Newly introduced salt-tolerant grass mixtures show great promise on our roadsides. However, their benefits will not be realized if sod and seed installations fail due to being installed incorrectly as has recently been the case. Failures can occur for many reasons, such as improper pre- and post-installation watering, poor soil preparation, seasonal weather influence, poor rooting of fine fescue grasses cut for sod, and lack of nutrients, but we have found the primary cause is due to inadequate/improper watering after installation. For this project, we are addressing this issue with the following objectives:
- Investigate alternative means of irrigating new installations of salt tolerant seed and sod mixtures
- Evaluate these new irrigation methods (PDF) in comparison to current practices
- Develop an online voluntary training and education program for installers of roadside turf
- Develop online maintenance training for homeowners that receive new salt-tolerant grass installations
This project will benefit MnDOT and the contractors that establish roadside turfgrasses by identifying a more economical and effective means of irrigating salt-tolerant seed and sod. Proven successful installation techniques will also encourage the adoption of these promising grass mixtures.