MG Practice Site
University of California
MG Practice Site

Turf Demonstration Project

This turf demonstration project compares performance of turf grass species under different irrigation amounts, and evaluates the suitability of California native grass species as turf. Low water-use turf can be an important component in a River-Friendly Landscape*. It can save water, energy and money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Please refer to the diagram below for number codes.  At this site, nine plots (see #1-3) are being used for comparison—three species/blends, each watered at a different rate. For more information visit the Irrigation Trial link at the left.  Grasses used in the trial include:

  • Tall Fescue/Bluegrass blend
  • 'UC Verde' Buffalo Grass
  • Sedge (2 varieties)

Also included at the demonstration site are 3 split plots of California native grass species (#4-6) that have promise as low water-using lawns. Read details about the grasses used at the Native Grass Turf link at the left.

The meadow in the middle (#7-12) was included to show how these and other species perform when left unmowed.  See the Native Grass Meadow link.

This project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is administered by the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources. The turf demonstration was established in September, 2010, and the term of the grant runs through summer, 2012.

The site was developed and is maintained by the Sacramento County University of California Cooperative Extension in collaboration with the Southgate Recreation & Park District and University of California Master Gardeners.

At the field site, individual labels have been placed by each species, so anyone can view the species and track the progress of the project.

*River-Friendly landscaping is a holistic approach to sustainable design and maintenance of urban landscapes. For more information, visit


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