Return to the Lawn Care Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Help me select a seed mix of cool season grasses

Posted by peachespoe zone 3, WY (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 18:28

Hi! I am new to posting on the lawn forum but have been reading it for some time. I would love some help figuring out what type of lawn to plant...

We are getting ready to seed a new lawn (about 2000 sq. ft) in the back of our house. We have killed all the existing vegetation, added amendments, raked out the rocks, and installed a sprinkler system. I have purchased 4 bags of Strawnet to mulch over the seed once it has been laid down.

We would like to spread the seed soon before temps drop too much (we live at 6000 ft.). I am having the hardest time deciding on what kind of seed to plant. These are our criteria:

-Would like to reduce mowing to 1 every 2 wks (ideally).
-Cut down on our water usage but will water if/when necessary.
-Medium amount of traffic...a 4 year old doing cartwheels but no dogs. May want to have some lawn chairs scatted around.
-We are against using weed and feed type chemicals so will hand weed, but prefer a healthy turf that will out compete weeds. Willing to spread corn gluten meal.
-Clay soil but good drainage.
-Mostly sunny, but in a few years will have filtered shade for a few hours everyday from Aspens (yes, I know they will grow into the lawn).
-Stay pretty green and soft during the heat of the summer. July can have weeks with the high temps in the 80s and 90s.

I am considering the following mixes: Eco Lawn by Wildflower Farms; Enviro-turf by Bluestem nursery; Defiance XRE Blue; Seedland Traditional Fine Fescue Seed Mix; or a Tall Fescue mix from a local nursery. I would also considering mixing any of these or even my own.

The first two are a fine fescue mix, the second also having 20% perennial rye in there too. Defiance XRE Blue is 90% Tall fescue and 10% Kentucky Blue.

Here are some questions I have:
-Can I mix a tall fescue mix with a fine fescue mix for more diversity or would this create all sorts of problems?
-Will the KBG eventually out compete the Tall Fescues in the Defiance mix?
-Is it a problem or a benefit to have the perennial rye mixed in with the fine fescues? I have read perennial rye needs more water and fertilizer than fine fescues.

Thanks ahead of time for any advice!!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Help me select a seed mix of cool season grasses

In Wyoming, zone 3, I would probably discourage using PR or TTTF if you have very cold winters. TTTF and PR can suffer cold kill in very low temps. Also if you have a lot of snow cover, then TTTF will probably have snow mold every year, which can also kill areas of turf. Fine fescues are very hardy once established, requiring little in the way of fertilizer or water but dormancy can be expected in hot, dry summers. If you go that route then I would probably use mostly creeping red fescue as it spreads, but be sure and get a named cultivar, not boreal which is actually common CRF. Kentucky bluegrass is also a good choice, but for your area you would need to choose a cultivar(s) that have very good spring green up and good cold tolerance. Many cultivars that do very well in lower latitudes will be dormant well into spring in your climate.

-Can I mix a tall fescue mix with a fine fescue mix for more diversity or would this create all sorts of problems?

You can mix most grasses, but you may not like how they look, and again, TF might have issues with cold kill/snow mold.

-Will the KBG eventually out compete the Tall Fescues in the Defiance mix?

No, but any areas of TF that die will probably fill in with KBG and or weeds, so over time you might have a predominantly KBG lawn.

-Is it a problem or a benefit to have the perennial rye mixed in with the fine fescues? I have read perennial rye needs more water and fertilizer than fine fescues.

Most seed mixes have some PR in them. The main reason is because it acts as a nurse grass, and makes consumers happy because they see germination in such short order. Unfortunately PR grows very fast when mature, and will not give you a consistent lawn. It does require more water and fertilzer than CRF too, as well as more frequent mowing.


 o
RE: Help me select a seed mix of cool season grasses

Wow, thanks for your great answer. Sounds like I should go for a fine fescue mix like the one from Wildflower farms. Is there any other type of grass that would complement a fine fescue blend for more diversity?


 o
RE: Help me select a seed mix of cool season grasses

Since you just installed a sprinkler, that means you have long lines of trenches dug out between the sprinkler heads. One thing most people do not account for is settling. The soil along those trenches will settle for 3 years. In the end you will have low spots along those lines which make it harder to mow and possibly will collect water. If you have not left a mound over top of those trenches, you will have the low spots. It should be mounded about 1/2 to 3/4 inch along the lines.

Another consideration for a lawn is to go with native prairie grasses. Some to consider are blue grama and a variety of wheatgrasses which grow well in WY. Once established these need little water and only monthly mowing. Color is deep green, and the texture is fine like the other grasses you are considering. When mowed monthly these make a great lawn for low traffic.

Here is a picture of one such lawn in Salt Lake City. The owner is bpgreen who occasionally still peeks into the GardenWeb forums. The clover at the bottom is strawberry clover and was used on purpose to help with soil fertility.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Lawn Care Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here