OSU’s new Tahoma 31 bermudagrass licensed by Sod Production Services
Oklahoma State University has named Sod Production Services the master licensing and marketing agent for Tahoma 31 bermudagrass, one of the most winter-hardy hybrid bermudagrasses on the market today. The word ‘Tahoma’ is a Native American word that means ‘frozen water,’ which perfectly describes Tahoma 31’s key characteristic; its ability to withstand cold temperatures. A new website, Tahoma31Bermudagrass.com, offers research, resources, videos, and information about the grass.
Tahoma 31 was developed by leading turfgrass researchers at Oklahoma State University in response to a growing need for a cold tolerant and drought resistant bermudagrass variety. Through nationwide testing in the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, (NTEP), Tahoma 31 bermudagrass (varietal name OKC 1131) excelled in key metrics compared to other bermudagrasses including Tifway, TifTuf and Latitude 36.
“We are releasing one of the most cold-tolerant varieties ever developed,” said Chad Adcock, VP of Business Development at Sod Production Services. “It’s a super grass where reduced water usage is desired and it’s very tolerant of wear and traffic as well.”
This past winter the Mid-Atlantic states and Transition Zone experienced some of the coldest temperatures in years, which caused record-setting losses of bermudagrass on sports fields. This set the stage for Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass to make a grand entrance.
One of the biggest problems among cold-tolerant grasses is winter damage compounded by traffic and wear that occurs in the fall. After a season of intense play, lesser bermudagrass varieties wear out and lose their protective canopy, making it more susceptible to winterkill. But not Tahoma 31.
“Tahoma 31 bermudagrass is unique because it has a dense canopy that wears well under increased play,” said Adcock. “That canopy prevents the wear problem other cold tolerant grasses experience and helps insulate and protect the grass during the winter. It also has an exceptional ability to tolerate more hours below freezing which together make it far superior to anything I’ve seen.”
Tahoma 31 bermudagrass displayed its winter survivability during NTEP trials in West Lafayette, IN. When other bermudagrasses had almost 100% winterkill, Tahoma 31 had only 4%. Tahoma 31’s early spring green-up reflects its winter hardiness. It also comes out of dormancy earlier and turns green faster than other bermudagrasses tested.
Tahoma 31 is highly adaptable to different soils, including soils with high salt concentrations and areas where drought and water use are an issue. For sports fields, golf courses and lawns in regions that experience harsh winter conditions, this highly dense, fine textured dark green grass outperforms bermudagrasses on the market.