A great number of tall fescue and bluegrass cultivars have been tested in North Carolina which provide excellent performance based on cultivar trials. Previous recommended Tall Fescue and Kentucky bluegrass Cultivar lists contain many great cultivars that still should perform well in NC. Many of these cultivars are still being sold in seed blends and would be expected to perform very well in NC assuming they are properly established and maintained. The lists are long, making it easier for users to find good-performing tall fescue and bluegrass cultivar across the state.
While Kentucky bluegrass cultivars do not enjoy the same level of success in North Carolina as they do further north, there are still some great cultivars that can be managed as a nice turf either as a monostand or planted as a mixture with tall fescue cultivars. Also, Kentucky bluegrasses generally perform better in western NC than they do on the piedmont.
The approach for developing this list was to highlight the best performing cultivars tested in Raleigh the last several years in NTEP, A-LIST, regional, and sponsored trials.
None of the tall fescue cultivars in our tests have been completely resistant to brown patch (Rhizoctonia spp.). Using appropriate management practices remains the primary means of reducing injury from this disease. Kentucky 31 (K-31), is a coarse bladed, upright tall fescue that usually produces lower density and the lowest quality ratings in the NC field trials. Using appropriate management practices remains the primary means of reducing injury from this disease. Generally Kentucky bluegrass cultivars are susceptible to summer patch when grown in Raleigh, which is difficult to manage in central NC most years without the use of fungicides.
Keep in mind that companies often blend multiple cultivars together for sale in the retail market but use a simple Name Brand to enhance brand recognition. The combination of grasses is often recommended since there is no one grass that will perform well under all conditions. So when shopping for tall fescue seed, the name on the front of the bag may not represent or identify the cultivars that make up the product. To add to the confusion, the cultivars and/or the percentage of each cultivar within the bag of a Name Brand may change from year to year but the Name Brand often remains unchanged. Again, this is done for brand recognition. Under close inspection, however, the bags are required to list the cultivar(s) and the percentage of each cultivar by weight within the bag. Customers often ask about matching our recommended cultivars to those listed on the bag seed label. Unfortunately, it may not be easy to find a bag that contains only cultivars from our recommended lists. It is suggested, however, that at least 50% of the contents consist of high-performing cultivars. The higher the percentage, the greater the chances of obtaining/maintaining a quality turf.
|4th Millennium SRP||Firecracker SLS||Paramount||Technique|
|Amity||Firenza II||Rain Dance||Temple|
|Black Tail||Gallardo||Raptor III||Terrano|
|Caesar||Grande 3||Rhambler 2 SRP||Titan Max|
|Capitan||GTO||Rhizing Moon||Titanium 2LS|
|Coronado TDH||Hot Rod||Rowdy||Traverse 2 SRP|
|Diablo||Leonardo||Screamer LS||Valkyrie LS|
|Faith||Met-1||Sungold RST JS||Wichita|
|After Midnight||Blue Magic||Keeneland||Nurush|
|Blue Gem||Harvest Moon||NuChicago|
Publication date: Sept. 1, 2022
N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.