What kind of grass seed to use

avalleyNovember 4, 2009

I am looking to do my lawn over next Spring. It has some Bermuda, KBG and unknowns. I hate the Bermuda! It has damgaged my driveway by spreading under the pavement. My front yard is shady, but the back and side receive sun. I like the look of KBG with it being thick dark green. I live in Roanoke, Va. and would appreciate your advice.

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Seems like no one wants to field this one, so I will take a stab at it. If you want to plant a cool season grass like KBG, TTTF or PR, then I would advise you to plant it in the late summer/early fall. You can plant in the spring, but spring seeded grass usually doesn't do as well as late summer/early fall seeded turf. Next year your primary mission starting in the spring is to get the soil ready for the planting. Get some soil tests done to see what your soil needs, and what its pH is. Then you will have plenty of time to add nutrients and lower or raise your pH as necessary. Also, you need to get rid of that Bermuda, and to do so will require multiple applications of Round-up, probably starting in early July. Then some core aeration, and compost addition will be beneficial for a new lawn. In terms of what to plant, that is something you need to decide. Your front yard is shady, mine is too, so I went with TTTF. For full sun you can plant what you want, keeping in mind that KBG needs a little more fertilizer and water than TTTF or PR in general, but not too much more. KBG is probably the best choice for a thick, lush, dark lawn, and it repairs itself, but if you don't have enough sun then it won't look its best, or perform like it should. TTTF has come a long way in the past two decades. Some of the newer cultivars have some spreading ability, but certainly not like KBG. I planted a spreading variety in late summer, and it looks great, but I will have to wait till next year to see if it spreads. Also the newer varieties are fine and dark, and they tolerate a lot more shade than KBG. PR can look really nice, and it tolerates lower mowing if you like that look. It requires full sun and doesn't spread, so it will need overseeding every few years. There is a guy on this board who grows some beautiful PR, cuts it pretty short too, it looks like a golf course. He also spends a lot of time on it and some pretty advanced chemicals. Here's the link to take a look at his lawn.


Keep in mind that your lawn will look only as good as the time you put into it. Once you decide what type of grass(es) you are going to use, then you need to pick the culitvars. You should select them based primarily on how well they do in your area. Most people look at the NTEP studies to determine which turfgrass will do the best where they live. It is all online at www.ntep.org . You have plenty of time to do some research before you plant next year to figure out what you want to do, plus there are a lot of helpful people on this board that can give some great advice.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 2:40PM
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I really appreciate your time and advice. I'll start the Bermuda killing next july. So if I need to lower or raise the ph, depending on the soil sample, do I start adding the lyme, etc. in the Spring before I start killing the Bermuda?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Yes, you should do that as early as possible. pH adjustment is not the easiest thing in the world to do, and you don't want to add a ton of lime/sulphur all at once if your soil is very low/high. It's better to space it out over a few months. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get your soil test done now so you will have some idea of what you need to do next year. Don't worry about the Bermuda, you will be killing it off starting in July, and it will have little affect on the admendments you make in the spring.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 10:09AM
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