New Lawn (mix seed)

ssgumby(6)January 3, 2012

I am building a new home, I want to begin putting in some of my lawn in the early spring. Most likely I will start in mid-march. My plan is to hydro seed. I have access to the equipment and have used it for test runs. I will have an irrigation installed prior to this so keeping it damp won't be a problem.

First, the lawn is going where it once was dense brush. The brush is cleared, it is now just all weeds. Should I spray roundup, wait, spray again, wait?

Second is my choice of seed. Everyone here in MD seems to use tall fescue. I like TF, but I dislike the spottiness of it. How would it look if I mixed KBG with TF? I would go all KBG but the cost is significantly more. I like KBG because of its ability to fill in bare spots.

Thanks for any insight.

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Round-up, and most weed killers, work best when weeds are actively growing. This late in the season, round up probably won't have any real affect on most weeds as they are dormant or very slowly growing. In spring you should use it when they are actively growing before seeding. You will probably get a good amount of new weeds due to seeds in the soil waiting for the spring/summer. If you want to reduce these new weeds you can use Tenacity preemergently, and you can also use Tupersan to limit crabgrass. Both products won't affect turf seed.

TF and KBG are often used together to create a nice lawn with the benefits of both grasses. If you decide to go that route you should pick a KBG cultivar that does well in your area, and one that isn't extremely dark blue green (like Midnight) as it might give your lawn a mottled look.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 2:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I always like to warn people who seed in the spring that crabgrass also likes to germinate in the spring. That's why tiemco suggested the preemergents along with the seed. If you get crabgrass this season, don't be overly surprised or disheartened. You can deal with it in the fall.

Another issue with spring seeded grass is the roots don't have much time to mature between seeding and the heat of summer. Keep an eye on the turf for heat stress and definitely do not plan any chemical fertilizers after the summer heat sets in.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Billl(z7 nc)

Lots of people mix KBG and TF, so that isn't really an issue at all.

However, most people in your region are using TTTF for a reason. It has a more robust root system and tends to stand up better to heat and drought. You might want to run some quick calculations and find out how much it is going to cost to run that sprinkler system at a level that will keep your KBG looking good. If you have a large lot, the cost could add up quickly.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:43PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Before you use Roundup (or other synthetic weed killer like 2,4-D), you might want to read this disturbing article:

Maybe he could substitue the lower maintenance Creeping Red Fescue for the higher maintenance Kentucky Bluegrass?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Thanks for all the info.

As for seeding in the spring, I have to due to new construction. Dept of the Environment won't let me keep it the way it is. I suspect it would be ok because it would just fill in with all weeds, but they require me to seed and mulch. Rather than doing it with something cheap and temporary I wanted to try to put something decent in. Also, I don't plan on moving in until August and want to have something down when we get there. I understand I will get some weeds and lose some, I will most definitely overseed in the fall. I overseed every fall now at my current house.

I do already have the cost for the sprinkler system. I have one in my current house, they are the same company putting it in my new house and they gave me the bid for full coverage.

I will have to take a look at creeping red fescue.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:56AM
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rosemallow(z7 Md)

Since you live in Maryland I would suggest seeds like Black Beauty or Rebel.
Yes your best time for seeding is in the fall. The reason is that you would have had no weed seed competition.
Creeping red fescue is good for the shade. In Maryland Shady Nook is a good product.
If you seed in the Spring then go to HD or Lowes and get the Pennkote with the coating.
Remember you cannot use any pre emergence weed preventives until 2013.
In the fall for the over seeding I would personally use Black Beauty.
Hopefully, you will core aerate before you install the sprinkler system.
And since you are getting a new house why don't you just sod the area with black beauty and do it right from the start?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 3:30AM
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Here is a link to the NTEP (National Turf Trials Evaluation Program). You can look at data on cultivars that do well in your location and conditions. College Park, MD is one of the test sites. Most of these cultivars are available through mail order.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 6:48PM
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