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Contractors and sod producers across the Southeast are excited about a new cool season turf option that is specifically bred for the transition zone.  Fescue has been the standard for decades but maintaining acceptable turf quality during the summer has always been a challenge resulting in the need to overseed each fall.  

Turf Breeders set out over 15 years ago to find a better suited cultivar and after years of research and trials, two new bluegrasses are coming to market.  Southern Blue is now available for sale and another is in process of being released. 

Southern Blue Versus Tall Fescue

Southern Blue was developed through a partnership between Texas A&M and NG Turf. It is a cross between Kentucky bluegrass and Texas bluegrass, giving homeowners another sod option for a year round green lawn.

Southern Blue and tall fescue share many attributes, however Southern Blue is clearly the best cool season grass for our area, here in the transition zone.

 
grass zone map
 

Differences

Rhizome Root System

The biggest difference between Southern Blue and fescue is found underground. Southern Blue’s root system includes rhizomes, which are like horizontal stems growing under the soil surface. The grass plants shoot up to the surface along these rhizomes, and as the rhizomes spread, new grass plants form. Fescue does not have rhizomes, so each tuft of grass is its own separate plant.

rhizomes

Recovery

Because it can regenerate by creating new grass plants along its rhizomes, Southern Blue can more easily recover from damage and wear. If a fescue lawn sustains damage, it cannot regenerate and must be reseeded or repaired with pieces of new sod to repair the area, costing money and time.

Heat and Drought Resistance

While all cool season grasses slow down and go into a somewhat dormant state in the summer months Southern Blue is in a league of its on. With proper irrigation it possesses a greater ability than fescue to withstand summer heat and drought conditions in the transition zone. 

Similarities

Cool Season Grass

Southern Blue is a cool season grass like fescue, doing the majority of its growth in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. These grasses do not go dormant during winter, but their growth slows significantly during the cold of winter and heat of summer.

Leaf Blades

Because they are cool season varieties, both Southern Blue and tall fescue keep their dark green color all year rather than going brown in winter. Both offer medium texture blades that perform best at heights of two to four inches.

Shade Tolerance

Just like fescue, Southern Blue tolerates shaded areas well, making it a great choice for yards with sun to partial shade.

Questions?

Southern Blue logo

If you are interested in a Southern Blue lawn, contact our Certified Turfgrass Professionals at 770.832.8608 or info@NGTurf.com.

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