The Ohio State University turf research and display plots were established in the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum spring of 2016. The former plots, established in 2001 were located at the Gateway Learning Gardens. These research plots are designed to demonstrate how good maintenance practices can lead to the reduced use of pesticides. In addition, these plots demonstrate the different types of grass seed mixes that can be used in establishing a lawn.
In regards to maintenance, we show how proper mowing techniques and fertilization affects the quality of the lawn. High mowing generally leads to a low weed density and low mowing generally leads to a higher density of weeds.
The current turf plots were established on the former practice putting green at the Snyder Park Golf Course. After the sand was removed from the 60’ x 90’ area, it was filled with topsoil and compost. The plot was then divided into six 60’x 15’ sections. Each section was planted with a different seed blends graciously provided by Green Velvet Sod Farms. The blends are listed below. In 2016 the plots consisted of half weeds and half turfgrass. Following over-seeding in the fall combined with fertilizer, the turfgrass started to fill in. A spring 2017 application of a crab grass pre-emergent in the spring greatly improved the overall appearance. In 2017, the maintenance consists mostly of mowing along with minor weed control and watering if necessary. In 2018, the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Turf Committee members will divide each 60’x15’ plot into four different sections and fertilize at various rates to show the effects on each.
Seed Blends Used in the Research Plots
Plot # 1 Green Velvet's Finest Blend
45% elite perennial rye grass
40% elite Ky. Blue grass
15% creeping red fescue
Plot # 2 Traditional Blend
30% chewing fescue
30% hard fescue
20% creeping red fescue
20% blue fescue
Plot # 3 Kentucky Bluegrass Blend
100% 4-5 elite blue grass varieties
Plot # 4 Sports Blend
80% elite tall fescues
10% Ky. Blue grass
10% elite perennial rye grass
Plot # 5 Trophy XRE Blend
100% 3-4 elite type tall fescue varieties
Plot # 6 Champion Blend
100% 3-4 elite perennial rye grass varieties
All grass seed has been donated by Green Velvet Sod Farms.