grass choice

extremez(4)July 30, 2013

I'm looking for opinions on which type of seed to use in my lawn project. It says my zone is 4 which i wouldn't say -30F has been seen here in some time. I've read where our avg winter temps hover around 0-+10F. Zip code is 12803.

Here's my situation. I don't have a sprinkler system and my roughly 12,000 sqft yard is full sun. My soil is sandy and I have a lot of quack grass and crabgrass in one area and mainly weeds in another. Earlier this Spring I had 10 yds of soil/compost mixture delivered and spread in my side yard and seeded with mainly perennial rye which has burnt in a couple spots but filled out with mainly quack grass. It took off great with lots of watering but in no time the QG and CG came in. My back yard was reseeded last fall and I tilled in 20 yds of the mixture. My front yard is the only halfway decent looking area and despite 2 applications of Scotts w/ CG preventer it still managed to pop up in various areas along with a few clumps of tall fescue that always pop up in summer.

My goal is to reseed at least a portion of my yard, leaning towards the back yard and concentrate on other areas next year. I'm not around during the day to move sprinklers around.

I was thinking about a low maintenance tall fescue if there is one. obviously I can water and get the seed going. I mow high at about 3-4" unless it's the areas where the weeds have already choked the grass out. I don't think i have the ability maintenance wise to have bluegrass.

Thoughts and opinions please.

Also should I RoundUp the areas where I'll be renovating or do I face the risk of that QG/CG coming back next year?

This post was edited by extremez on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 21:46

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MulchMama

Are you happy with a ryegrass lawn? Do you have trouble with it developing any diseases? I ask because some blends contain perennial ryegrass, but I've never heard of an entire lawn seeded with it.

As for the crabgrass and quackgrass, you should be aware that crabgrass is an annual, and that is easier to control. Quackgrass, the bane of my life when we lived in Chicago, is perennial. CG preventer won't do anything about it. If you have enough quackgrass, Roundup might be your best option because I doubt you want to pull it.

My recommendation would be to seed with a good blend of tall fescue. Any reputable independent nursery will carry their own blends that are optimized for your area. Stay away from the national brands. They try to be all things to all parts of the country and fail miserably. You could also get a mix of tall fescues and some bluegrass. I don't know how rye is viewed in upstate NY, but here in Kansas, our Extension really discourages it. People like it because it germinates very quickly, but that seems to be its best feature, at least in this area. Use your Extension service, too. It's a free and very valuable service. Yours would be Cornell, and it is outstanding. (see link.)

No matter what you seed with, you will be moving hoses this fall. The turf has to be established going in to winter, and then it will have to be coddled a bit next spring because it is still young. Forget about treating any weeds that come up in the new turf until the grass is well established.

If you are going to do a renovation with Roundup, kill it all off now. ASAP. Then cut it all very short. Scalp the area and rake it all up. Verticut, seed and use a starter fertilizer. (You can redistribute some of the dead grass/weeds as mulch over the seeded areas.) You will be able to put down the seed once everything is dead, about 2-3 weeks. So get started and good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Cooperative Extension

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Cancer

If you are keen on low maintenance tall fescue would be the ideal choice. It is so adapted to sunny areas and they are seriously tolerant to traffic and irregular mowing. A sprinkler system would have been nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: pop up sprinklers

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 11:51PM
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extremez(4)

Ok, following up on my renovation. I went to our local nursery. Picked up their TF blend which is approx 90% TF with 90-95% germination rate. It's harvested locally. The guy I talked to seemed pretty intelligent about the topic. I think he mentioned going for a degree in the field or having completed the degree. Anyway his instructions were to kill off the weeds and quackgrass, scalp the lawn and discard the clippings. When labor day hits drop the seed and toss a light layer of compost over it with a light layer of straw on top of that. WATER, WATER AND WATER. Then he said to put a high phosphorus 14-19-14 winter starter down 2 weeks in to give it a kickstart. Then in the Spring overseed.

That sound about right???

I have already hit the backyard with roundup twice and a product he suggested specifically for the quack. It's pretty dead. I've scalped it down as low as the mower can go and bagged as many clippings I can. Now I'm going to sit and wait till we get back from our cruise (which I'm sure I will sit and ponder about this project). That will be 1st weekend in Sept. Throw the seed, compost and straw and start crossing my fingers.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:31PM
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extremez(4)

Ok, following up on my renovation. I went to our local nursery. Picked up their TF blend which is approx 90% TF with 90-95% germination rate. It's harvested locally. The guy I talked to seemed pretty intelligent about the topic. I think he mentioned going for a degree in the field or having completed the degree. Anyway his instructions were to kill off the weeds and quackgrass, scalp the lawn and discard the clippings. When labor day hits drop the seed and toss a light layer of compost over it with a light layer of straw on top of that. WATER, WATER AND WATER. Then he said to put a high phosphorus 14-19-14 winter starter down 2 weeks in to give it a kickstart. Then in the Spring overseed.

That sound about right???

I have already hit the backyard with roundup twice and a product he suggested specifically for the quack. It's pretty dead. I've scalped it down as low as the mower can go and bagged as many clippings I can. Now I'm going to sit and wait till we get back from our cruise (which I'm sure I will sit and ponder about this project). That will be 1st weekend in Sept. Throw the seed, compost and straw and start crossing my fingers.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:47PM
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