Homeowners Seek Super Grasses That Combat Drought Conditions
These days, water woes are a hot topic when trying to maintain a lush green lawn or grassy area. While the Southeastern United States and other drought-stricken areas around the world attempt to balance the desire for healthy grass with necessary watering restrictions, turfgrass growers are cultivating innovative solutions to this issue. Recently featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, unique grass varieties like Platinum TE, grown by South Georgia farm Phillip Jennings Turf, are designed to require less water and fertilizers.
As water quality, quantity and conservation concerns continue to rise, growers like Phillip Jennings Turf are focused on providing eco-friendly, low-maintenance alternatives to grasses of the past. For example, some of the latest developments in paspalum turfgrass can even be irrigated with wastewater or water with high saline content. As these grasses continue to be in demand for golf courses around the world, they are now making their way into the residential market.
“When golf courses go to a certain type of grass, there’s a reason,” says Danny Ozburn, who recently installed Platinum TE on his ocean-side lawn at Fripp Island, South Carolina. “I live on a flood creek, where my yard fills with salt water once a month during high tide. This grass actually flourishes in these conditions and requires little fertilizer. All my neighbors stop to ask about my grass. After years of using lots of other varieties, I’d never use anything else.”
Phillip Jennings agrees. “The most advanced, water challenged golf courses and superintendents who want to provide the absolute best playing surface for their members are choosing Platinum TE,” he says. The newest paspalum variety, Platinum TE offers important maintenance benefits. With proper management, this turfgrass exhibits high salt tolerance and proven performance. Compared to typical warm weather options like St. Augustine and Bermuda, Platinum TE requires about 60 percent less water and about 50 percent less fertilizer. It also demonstrates excellent general foliar disease resistance. In addition to its ease of maintenance, Platinum TE features unprecedented aesthetics including a darker green color. It can be used all along the coastal areas of the southeastern United States and as far north as Virginia Beach and as far inland as Charlotte and Atlanta. It is ideal for use from the panhandle of Florida to California.
Phillip Jennings Turf also grows other drought-tolerant varieties including Sea Isle Supreme and Empire Zoysia. Another advanced paspalum variety, Sea Isle Supreme can tolerate most types of alternate water sources including wastewater, effluent gray water, brackish water and ocean/fresh water blends. Plus it requires less nitrogen and less water than other warm season cultivars.
Discovered in Brazil, Empire Zoysia has proven its ability to thrive in hot, humid conditions – unlike traditional Zoysia varieties. In fact, Empire has performed well in sandy and clay soil types. It also requires less maintenance and mowing than other grasses such as Fescue and Bermuda.
“We’re seeing a definite increase in demand for drought-tolerant grasses – not only in the golf course industry, but also for residential and municipal applications,” said Phillip Jennings. “Due to long-time water issues, the rest of the world has already been buying these grass varieties, which is now catching on in the United States.”
All of the company’s grass can be shipped anywhere in the world in a matter of days, rather than weeks. Its state-of-the-art International Production Facility allows freshly harvested grass to be cleaned, boxed and refrigerated within hours – ensuring customers receive their orders in the freshest condition possible.
Much of the research and development conducted by Phillip Jennings Turf is focused on addressing water conservation issues. In conjunction with leading universities, the in-house research and development team at Phillip Jennings Turf is pursuing ongoing testing for the creation of new generations of Zoysia and other grasses that show promise of becoming the leaders in drought tolerance. As climate challenges continue, the company is on the forefront of developing innovative turf solutions for today and into the future.
Founded in 1998, Phillip Jennings Turf has grown into Georgia’s largest producer of certified turfgrasses. With more than 3,000 acres of turf at its Soperton, Georgia farm, the company produces 13+ varieties of turfgrass. Domestically, Phillip Jennings Turf has established a reputation of providing quality products, on-time delivery and fair pricing. Its customers include golf courses, athletic fields, commercial landscape companies, commercial retail outlets and homeowners. Internationally, Phillip Jennings Turf leads the industry in sales of washed sprigs and sod. The company’s state-of-the-art washing and production facility cleans, boxes and refrigerates freshly harvested grass within hours. So customers receive their orders in the freshest conditions possible within days, not weeks. To find out more about Phillip Jennings Turf, go online to sodfather.com or call 877-887-3626.
Phillip Jennings Turf Farm
6311 GA HWY 86, Soperton, GA 30457 or
PO Box 680, Soperton, Georgia 30457
Phone: (877) TURFMAN or (877) 887-3626
Fax: (912) 529-3217