TifTuf™ – A New Couch for the domestic lawn

Ever wondered why the grass at sporting events around the country look so perfect on television and you can’t get close with your own lawn? The answer is usually Bermudagrass, which is the American term for what we refer to as a Couch (pronounced Cooch) grass. Unfortunately, most commercial sporting facilities use hybrid species that are usually either not available for the domestic lawn, or are priced out of the market. 

In spring 2017 a new exciting species of Bermudagrass called TifTuf™ which has had nearly twenty-five years of testing and development finally hit the Australian domestic lawn market. And as a sports turf, it shows all the hallmark characteristics you would expect including superior drought tolerance, shade tolerance, wear tolerance and great winter colour all while maintaining excellent turf quality.

TifTuf has a very fine leaf blade with dense growth, making it ideal for a wide variety of applications. Its density enables it to handle high wear situations like backyards and sports fields whilst its fine blade ensures shade tolerance and a very soft leaf to walk on. TifTuf Bermuda has been scientifically forged to produce a great looking all round lawn with superior qualities whilst requiring minimal inputs.

Why Choose TufTuf Bermuda?

  • Hand selected from over 30,000 different varieties of turf grass
  • Has had almost 25 years of research conducted on it by the worlds leading turf grass scientists
  • Superior drought tolerance requiring on average 38% less water than other varieties
  • Fantastic winter colour and spring green up qualities
  • Self repairing
  • Reasonable shade Tolerance
  • Comes with a 10 Year Product Warranty

The Science Behind TifTuf

TIFTUF™ was bred as one of 27,700 experimental bermudagrass genotypes. In 1999, ninety of the most promising genotypes were planted under a rainout shelter and evaluated through 2001 under deficit irrigation. Under this drought stress, TIFTUF™ (tested as experimental name DT-1) maintained its quality and green colour the longest.

Prior to its release, TIFTUF™ had been further tested in 19 drought-stress trials, 2 sports field wear tolerance trials, utilizing the Cady traffic simulator, and 4 irrigated, non-stress trials at The University of Georgia, The University of Florida, North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University as part of the Federal Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant. It has now been determined that TIFTUF™ will become the University research standard by which all drought tolerance will be determined. For more detailed research information please read the full research available here. 

Update March 2021

Now Tiftuf has been on the market for close to 4-years we have been able to gather first hand experiences from real users from around the country. The population is split, while most users experience great results and are extremely satisfied with their lawns, there are some out there dismayed by the performance. Most issues arise from the speed at which Tiftuf can grow, particularly under ideal conditions where there is ample water (rain) and food. Keeping up with the growth can be a hard task that many are simply not up to.  In the growing season, Tiftuf may need cutting up to three times a week in order to stay ahead and avoid taking too much off the top. Remember, you only want to remove up to a 1/3rd of the total length. Failing to do this can cause damage by scalping and removing the green top layer exposing the thatch. The maximum length Tiftuf should be maintained at is 40mm and it response much better to short cuts.

A build up a thatch (a build of dead grass leaves, stolons and rhizomes in your lawn which leaves your lawn looking unsightly after it is mown) is another problem, often perpetuated by your maintenance regime. Regular mowing with a catcher goes a long way and a yearly renovation (de-thatch, aerate and top dress) will keep it in good shape.

Tiftuf has proven to be a favourite within the turf community because of its speed of growth, response to inputs and fast recovery.

Lastly, Tiftuf is susceptible to the same requirements and pests, weeds and fungus that threatens all other species. While it is a premium turf, it still needs water and fertiliser and it can still fall victim to the dreaded lawn grab or fungus outbreak. And while it is certainly a better performer in the shade than standard couch grasses, it still requires over 4-hours of sunlight each day.

14 Comments

  1. Joe March 2, 2018 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    I was one of the first customers in Australia to get tiff tuff. It looked amazing when it was first laid.

    I am however finding that it is thinning in places. I also found that you have to mow it higher and higher each time. I’m now on my highest setting on the mower, and now it leaves dead patches as you mow. (I can’t tell you enough, if you mow it short by accident, you literally kill it) even just one notch down too short.

    The grass really struggles to recover if it’s cut too short. Yet I’m at full height now and can’t go higher. I’m loosing faith. I think even the people selling this grass have fallen trap to some cleaver marketing by the American sellers.

