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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Southeast Michigan lawn rotary mowed in the front and reel mowed in the back. Front was sodded in 2019 and has been overseeded with TTTF and KBG. Back was sodded in 2020 and reno’ed with KBG in 2022.

2021 journal:

2022 journals:

2022 soil test:

2023 goals:
Maintain last year’s reno and work on better timed applications.
Increase NPK as per soil test results.
Add more micronutrients.
Stay on top of fungicides.
Work on back yard flowerbeds.
Plant more perennial flowers.
Reno the front yard.
Sand level the back yard.
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Are those recent photos? How much rain have you gotten in the last month or so? I have a theory that excessive rain is what is turning the grass brown in my area (saturated soil causing lack of oxygen space that soil needs for grass to stay green). Same thing happened last year. There is not a fully green lawn anywhere here despite temps above average. Your back area looks almost like it did in November still.

Oh, I have some videos for you that I'm currently listening to: "Soil series" 1, 2, and 3 by Lawncology (John Perry). The soil testing and N recommendation part is relevant to your goal of increasing N per soil tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Green those pictures are from the other day. About two inches total precipitation in the last 30 days. This winter has been relatively dry thus far. There has been maybe 8-9 days of actual snow cover this winter, along with close to or below freezing temps most of the time.

The reno has three concentrated areas where the lawn has turned mostly yellow thus far. It dropped below freezing and snowed four days after the last mow and the yellowing followed in those spots shortly after, I assume from not enough recovery time. The collars still have a decent green color, minus the tips of the blades.

Jan 13 of 2022 are the pictures below. Early winter of 2020, the lawn was basically brown by Christmas and I had flooded areas from heavy rain. So you’re definitely on to something about excess winter rain and the soil. I will watch those videos at work tomorrow.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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I’ve been noticing a significant amount of digging in the mulch in the flowerbeds. Lo and behold, the stray cat has been in my yard more this winter. I’ve found holes too big to be from squirrels and caught him rolling around spreading his sent by my rose bushes and smaller arborvitae. Thus far, I have thrown down cayenne powder, coffee grounds and sprayed cat repellent. It has had minor effect on the warm weather squirrel activity at least. I considered mothballs but worry about the toxicity. He’s an old cat and was abandoned prior to me moving here 8 years ago.

I’ve also seen him walking across the lawn during the day, only when it’s dry and not frost covered. Not as bad as a person doing it, but I assume he’s been more active since a neighboring dog no longer lives on the other side. I have a sonic emitter thing that stakes in the ground and will move it to the other side of the yard.

After doing some reading, I recently figured that the main reason part of the reno is darker (small area in the back) is because I added soil for grading. Aside from the fact that it is mowed taller and the angle of the camera gives it a darker appearance. I wonder if pulling plugs from there would be a bad idea and give the lawn spots, or if it would even itself out eventually?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@ReelWILawn thanks. It’s looking how I’ve learned to accept it to look. Shame there’s another two months at least before I get out there and rake it. Then the real fun of watching it thicken up begins.
 

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@ReelWILawn thanks. It’s looking how I’ve learned to accept it to look. Shame there’s another two months at least before I get out there and rake it. Then the real fun of watching it thicken up begins.
I wouldn't worry it looks fine. first spring after a fall kbg reno, it will not look very good. it might be thin, poor color, etc but come June it will absolutely transform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wouldn't worry it looks fine. first spring after a fall kbg reno, it will not look very good. it might be thin, poor color, etc but come June it will absolutely transform.
That’s what I mean. Not pay much attention to the lawn so stuff like that wouldn’t annoy me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The spot over by the cement patio table area. It was a bit thin already (many spots barely bigger than a silver dollar) A while back I had noticed minor pooling with heavy rain and long irrigation cycles. Been watching it whenever there is heavy rain so I can see how any flooding looks.

