DLF’s continued focus on breeding environmentally responsible varieties has seen the introduction of a number of exceptional cultivars, helping facilities and turf managers achieve their own objectives for more sustainable management.
In trials for the Chewings Fescue category, DLF’s Orionette demonstrated a high-quality sward that is more drought tolerant and resistant to disease, reducing the reliance on inputs.
It is therefore no surprise to see its inclusion in a number of top-performing DLF golf mixtures and find it ranked as number one in the 2023 BSPB Seed Guide!
Chewings Fescue grass (Festuca rubra commutata) is a popular cool-season grass, valued for its fine texture, early growth habit, attractive green colour and ability to thrive in a range of soil conditions. Its upright growth results in dense tufts without rhizomes, so it doesn’t spread like it’s Slender or Strong Creeping cousins. Over the years, Chewings Fescue has been extensively bred and developed to offer a hardier and even more adaptable turf, tolerant of close mowing and typically blended with other fescues to create a golf mixture with exceptional ball roll and playability.
In recent years, breeding efforts – including those by DLF – have focussed on developing Chewings Fescue cultivars that require less water and fertiliser and be naturally more resistant to pests and disease, reducing the need for chemical inputs and therefore improving environmental sustainability. Orionette is the result of more than 15 years of research and development, created by combining plants of the very best germplasm available in DLF breeding. Extensive screening across DLF’s European trials network followed, including for drought tolerance in France, winter tolerance in the Czech Republic as well as green trials conducted in Denmark.
The results showed superior performance in all aspects and thanks to its high tiller density, Orionette is more tolerant to winter diseases such as Red Thread and highly resilient to wear and tear.
It’s ability to perform under a lower Nitrogen-input programme is another reason why Orionette excels in a number of popular Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures for fine turf – both as a drought-tolerant fairway cultivar in J Premier Fairway or in a disease and weed resistant capacity in a greens mix such as J Fescue and J Green. J Premier Fairway is a high-performance blend of seven fescue cultivars for the sustainable management of non-rye tees and fairways. Orionette makes up 15% of both J Fescue and J Green, requiring less water and fertiliser and contributing to fast and sustainable surfaces.
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