Firecracker LS after 2 weeks.

tiemcoSeptember 20, 2009

I planted a 65 square ft. patch of only Firecracker LS. It came up in 6 days, and at two weeks it was between 2 and 2.5 inches. It is tillering vigorously, and will probably be ready for its first mowing at 3 weeks. It is the most impressive TTTF I have planted to date. Here's a pic.

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Fine looking progress!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 7:20AM
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Looks great, tiemco. Do you have a bigger area you seeded or is that the 65 sf? What was your seeding rate? This is one of the fescue I'm considering for my dormant seeding. I actually thought about mixing in some KBG but if this stuff grows that quick I'm not sure the KBG would survive the mowings at 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Thanks. I did a partial renovation/overseed of the whole front yard using 40% Firecracker LS, 30% Faith TF, 30% Cochise IV TF. That small patch I felt like doing all Firecracker LS to keep it pure so I could witness its spreading ability. Firecracker's rate is 6-9 lbs./1000 sq.ft. I used about 11 oz. for that patch, which is at the high end of the seeding rate. The rest of the yard is about a week and a half behind the Firecracker patch. I will post some pics soon of the front yard.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:25PM
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Would you recommend a single cultivar overseed on a larger scale? I probably have a good half acre that I need to thicken up and want to try Firecracker LS for some or all of the mix.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 5:00PM
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That's a good question. I am probably not the guy to answer it, as I am not a turf professional. You might want to consult with your extension office or nearest university turfgrass program, but here are a few of my random thoughts. Planting a monostand, in my opinion, is not as risky as people make it out to be. Let's say you want to plant the most brown patch (Warm temp.) resistant cultivars. So you check the ongoing NTEP, and pick the highest rated cultivar, Rhambler SRP, which rates a mean of 7.6. So the top rated cultivar for warm temp. brown patch still gets the disease, and remember that value is a mean, so you should probably look at the rating in your region, which can be lower than the mean in many instances. Now granted you are less likely to get it than the lowest rated cultivar, but it is no guarantee you won't get brown patch. So you decide to make a mix of the top three in that category, but will that improve the chances you don't get it any more than a monostand of Rhambler? Probably not, and how much of a difference is 7.6 from 6.7, where Firecracker ends up? When I made up my mix I based it mainly on turf quality and leaf texture ratings. Sure I checked the other categories, but I figure I can get any fungal disease with any cultivar, and as long as it is relatively close to the top, then I should be fine. Also I don't have traffic issues, saline issues, drought issues, etc. and I would rather grow what I want to, and do so with the best turf cultivation practices, than planting varieties that score highest in disease resistance, drought tolerance, ability to handle traffic, etc. Let's face it, most people want a lawn with consistent color, texture and growth rate. I know I do, so a mix is pretty much counter to that ideal unless it contains cultivars that are very close in those aspects. I was considering doing an all Firecracker seeding, but figured some genetic diversity would be a good thing, but again appearance was my primary concern. You are going to need a lot of seed, probably a little over 100 lbs. for an overseed, so you will be able to use a 50 lb. bag of Firecracker LS, plus about 60 lbs. of whatever else you want. However, since it is an overseed, then in a sense it is a mix as the existing grass is different than Firecracker.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 11:23PM
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Very good point, tiemco...thanks for taking the time. Please keep us updated on the Firecracker!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 8:48AM
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So here are a few more pics of the Firecracker LS monostand. It was mowed on 9/24, down to about 2 inches. This picture was taken yesterday, 9/29. You can still see some of the mower tracks. I had 2 or 3 small areas of pythium due to two very warm humid nights. I cut them out with scissors as soon as I saw the mycellium on the blades, which seemed to stop it's progress. In a way it's good that I have a few bare areas now so I can see if I get any spreading later on.

Here's the triangle on 9/29:

Two close ups:

So it's about a month old, looking very nice and thickening up a bit, but the blades are still pretty fine.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 12:26PM
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Hey Tiemco,

Just curious, how's the Firecracker holding up? I just seeded a blend of Spyder LS, Firecracker LS, and Titanium LS today. Yeah, I know, I'll have to do it again in Autumn. I can't deal with looking at the bare patch any longer and I've been working on clearing it/amending since January. Impatience has taken hold for sure - plus a bit of spring fever! I did a spring seeding on the other side of my driveway last year and it worked out really well, so crossing my fingers this side will do the same. Was a different blend on the other side and don't remember the cultivars except Titanium was in it. Is it as drought resistant, fine, and green as they claim?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 6:55PM
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The Firecracker LS triangle is doing very well. It has a nice dark green color and a fine texture from spring to fall. If you get a void the blades will thicken and laterally spread (hence the LS) to cover the bare area. I have seen some slight spreading, but nothing out of the ordinary for tall fescue. I can't comment on its drought tolerance. Since it's such a small area surrounded by pavement it tends to get a little crispy in the summer if it isn't watered regularly. In the mixed lawn it blends in very well with the other cultivars I selected and the lawn is still very thick without any overseeding.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Again, I know I'll be up against a reseed in autumn, but I'm cool with that. Your reno inspired me :D

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:59PM
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