooth-stalked meadow-grass can be as hard wearing as perennial ryegrass and usually has better tolerance of close mowing.

Its rhizomes give good recovery from wear and some drought tolerance. However, establishment of this grass is slow and best results can only be achieved if at least 12 months is left between sowing and use, Table S2. Trials are sown in spring with wear being applied the following autumn.

Generally, cultivars of tall fescue form turf that would be acceptable for many coarse turfgrass uses. However, they are no substitute for perennial ryegrass in normal turf situations in the UK. Tall fescues are slower in establishment, coarser in leaf texture, and as a result, less attractive in appearance. They may however, have a place under dry or low fertility conditions. Tall fescues have also been used successfully where fairly tall (15 – 20 cm) but still erect swards are desirable, such as the grassed areas surrounding airfields. New improved varieties of this grass type, some with rhizomes, are starting to become available. These produce acceptable lawns but still do not match perennial ryegrass for wear tolerance.

Tufted hair-grass is tolerant of damp and shady conditions and has been included in some seed mixtures for stadiums. This grass can accumulate a little more organic matter at the surface than some of the traditional sports grasses like perennial ryegrass.


Turfgrass Resources

Turfgrass UK Agents

The seed merchants listed below are primary agents for grasses listed in this booklet. Short codes have been given so that the grasses listed in the different tables can be cross-referenced with their suppliers.

Names and addresses of other breeders and suppliers, with only a restricted number of varieties in the booklet, are available from the BSPB.