Nothing I would worry about, it will fill in by summer most likely and not need plugs unless after topdressing, since it is lower there based on observations. I’ll see how looks come spring. Much easier to notice with saturated soil and a flashlight. Seems like more of the seed mat remnants decomposed. Last night when the ground was frozen I found a few casting mounds that were frozen.
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The last picture is of that spot back in November after several hours of moderate rainfall, while it was pouring.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Snow is back, almost 1” and a little more on the way. Spent time knocking snow off the arborvitae. Last I didn’t and it took a while for them to regain shape.

Neighbor had some people over, for some reason they had to drag their feet around on the side lawn. So I had to rake it so it doesn’t stay matted down.A few spots were really pretty bad.

Due for an overseed in the fall. That area is so narrow that it is nearly impossible to mow in two directions, as I was raking I could see tracks from excessive wear. Should it remain an issue or more winter foot traffic I might just kill off the grass and mulch it or put rocks down. Or maybe just put down pavers along his driveway to widen the path for walking. It’s only 135sqft of lawn. Debating if that would look weird to have a makeshift flower bed.

I bought 16 tulip bulbs from Holland Bulb Farm to plant in flower pots for a late bloom. Only 3 of them didn’t have mold or weren’t squishy. If they bloom great, if not I’ll have another pot for my favorite annual, dahlias.

I have spent time looking online for seed for the front reno. The remaining SS1100 blend I’m saving for the backyard. I have Valkyrie LS and 4th Millenium left over for the parkway reno. Amity and Mazama are my varieties of choice. I would like to forgo the 90/10 and do 80/10.

Looking at my notes from the 2021 overseed, I went with 2.75lb each of 4th Millenium and Valkyrie LS and .50lb of Mazama. Seed Super Store helped me figure out the math so the 90/10 so it was equal number of seed. An 80/20 blend gets me a 70/30 split by seed count but don’t understand what that means in regard to getting weight. I do know that 8-10lbs of TTTF is needed for a reno per 1k and otherwise 2lbs of just KBG would be used. I will have to figure out the weight for an 80/20 ratio. With my 1,326sqft I would need probably 20lbs of Amity, so I would have extra.
 

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The ratios are really hard to figure out. Getting into seed numbers is just too much. I think the easier way to do it is to start with 10 lbs of TTTF as a base (combined seeding rate), then calculate 80% of that. So, 8 lbs of TTTF.

Then, figure out 20%, which is 2 lbs. So, 2 lbs of KBG seed.

The problem is, that is too much seed. So you need to back down to a lower TTTF base #, and recalculate both types of seed until the numbers work out and it doesn't seem like too much. Remember, TTTF has a wide 6-12 lb seeding range when used alone for a renovation (though 8-10 is typical). So your base # can drop as low as 6 if needed.

If you use 8 as a base, you get 6.4 lbs of TTTF and 1.6 lbs of KBG. That sounds about right to me. Remember, KBG has a 2-3 lb Reno seeding rate alone (though I feel like you can get away with less).

At least this is the easiest way I have come up with to figure out. It's a bit of guess and check.

You can also do test areas in trays or whatever to see if the seed distribution looks right on the ground at a certain rate, before seeding.

I wouldn't go lower than 80/20. I did like 75/25, and have so much more KBG now (more than 50% is KBG, easily). That's more than I wanted. 70/30 is the lowest that is ever recommended for most applications, and it would tend to yield a lawn that is mostly KBG unless you're in shade or something. Then the TTTF gets clumpy since the rate is so low.

At 80/20 with 8 as base, you still might end up with more than 50% KBG depending on the cultivars and shade levels. 1.6 lbs of KBG is quite a bit. The only sure solution is to up the ratio a bit (e.g. 85% TTTF/15% KBG, or 6.8 and 1.2 lbs of each). This still gives an 8 lb combined seed rate.

Definitely don't mix the seed up for a Reno. Apply it separately. Otherwise, the TTTF (larger) seed tends to rise to the top of the spreader as you spread, and it won't be even.

You should have no problem mowing the Amity/Mazama mix at 1.5 in, as long as the surface is flat.

