Sod Solutions is happy to have an opportunity to participate in some trials and tests at Clemson University with our varieties. Clemson University has a tradition of researching turfgrasses, maintenance operations and products related to the turfgrass industry.
Last year, we started the research collaboration with Clemson University with four different projects: testing experimental lines of ultrafine zoysiagrasses developed by the University of Florida, evaluating elite lines of the Celebration X breeding program from Mississippi State University, testing new ultra-dwarf bermudagrasses and evaluating recently released grasses like Innovation® Zoysiagrass, Lobo™ Zoysiagrass and Lawnifi Santee® seed. The ultrafine zoysias have all progressed about the same. On average, they were approximately 95% covered. However, since they were plugged, they are still extremely uneven and will require extensive topdressing, aeration, etc., to achieve a level where we can accurately gauge stimp readings. A few plots did have bermudagrass breakthroughs and were spot treated with glyphosate, resulting in some bare patches. Fortunately, towards the middle of summer Clemson researchers became comfortable with a new herbicide safener and implemented it in the bermuda control program, allowing the zoysias to continue to cover and completely eliminating the bermudagrass.
All of the lawn-type bermudagrasses had 100% coverage this summer, including the three plots re-plugged early in the season. However, due to the uneven establishment timing of the plots, Clemson researchers didn’t collect any data as the plots didn’t become uniformly covered until late summer. Clemson will start with greenup readings in Spring 2023. As an observation, the Celebration X breeding program lines had improved consistent color and finer density than the original Celebration® Bermudagrass. Several of those grasses appear promising.
Sod Solutions and the researchers at Clemson University will continue to follow up the development of each project in 2023.