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With persistent drought and continuous efforts to reduce water consumption conversion to water-efficient and drought tolerant plants is being encouraged in California in recent years. Warm-season turfgrasses use at least 20% less water than commonly used cool-season species in southern California. There are however some disadvantages of using warm-season grasses, with winter dormancy and poor performance in shade being among the most important ones.
This seminar will address the advantages and disadvantages of the major warm-season species and cultivars, but will also give an insight into the goals, new directions and recent progress in breeding warm-season grasses for southern California.
Participants will learn how and why warm-season grasses can be beneficial in southern California landscapes and what to look for when selecting species and cultivars to meet their needs in coastal and inland areas.
1. Differentiate between warm- and cool-season turfgrasses, especially related to water use requirements.
2. Understand the biology and cultural maintenance requirements of the major warm-season turfgrass species/cultivars adapted for California.
3. Understand the latest warm-season turfgrass breeding efforts.
University of California, Riverside
Marta Pudzianowska, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral scholar in turfgrass breeding at University of California, Riverside. She earned her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW. Marta's goal is to improve bermudagrass, kikuyugrass and zoysiagrass for winter color retention and drought tolerance and eventually develop warm-season turfgrass cultivar that could help California save water and be an alternative for cool-season grasses even during winter.