A study conducted in England compared preferences of turfgrass color for lawns in the U.S. and Great Britain. The study concluded that British citizens preferred a lighter green and U.S. citizens preferred a darker color green. “The grass is always greener” never seemed more relevant as native turf-type grasses typically are lighter green in the U.S., particularly in Colorado, and darker green in Great Britain.
There is not one species of turfgrass that is the best for everyone. Each variety has specific growth habits which may or may not be useful for the end-user. For example, if a resident does not own a dog or have children playing in the yard, then perhaps they would not need a turfgrass that recovers quickly because minimal damage will be occurring due to heavy traffic on the lawn. Therefore, that resident may choose a native turf like blue grama or buffalo grass.
Kentucky bluegrass is currently the predominant turfgrass used in lawns in the Village. Benefits of Kentucky bluegrass are early and late “greening” because it is a cool-season species, dark green color, quick recovery from injury due to dogs digging or children playing, and relatively inexpensive sod. Kentucky Bluegrass is not the recommended turf for water efficiency. Alternatives to Kentucky Bluegrass, such as Bluegrass “Armadillo” described below, should be considered.
Using less water in the landscape does not necessarily directly relate to the type of plant material chosen. Proper soil preparation, irrigation application efficiency, and irrigation clock management will determine how much water is applied to the landscape.
A few turfgrass alternatives are detailed below.
Native species with a dark green color with moderate recovery period, low water and nutrient requirements.
(Photos provided by Poudre Valley Coop, Fort Collins, CO)
Hybrid Bluegrass ‘Armadillo’
‘Armadillo’ used the least amount of water while maintaining a high quality turf in the turf trials at the North Central Water Conservancy District in Berthoud the last two years.
(Photo provided by Poudre Valley Coop, Fort Collins, CO)