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[5b] - Grass identification and overseeding KBG?

4476 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  b0nk3rs
Hi all! New here but hopefully sticking around for quite some time...

Zone 5b - Central Illinois

I have basically researched myself in circles trying to figure out what grass types I have and what I want to seed/overseed with. I originally thought I had a lot of fine fescue but I was told its almost all KBG. At this point I have no idea. I am falling on you guys for some guidance.

The below album has some overviews of my lawn at different times of this year as well as up close shots from various locations around the lawn. The lawn was not watered at all this year but I will be keeping it well irrigated next year. Also included is an example of an area which is being repaired and then seeded. This is the largest area that will be receiving a full seeding.


I was leaning towards overseeding 100% KBG but the more I read up on it, the less encouraged it seems to be. I have enough bare spots and crabgrass clusters that I can essentially do a full seed on a lot of the problem areas to avoid mowing them. My original plan was to match existing lawn in the bare spots then overseed everything with an undetermined KBG, now i'm just not sure.

My questions are:

1) What grass types do I currently have? Approximately what % of each?
2) Will overseeding with only KBG be a viable option? I don't mind some level of failure.
3) What different varieties/mixes do you recommend? NTEP has only confused me further on making a decision.
4) What kind of mix would be best to use for the repaired bare spots? A Uniform lawn is very important to me. I assume if I were to use something like Midnight it would be a noticeable difference?

I appreciate any and all feedback and I will provide additional information and pictures as necessary.

Thank you!
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SeanT17 said:
Hey bonk3rs! Welcome! I'm also somewhat new here, but to my untrained eye I'm seeing TTTF (the clumps) and alot of PRG. Looks a lot like my lawn that I'm about to overseed as well. I have the same concerns about KBG and I'm leaning towards the SSS PRG mix. I'm in Pittsburgh, you may be a bit too warm for that blend though. I'll be curious to see what you go with, let us know
Is the PRG fine and clumpy and possibly the least resistant to weed killer of the rest of my grasses?
SeanT17 said:
As for the weed killers, assuming you are using something designed for weeds and safe for lawns, the PRG will not be targeted as it is not a weed, it's a variety of grass. Unless you are using glyphosate, aka round up which kills EVRYTHING it touches, most species of grass won't be killed off, just the types of weeds listed on the product.

Hope that helps
Oh I know, I was just seeing some browning in those clumps after spraying. They bounced back fine.
g-man said:
Could you post an image of the auricles?

This is an grass Id tool.
Been raining quite a bit here, will get to this once it dries out some.

j4c11 said:
I see a whole lot of PRG, a few blades of KBG and not much else. Overseeding KBG into an established grass is typically doomed for failure, but seeding it into ryegrass is guaranteed failure since ryegrass is allelopathic.
Well this isn't good!

j4c11 said:
Yep, scrolled further down to the clumps in your album, it's definitely tall fescue.

If uniformity is what you're after, a renovation is probably needed.
That is certainly not happening this year, I will work with what i've got for now and if i'm not satisfied with the results, I can tackle the reno next fall with more time and preparation.
So I guess the big question is what in the world should I seed with?

The tree stump area is getting larger by the day, there are more roots at the surface than I originally thought. Hopefully its not going to stick out too bad.

I'm not a fan of the super fine grass blades. Is there any way to crowd this out over time or am I stuck with what i've got? It seems KBG is a lost cause at this point, or at least 100% KBG. I feel like i'm back at square one now.
Okay I have some additional pictures here. Hopefully I can nail down some positive ID's since to me I just keep flip flopping on what I think they are.






Fronta1 said:
Wow great job. Only one I'm sure about is the fine fescue, which is the one that's fine. Maybe the first one is rye because of how stalky it is. The last one maybe goose grass.
That's what I thought about the fine fescue as well but I kept getting conflicting answers elsewhere. Never knew identifying grass was so difficult lol.
g-man said:
I have too many work meeting this week, so I'm only looking via the cell phone and trying to zoom in.

Grass two seems to have clasping auricles and does not look like annual ryegrass. Therefore I assume it has to be quackgrass. Quack is a tough one. It only could be controlled with round up. Don't hand pull it since it spreads.
Now to remember where I found it at....
Fronta1 said:
I think if you want uniformity you should get what you have now - a mix. Leave out the fine fescue if you can though unless it's shady.

Ideally you'd like to have a mix of tall fescue and bluegrass but it looks like you have predominantly fescue and rye.
Ya I really don't like the fine fescue at all. I was thinking a mix of KBG and PRG and if the KBG doesn't do much in the overseed areas I won't be too worried about it. Thoughts?
1 - 9 of 19 Posts
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