North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue, Dickinson, ND 58601-4642 Voice: (701) 483-2348 FAX: (701) 483-2005


Ronald C. Smith, NDSU Extension Horticulturist Department of Plant Sciences
Jerry Larson, Stark-Billings County Agent


Horticultural evaluations were undertaken starting in 1993 on turfgrass species and cultivars. A total of 16 plots, each replicated 3 times, were successfully established consisting of Kentucky bluegrasses, fine fescues, bentgrasses, red top, and tall fescue cultivars.

During the summer of 1994, turfgrass trials were expanded another 8 plots, again with triple replications consisting of different cultivars of the same species. These plots are still in the process of becoming established.

These trials were expanded in 1994 to include a planting of wildflowers, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental grasses. A large portion of the non-planted area was also sown with hairy vetch in early August to initiate efforts at sustainable production with annual crops of flowers and vegetables.

The value of these efforts will be multi-fold:

  1. They will allow the residents to witness the differences between grass species and cultivars under "standard normal care". This will provide them with choices from an aesthetic and input requirement standpoint.
  2. The vegetable and flower demonstrations go beyond cosmetics. They show what can be produced in the short summer months and what cannot. The rotations with hairy vetch will demonstrate that production can be sustained with a large reduction or possible elimination of chemical inputs.
  3. They will be used for in-service training, as part of the Annual Crops Field Day, Professional Improvement, and as a source of information and education for other agencies in the area.



Turfgrass materials used:

Seed - 1993 Planting

Seed - 1994 Planting

Vegetative Planting - 1994



Herbaceous Plantings:

Vegetable Trials:


Hairy Vetch:


Turfgrass Plantings:

Where the 1993 planting effort netted an excellent stand of grass, the 1994 undertaking resulted in a heavy infestation of weeds choking out the grass. Some chemical control was attempted using Confront and Trimec, but it appears as if a major reseeding will be needed in 1995 to get a decent stand. Trimec appeared to be more effective on dwarf mallow, while this same weed escaped any stand reduction with Confront. Purslane and redroot pigweed were wiped out by both herbicides. Because of the heavy weed infestation, a major reseeding will be undertaken in the spring of 1995. No evaluation of this planting was attempted.

We were able to evaluate the 1993 planting a couple of times and found the ranking as follows - from best to worst:

We feel that the ratings were good enough for the first five species to be considered for use as turfgrass. The others would be deemed unacceptable. In all fairness, Buffalograss typically establishes poorly from seed. Hence, the transplanting of plugs this summer which, as stated earlier, are doing quite well.

Herbaceous Plantings:

Vegetable Plantings:

Wildflower Plantings:

Hairy Vetch:

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