Smooth stalked meadow grass: the classic surface for sports pitches

Smooth stalked meadow grass has been the grass variety of preference for sports pitches for many years. The tough leaf blades and strong roots (rhizomes) create a very resilient turf that is difficult to damage. Over the years, the pressure placed on sports pitch use has continued to increase. For years, smooth stalked meadow grass Poa pratensis has ensured pitches of the highest quality, but it is no longer the only grass variety to offer that capability.

Timing and speed

If is not easy to time when to sow smooth stalked meadow grass on sports pitches, as it needs a lengthy establishment window. It is important to choose the ideal period to sow with the right weather conditions. Sowing is only possible when the playing season has stopped: from May to August inclusive.


As smooth stalked meadow grass is slow to establish, annual meadow grass has plenty of opportunity to grow instead. Once annual meadow grass has taken hold, it is difficult to eradicate and can quickly ruin the pitch.


To suppress annual meadow grass, a product is needed that establishes just as quickly and is equally as strong. One example is self-regenerating perennial ryegrass RPR.


Click here for more information on annual meadow grass


Overseeding with smooth stalked meadow grass

The purpose of overseeding is to stimulate faster recovery and regeneration of the turf. Using smooth stalked meadow grass obviously makes no sense. The majority of grass seed mixtures that contain smooth stalked meadow grass contain an equally large proportion of perennial ryegrass. If these mixtures are used for overseeding, only the perennial ryegrass will emerge. Smooth stalked meadow grass simply establishes too late, so the damage will already have been done. The huge advantage of smooth stalked meadow grass remains its strength, but this quality is also offered by RPR. However, RPR establishes much faster which makes it more suited for overseeding. 


Click here for more information on RPR

RPR - Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass

Winter hardiness

After winter, turf often more closely resembles a dry savannah than an attractive, green pitch. The advantage of smooth stalked meadow grass is that, once established, it can easily cope with the pressures of winter. If any damage to the turf does occur, using SOS is advisable. SOS germinates under very low soil temperatures and is extremely suitable as an overseeding mixture in winter.


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SOS - Super Over Seeding

Green Earth

Sustainability has become an integral part of society. Barenbrug's Green Earth quality label also aims to contribute to increasing sustainability. For example, there are specially bred smooth stalked meadow grass varieties that perform extremely well in terms of sustainability. This includes aspects such as reduced water use, reduced fertiliser use and a lower mowing frequency. Mixtures of these varieties (including Water Saver) have been assigned a special Green Earth quality label. This label clearly indicates which varieties a mixture contains that reduce maintenance requirements and increase sustainability. 


Click here for more information on sustainable use of smooth stalked meadow grasses or Green Earth.


When to use smooth stalked meadow grass 

If time and money are no object, then smooth stalked meadow grass is an excellent choice. These products guarantee an exceedingly strong turf. If speed is of the essence and overseeding is necessary, then RPR is the best option. RPR offers the same strength but establishes and grows faster. In winter, SOS is the only mixture suitable for overseeding as it establishes at low soil temperatures.

Want to know more about poa pratensis?

Click here for more technical and general information on smooth stalked meadow grass

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