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Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

Posted by KSOhio none (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 23:35

Hi, we are in north west Ohio and trying to find the varieties we came up with for seeding and overseeding.
After researching things we came up with a mixture of:

40-50% KBG
1st Choice: NU DESTINY (J-2695)
2nd Choice: IMPACT
3rd Choice: MIDNIGHT
(or some combinartion of any of the above)

30-40% PRG
1st: CUTTER II (PM 101)
2nd: KEYSTONE 2 (IS-PR 312)
3rd: PALACE (IS-PR 273)

20% Creeping Red Fescue
(is this variety even avialble or named yet? Seems to be the top variety in studies. If not, what would you say would be the best variety of fescue for us?)

Firstly. what do you think of our choices of cultivars?
Secondly, where the heck do you get any of these? I have searched online and only find them mentioned in studies which claim they are top ranked, but no where to actually buy any! We aren't a golf course, just a home, but with a passion for creating the best lawn in the state :P
Any advice will be much appreciated! :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

Tiemco is probably the most knowledgeable "seed" guy on the planet. Wait and see if he posts.
A couple of questions:
Why do you want to mix species and basically make your own northern mix? Specifically, what do you think these cultivars and species will give you that you desire?
I'm no tiemco, but the grasses you selected appear to be grasses that do best in full sun--have you considered your conditions in selecting seed?
Did you use NTEP during your selection process?

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

KBG and PRG do best in full sun, I know, creeping red fescue would be for the more shady areas. Most of our lawn gets full sun. Yes we used NTEP for reference and others. Midnight has always been the hands down favorite for this area, but it seems Nu Destiny surpasses it now. Impact supposedly has the best color (not as dark blue green, so would compliment and balance out darker green/blues).
As for Perrenial Ryegrass, I hear alot about "AberImp" PRG being the gold stabndard used overseas in the UK in major venues, not sure how it would fare here, but the variety that stands out seems to be Cutter II, (color/texture, green times). Of course I have no idea where to get any of these for home lawn use.
The mixture is just the best of each of all of the main three types of turf that are generally mixed for lawns here, KBG, PRG, and CRF (for the shady areas). All rated exceptional in all areas and especially for this area.
I definitely wanrt to hear from some experts on this!

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

The KBG cultivars you are considering are all compact midnights. Compact midnights as a group all perform about the same, as their genes are highly conserved. They generally have long winter dormancy, perform well in the summer, perform poorly in the shade, are susceptible to powdery mildew, and have nice dark green color. You really can't go wrong with any of them, but if you are going to have a mixed lawn, then they might not be the best choice.

The perennial ryes you listed are OK, but certainly not the best performers. PR is often mixed with KBG in athletic fields. Top cultivars have nice dark green color which can blend well with KBG, but if mowed infrequently, the PR will grow faster than the KBG, which can give your lawn a shaggy appearance. PR will also green up much faster in the spring.

The fine fescue you listed isn't commercially available. That being said, the darkest fine fescues are not going to be as dark as a compact midnight or a top performing PR. Fine fescue tends to go dormant in the summer, becoming lighter in color and in some cases brown. I question the addition of fine fescue, not sure it really has a place in a full sun lawn with KBG and PR. If you had a lot of shade or wanted a low maintenance lawn, I could understand the addition of it.

Another thing is your percentages. Remember that if you use 40-50% KBG by weight, then your lawn will be predominantly KBG since there are roughly 1-2 millions seeds per pound, whereas PR has about 200-300K seeds per pound, and fine fescues have 350-400K seeds per pound.

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

Hi tiemco,

Thanks for the reply! Well the shady areas are basically on the north side of our bushes and house.
I really wanted to try Nu Destiny, but if the compact Midnights like Nu Destiny are good except for a few drawbacks, what other KBG variety would you recommend mixing in to balance out the drawbacks? As for PR, we do get some wear and tear and traffic where we probably would need some PR. Do you know anything about AberImp and AberElf (both PR), apparently they seed the Wimbledon courts with these, and the color is fantastic. Also, going by the cultivar names, I believe they are "compact" and might avoid the shaggy lawn look. I don't know if Nu Destiny would be too dark to blend with that color, but I do like some of that AberImp/Elf green along with the dark blue/green. (I'm not sure how different they actually are, can't find any comparison charts, but I do like the color of AberImp/Elf).
So what would be your recommendation for varieties, and mixes as far as KBG/PR? I am still leaning to Nu Destiny (or Impact), maybe blended with another PM resistant cultivar? And for PR I really thought Cutter II was supposed to be the hands down best (texture/color/and performance in our area), but I'll go by whatever advice you have to offer. I suppose we could deal with "shaggy lawn syndrome" if it came that, the tradeoff being more durability and earlier greenup.
And if we needed a small amount of CR Fescue for the shady areas, what would be your recommendation for variety? And finally, where is it possible to even obtain small quanities of any of these?

