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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.

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