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Fall 2017 - transition zone KBG - year two overseed

19515 Views 79 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  STL
Up until this week I had been trying to decide whether to overseed or go for another complete renovation after renovating with several KBG cultivars last year. I had really great success until July-Aug when my earlier poor practices and an ill-timed herbicide application killed several areas. Up to that point, I was really happy with the look, except for the color.

May 17

Aug 18

As I started researching genetic color, I stumbled across j4c11's work with Turf Blue HGT & PGR for better color in the transition zone and he led me to TLF (thanks!). I was already receiving a very cold shoulder over at the other forum where, for some reason unexplained to me, I was no longer allowed to post pics (good riddance). Working through some obvious irrigation issues on another thread, g-man & Ridgerunner have convinced me against a complete glyph reno. I started to mow lower several weeks ago and I've managed to get my HOC down to 2" (loving it and don't think I'll go back higher). I broke out my thatch rake and started cleaning up the dead/dormant material and the shed from the healthier areas. I could do this by hand because I only have ~2150 sqft.

The stolons and tiny tillers I found really pushed me over the top on deciding not to wipe it all. I still need some better color, so I selected Mazama to overseed since it has done incredibly well in recent NTEP trials in NC and TN and has much better color than Barvette HGT (the aggressive and most transition zone hardy cultivar in the Turf Blue mix). I started with applications of PGR at 0.5oz/k and Serenade 4oz/k on 8/18.

Followed by some filling in of dead areas and leveling (had some obvious settling from my DIY irrigation install) using a combo of Earthgro and Scott's Lawn topsoils that I found for 50% off. I'm mentioning this because I hadn't really planned to get the Earthgro, but when I arrived at the home center an employee was cleaning it up and offered me the discount. When I took a look, it surprised me that it actually looked to be good quality and very well screened. As I was putting it down, I realized that it had a fair amount of sand which seemed to really help with the leveling and compaction.

Since I'm lowering the HOC to 1.0" for my overseed, I'm thinking about grabbing a few more bags of the Earthgro to spread evenly over the entire area for leveling, seed establishment, and to start encouraging lower growth. With three applications of PGR and the forecast starting to look prime this week, I'm going to target Thursday 8/24 for seed down.

I'm planning to seed 4lbs of Mazama over the entire area (~2150 sqft) and add in some additional Turf Blue blend in the larger dead and leveled areas. I can water 4-5x a day with my Rachio, so I'm not going to do peat moss this time. I did come across some of the cellulose pellets, so I'm going to add those to the bare areas to avoid washout if we get any storms. I had good success with Scott's Starter w/mesotrione last year, but since I don't want to encourage excessive top growth of the existing turf, I going to go with an "organic" 10-24-10 starter blend that should release more slowly and spray Tenacity. Since I'll be creating a perfect recipe for fungus with my morning shade, I also plan to drop Pillar G (pyraclostrobin & triticonazole) and spray Serenade at seed down and then follow up with subsequent treatment as soon as I can walk on it. I have a few test pots that I'm testing PGR on and depending on the results, may continue PGR apps T+30 days. The good news is that Mazama germinated very well in my test pots at only 6 days. I have very little weed pressure due to the heat and my earlier herbicide sprays, but will follow up with another Tenacity treatment if needed. Depending on how things are looking, I'm planning to spoon feed Urea weekly as the temps drop. I know a *** overseed is tough, but I won't be too worried it if isn't successful. Really just need to fill in the dead areas. If I can't control the fungus then I'll cut the water back and abandon the new seed.

What's wrong, or what am I missing?
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Be extremely patient and diligent with the watering. In my pots experiment and in the NTEP results, Mazama is a very slow starter and had the widest range of germination that I noticed along with my Award and Bewitched. I'm sure your aggressive type(s) took off a lot faster. Hopefully the PGR keeps the existing turf at bay and the additional cultivars in the "turf blue blend" don't choke out the Mazama. Good luck!
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