On June 14, a Sola™ St. Augustinegrass Field Day was held at Oakland Plantation Turf Farm in Council, NC. The event gathered over 20 sod producers from across the Carolinas and as far away as Texas to learn about this new variety. The purpose of the event was to showcase the new turfgrass variety to prospective sod producers interested in learning more about Sola, which was released from North Carolina State University’s Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics program in August 2022.
The event was held on a production field that was planted in June 2022. Sod Solutions and NC State provided handouts and information about the licensing period opening. Any sod producer interested in licensing for Sola can submit a request form online here or email Christian Broucqsault at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sola’s breeder, Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis of NC State, explained the history and research for this line since 2011. Sola was originally designated as experimental line XSA 11377. She elaborated on Sola’s cold resistance, improved shade tolerance, disease resistance and sod strength, particularly compared to Palmetto® St. Augustinegrass and Raleigh St. Augustinegrass.
Following her presentation and a Q&A, attendees heard from two sod producers who have been working with Turf Research North Carolina (TRNC) on the research and development of this variety for several years. Both Al Wooten, owner of Quality Turf in Burgaw, NC, and Rick Neisler, president of Oakland Plantation, shared their observations at the field day. Click here to read a full article about both of their observations growing Sola.
These sod producers complimented Sola’s growth rate, early green up, resistance to chinch bugs and gray leaf spot disease, its cold tolerance, shade tolerance and several other traits that Dr. Milla-Lewis also highlighted in her presentation. Both explained they see this as an improvement to Raleigh St. Augustinegrass and encouraged producers to consider this new grass.
Following this informative presentation, the attendees watched a demonstration of a FireFly Automatix harvesting Sola St. Augustinegrass. Sod Solutions appreciates all of the sod producers that took the time to travel to this event and extends a special thank you to Oakland Plantation for hosting.
Sola has no commercial availability in 2023, limited availability in 2024 and will have widespread availability in 2025. Click here for more information.