Did you find a source for Amity yet?
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Green i had to read it a few times to get it to make sense. Your calculation saved me a bit of time. I know I don’t want to seed too heavy, especially with more KBG in the mix and I’ll be asking for fungal problems.

I can’t find my notes for the lbs/ 1k I did on my side reno, but it was 1.08lbs of TTTF total on 135sqft, might have overdone that. That and last fall’s reno I did 2.01lbs/1k and I maybe could have done a little more, but didn’t really need to. So I guess finding a good medium number will benefit.

The last blended overseed I did, I actually did blend them together. That is something I did not know. Probably going to checkerboard each blend when I drop seed. This time around, I’ll spread compost across the whole lawn, help with uneven spots. As of now, the plan would be to mow between 1.5-2.5”.
 

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@Green i had to read it a few times to get it to make sense. Your calculation saved me a bit of time. I know I don’t want to seed too heavy, especially with more KBG in the mix and I’ll be asking for fungal problems.

I can’t find my notes for the lbs/ 1k I did on my side reno, but it was 1.08lbs of TTTF total on 135sqft, might have overdone that. That and last fall’s reno I did 2.01lbs/1k and I maybe could have done a little more, but didn’t really need to. So I guess finding a good medium number will benefit.

The last blended overseed I did, I actually did blend them together. That is something I did not know. Probably going to checkerboard each blend when I drop seed. This time around, I’ll spread compost across the whole lawn, help with uneven spots. As of now, the plan would be to mow between 1.5-2.5”.
In other words, you have to have a total goal lbs on the ground for the mix that you determine ahead of time. Without that (e.g. a goal of 8 lb/M base seeding rate), the ratios mean nothing. That's why people have so much trouble calculating them. I figured this out after years of aggravation trying to figure out the ratios. But a given base rate can result in too much seed on the ground with certain seed ratios and species combinations. That's why we had to back down to 85/15 for an 8 lb/M combined (base) rate. In that case, it works out to 6.8 lbs of TTTF and 1.2 lbs of KBG. These add up to 8 lbs total, and are also an 85/15 percent ratio (of 8 lbs).

80/20 was yielding too much KBG seed on the ground at the 8 lbs base rate. You'd have to back down the base rate to still use 80/20, to compensate. But then your TTTF lbs might end up too low and the final lawn might have more than half KBG (going by experience with this). Since KBG is more aggressive than TTTF after the first year or so.

So I would use the 85/15 percent ratio at 8lbs total per thousand (6.8 lbs TTTF and 1.2 lbs of KBG per thousand square feet).
 

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@Green I will probably go with 85/15. Mo much experience with seeing how much KBG takes over in a blend.
Did you find a potential source for the seed yet? Amity and Mazama are both produced by the same seed company, so many places that sell one likely sell both.

I know Hart seed has sold both Amity and Mazama in the past (they usually enforce a 10 lb minimum per type of seed).

And I believe Nature's Seed sometimes sells Amity (they did in the past, at least in 50 lb amounts).

Probably worth checking with both companies if you haven't figured it out yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Green yes, Nature’s Seed lists it as does Seed Super Store. Probably will have to wait until April to get it. If they don’t show a picture of the tags I will no doubt call. Never heard of Hart Seed, must be a smaller regional place. If I can get the Mazama from SSS, they usually have enough 2lb bags. 10-50lb of KBG is way too much.
 

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@Green yes, Nature’s Seed lists it as does Seed Super Store. Probably will have to wait until April to get it. If they don’t show a picture of the tags I will no doubt call. Never heard of Hart Seed, must be a smaller regional place. If I can get the Mazama from SSS, they usually have enough 2lb bags. 10-50lb of KBG is way too much.
Hart is in my state. I'm not sure their size. Never went there physically but have ordered every so often. Their prices are lower than the other two in general, so it would be worth calling them for 10 lbs of the TTTF. Bill is one of the owners and might take your call for seed questions.
 
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