Genetic change for the improvement of cool season grass is happening quickly. Grass varieties today are completely different than varieties even just 10 years ago. The biggest changes have been with:
Aggressive growth for fill in from seed and recovery from heavy play
Stronger, deeper roots for more stability and requiring less irrigation
Disease resistance to reduce/ eliminate fungicide use
Traffic tolerance for seedlings to withstand immediate play after germination
These genetic improvements have completely changed what is possible for natural grass surfaces. Sod is no longer the only option when it comes to building or repairing a high use natural grass field, saving money and reducing overall inputs.
Warm Season Grass
Warm season turfgrass genetics are also improving quickly, moving warm season grasses north of the I-70 corridor for the first time ever. Evolution in warm season has focused on:
Cold tolerance for the grass to survive cold winters of the north
Reduced light requirements for max photosynthesis to allow grass to green up earlier and sustain growth into late fall
Finer textured leaves and runners to create a more desiriable playing surface
Salt tolerance to allow recycled/ reclaimed water to be utilized for irrigation
Warm season grasses now range widely in species and variety. All genetic improvements lead to stronger growth and new possibilies for high use natural grass surface.