Failed roadside turfgrass installations can happen for a number of reasons, often due to using the wrong species for a given site. Current MnDOT specifications for roadside turfgrasses suggest statewide planting of mixtures grouped into five broad categories such as low maintenance turf and high maintenance turf. We investigated the impacts of possibly the three most limiting environmental conditions (heat, salt, ice cover) on multiple cultivars from individual turfgrass species. Our specific objectives were to:
- Obtain new, unbiased data about the performance of newer cultivars and under-studied species when grown in harsh conditions similar to those found on roadsides
- Provide knowledge that can be integrated into an educational plan we will be developing through a previously funded project
- Work with MnDOT to change turfgrass seed mixture recommendations based on our results
Our results will help save public agencies significant amounts of money on re-installations as well as reduce the environmental challenges associated with roadside vegetation failures. Using the right turfgrass species for a specific area will provide the best option for long-term success of roadside turfgrass installations.