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

If I was going to use only one KBG, I would probably pick Bewitched. It is one of the best performers in the NTEP trials, has a color almost as dark as the compact midnights, has great disease resistence, and for a KBG it has good shade tolerance. I also like Zinfandel for most of the same reasons, although its shade tolerance is not as good.

For PR, pick the ones that perform best in the NTEP trials that are cut at lawn heights. I am not very versed in the cultivars for PR, but there are several near the top that you can choose from. (I will take a look tomorrow)

For shady areas, you might want to use TTTF instead of FF. It will blend better with KBG and PR, and won't go dormant like FF. If the shady areas get 3 hours of direct sun (morning sun is best), then you can support TTTF. If you decide to use CRF, then a cultivar that did well in the last complete NTEP trial, not the current one that has mostly unavailable cultivars. Garnet is one that I believe performs very well.

There are several seed sellers on the internet that carry many cultivars. For very small amounts of good cultivars you will pay more, but they are available. Williams lawn seed will sell small amounts, and they carry good cultivars at reasonable prices. Pawnee Buttes is another one. The Hogan Company carries a lot of great TTTF and PR cultivars. Seed Superstore has great seeds, but I would use them as a last resort since their prices are extremely high.

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

What about combining Bewitched with a midnight type?

[from preferredseed]
Bewitched (A99-2041) is a compact type with a low compact growth habit which makes it an excellent candidate for golf course fairways and sod farms due to it's reduced vertical growth rates and 1/2 inch height of cut. Bewitched is excellent for blending with America types and Midnight types because it possesses disease resistance which the other types do not.

As far as PR, it seems in all trials that Cutter II (PM 101)was the tops for our area and climate, (closely followed by Keystone 2 (IS-PR 312), and Palace (IS-PR 273)).
These seem to be the hardest to locate anywhere. Let me know your recommendations for PR if you get a chance to check.
As far as fescue, I've only had experience with creeping red, so I'm just hesitant to try something I never have used before, unless you really think we should. Creeping red has always filled in the shadiest areas quite well, but would definitely like to try a better cultivar. I'll check out Garnet.
I haven't heard of the companies you listed except Seed Superstore, so that info is also really useful, and I will check those sites out. Finding the sources to get specific good or new cultivars was so much of a problem!

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

If you want to use Cutter II because you think it's the best for your area, then use it. I personally haven't seen it listed for sale on the seed retailer's sites, so finding it may be a problem. Cutter II's biggest issue for me would be it's gray leaf spot susceptibility. There are several cultivars that perform just as well, or better than Cutter II at home lawn heights, and have better disease resistance profiles. I suggest you pick 5 cultivars that did well in the NTEP and then see which ones you can source online.

For the creeping red fescue the best in terms of appearance and shade tolerance would be one of these cultivars: Epic, Fortitude, Garnet, Cardinal, and Wendy Jean. For full sun areas: Garnet, Fortitude, Cardinal, Wendy Jean. Again, if you get 3 hours of full sun in your shady areas, you could use tall fescue, which blends better with PR and KBG, but that's your call.

Yes Bewitched mixes well with compact midnights due to it's dark color, but that is if you are creating a blend for an all KBG stand. Since you are creating a mix of different species it isn't necessary to have more than one KBG, but if you want to use more than one then that's fine.

To find cultivars use google. In the search bar type in the specific cultivar followed by seed e.g. "Cutter II perennial ryegrass seed". Alternatively you can search for turfgrass seed sellers, and see what they offer in terms of cultivars.

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

This is how The Hogan Company reply to their homeowner customers after they ship the wrong seed


It is obvious that with all of the questions and the comments you made you lack the ability to grow grass in your yard. My advice to you would be to have someone from the turf industry that knows how to grow turfgrass do your lawn. Also, if you can tell the different from the excellent blend that we sent you and the other blend, then come and take over my business and have fun with it. Even the best turf managers, breeders, university professors, and seed industry leaders can't tell the difference without scienctific proof or our excellent blends. You need help. Please do not call or email me or my company ever again! I have turned this matter over to our legal department.

The Hogan Company

RE: Lawn seed Variety advice? (and sources?)

We get it EngineerManager, you bought from Hogan and wasn't able to get it to grow, so instead of blaming yourself you assume Hogan sent you the wrong seed. I have bought seed from Hogan more than once, and know for a fact Bob is very thorough, and makes sure you aren't buying the wrong grass variety. What make you say they sent the wrong seed?

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