    The shade section of my lawn is now down to about 10-30% coverage. It looks like it’s a hybrid, and one part of it dies off, leaving a few green shoots.

    It does stay greener then the rest of the lawns in the neighbourhood. But it’s far from perfect.

    I’m not so sure qld sun and UV is the same as the conditions where they studied it.

    • CLSOnline March 5, 2018 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Hi Joe, did you purchase the turf though us? If so, I would like to organise a representative from the farm to visit you and help you diagnose the problem and get your lawn healthy. If not, I would recommend contacting your supplier and requesting the same service. It should be performing much better than this! – James

      • Aaron February 19, 2019 at 11:08 am - Reply

        Hi James,

        I’m experiencing a similar problem to Joe. My lawn is extremely patchy and thin. I purchased the lawn from CLS. Can you please put me in contact with your supplier so that I can get some advice and treat the problem before it gets any worse. ~Aaron

    • Jake March 13, 2018 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Joe,

      I’m finding the same thing. Lots of brown at the base of my leaves. Have you received any advice?

  2. CLSOnline March 14, 2018 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Jake, my recommendation for you is the same as Joe. Get in contact with your Lawn Solutions Supplier and get some advice. I have spent some time myself looking at our large sample area and I can understand the results you may have. My perception of the product so far is it is a quick grower, particularly with the weather SEQ, has had as of late. Hot and wet!

    If mowing is left too long, you encourage tall growth and scalping will occur. To prevent this you then lift your mower and exacerbate the problem. It is happening in our turf display as we don’t have the manpower to mow it weekly. After Easter, we intend on scalping right back, top dressing, fertilising and resetting the height. I will be more than happy to come back to you with the results. ~James

  3. Nathan August 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Hi
    I also have tiff tuff. Laid early march this year in newcastle, nsw. I can appreciate those experiences outlined above, however would like to provide some recommendations which may help. Firstly i will add that i am so impressed with this variety. It requires a fraction of the water and fertiliser requirements over other turf varieties. Intense heat never seemed to bother it. Conversely, it has maintained excellent color over winter. Some shade sections have thinned, but the soil is cooler and days much shorter. I find i am not a slave to this variety of turf with care and maintenance.
    In regards to the scalping issues others have had, i have also experienced. This variety needs to have a more regular mowing routine. To avoid scalping issue and for it to look its best, during the growing season i would mow a minimum of 2 times per week, but would aim for 3 times per week. For me, with 170 sqm, its a quick 10-15 min job (save edging for weekends). This gives it the best look, keeps it low, and reduces thatch.
    Hope this helps.

    • Simon August 30, 2018 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      I assume this variety would like mowing low and often with a cylinder mower

      • CLSOnline October 16, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

        Correct, loves a low mow and is a quick grower when fed well.

    • Will Johns December 3, 2020 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Nathan. Just wondering if at any time your tif tuf grew too high – say 60mm – before you started your frequent mowing regime?

      I’ve let mine grow too long i think and am now trying to patiently mow it lower bit by bit but am worried about scalping and it dying back

  4. John April 2, 2020 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I agree with every one of the negative comments. This is the worst grass I have ever laid (and the most expensive)

  5. Brett Morris October 2, 2020 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    You need to dethatch/scarify the lawn.

  6. brett Evans February 7, 2021 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Have been fighting with my grass for 2 years. If you accidently cut any section too low, it dies and dosent xome back. I have a lot of healthy areas too. Very inconsistent and high maintenance despite what has been proven unfortunaley.these comments have prompted me to go back to the aupplier.

  7. Jeremy March 4, 2021 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    I’ve had the same issue with this grass as above , it looks amazing and green but after I mow it is the only brown lawn in the street. We’ve had a fair amount of rain plus I water regularly so moisture is not the issue. Very dissatisfied and will not be recommending to anyone. Purchased through CLS

    • CLSOnline March 4, 2021 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Jeremy, I would suggest you need to increase your mowing frequency. It sounds like it is getting too long in between mowing and you are essentially scalping it or exposing the thatch layer.

      Next spring, I would recommend scalping it right back (lowest setting on your mower), top dress with a clean sand and stay on top of it.

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