Lawns provide green infrastructure and ecosystem services for anthropized areas. They have a strong impact on the environment in terms of inputs (water and fertilizers) and maintenance. The use of warm-season grasses, such as Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., provides a cost-effective and sustainable lawn in the dry summers of the Mediterranean. In winter, Bermudagrass is dormant and brown, which instead of being a problem could be an opportunity for biodiversity through the coexistence of flowering species. This study assesses the possibility of growing autumn-to-spring-flowering bulbs and forbs with Bermudagrass, to provide ecosystem services in urban areas. Eight geophytes and 18 forbs were incorporated into a mature turf of hybrid Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis cv. “Tifway”. At the same time, a commercial flowering mix was sown in the same conditions. Two different soil preparations, scalping and turf flaming, and two different nitrogen doses, 50 and 150 kg ha−1, were carried out before sowing and transplanting. The flowering plants were counted. All the bulbs and six of the 18 forbs were able to grow and flower in the first and second years. The commercial mix was in full bloom from April until the cutting time for the hybrid Bermudagrass, at the end of May. Adding the flowering species did not affect the healthy growth of the warm-season grass. The fertilization dose had no effect, while turf flaming led to a wider spread of Bellis perennis L. and Crocus spp. Several flower-visiting insects were observed in the spring.

A multifunctional alternative lawn where warm-season grass and cold-season flowers coexist

Gaetani M.;Grossi N.;Magni S.;Caturegli L.;Volterrani M.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Lawns provide green infrastructure and ecosystem services for anthropized areas. They have a strong impact on the environment in terms of inputs (water and fertilizers) and maintenance. The use of warm-season grasses, such as Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., provides a cost-effective and sustainable lawn in the dry summers of the Mediterranean. In winter, Bermudagrass is dormant and brown, which instead of being a problem could be an opportunity for biodiversity through the coexistence of flowering species. This study assesses the possibility of growing autumn-to-spring-flowering bulbs and forbs with Bermudagrass, to provide ecosystem services in urban areas. Eight geophytes and 18 forbs were incorporated into a mature turf of hybrid Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis cv. “Tifway”. At the same time, a commercial flowering mix was sown in the same conditions. Two different soil preparations, scalping and turf flaming, and two different nitrogen doses, 50 and 150 kg ha−1, were carried out before sowing and transplanting. The flowering plants were counted. All the bulbs and six of the 18 forbs were able to grow and flower in the first and second years. The commercial mix was in full bloom from April until the cutting time for the hybrid Bermudagrass, at the end of May. Adding the flowering species did not affect the healthy growth of the warm-season grass. The fertilization dose had no effect, while turf flaming led to a wider spread of Bellis perennis L. and Crocus spp. Several flower-visiting insects were observed in the spring.
2020
Bretzel, F.; Gaetani, M.; Vannucchi, F.; Caudai, C.; Grossi, N.; Magni, S.; Caturegli, L.; Volterrani, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1055579
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