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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning all. After reading through a lot of the threads on this forum, I've decided that I'd really like to level my back yard with sand and overseed my KBG (midnight, moonlight SLT, bedazzled) with a three way blend of perennial ryegrass. The ultimate goal is to maintain it at an inch or less. I thought I'd start a new thread so I can keep track of progress as well as avoid hijacking any previous threads.

I have one area that's about 1000 sq ft. on a gentle slope that I will be removing rocks from and planting new grass to expand the size of the backyard. I'd ultimately like the whole yard to be a mix of PRG and KBG. After doing a lot of reading, I've read a lot about the fact that you don't really want to seed more than 10% PRG and KBG together, or the PRG will dominate the new stand of grass at about a year. I do have a few questions regarding both the new area and the area to be overseeded?

1. Should I aerate and/or try to level off any of the new area (will be bare dirt) with sand, etc. before seeding? I'd rototill and level, but that seems to be frowned upon on a lot of other forums.

2. When I cut the existing KBG down low to overseed, I plan on leveling with sand. Can I then immediately seed the PRG into the sand and roll it?

3. Before I overseed should I core aerate and remove the cores?

4. What rate should I seed the PRG into the existing KBG at? I've seen recommendations from 5 all the way up to 10 pounds per 1000sq ft.

Thanks in advance for all the advice. I will start to update with pictures even though I'm embarrassed at how the lawn currently looks compared to some on this site. It's taken quite a beating the last couple of years with lack of maintenance (new baby) and other projects (new deck, tree removal, new tree planting) that have caused it to get quite trampled on.
 

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5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
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Overseed of KBG is not a successful strategy. See this recent thread for more details. http://thelawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=596

1) Rototill screws up the leveling. Once it settles, it wont be leveled. You do no need to aerate to apply the seed. I would level off before seed down
2)Sand is normally not good at retaining moisture. The success of an overside into sand is low.
3) My opinion no;
4) What does the bag says.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I love that the KBG has the ability to spread, and have really enjoyed the fact that it can repair itself, especially in the fall time. I was considering the overseed based on the thread about maintaining KBG or PRG under 1". I believe in that thread that WardConnor said this:

"Start the whole process by very first cutting lower. Then remove a bunch of the thatch crown layer aggressively with a slice seeder machine, a manual thatch rake, or a power thatch rake. Get it nice and thin. Once you get it thinned out then over seed or level with sand. After sand I like to seed."

I know overseeding KBG with more KBG would be tough due to the germination time, but is it also a bad idea then to overseed PRG into the established KBG? If so, then I will likely hold off and maybe just try leveling for now. Thanks so much for all the help.

Oh, and I was considering the core aeration not necessarily due to the fact that I was wanting to seed, but more because there's been a lot of heavy equipment on the lawn. I thought it may help it out a little. I have been spraying shampoo and a kelp/humic acid mixture every two weeks, though so maybe that's enough. Sorry I didn't make that clear in the first post.
 

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5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
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I'm not sure what WardConnor was referring to, hopefully he will chime in and explain.

Why do you want to add PRG to your KBG? Most folks want the opposite (get rid of the PRG). What are you trying to archive?

Core aeration should help the heavy equipment areas. If you could top dress with compost after it, then you will be adding OM to your soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a portion of what I believe wardconnor was talking about
In order to reel cut low you need to scrub out that heavy thatch layer or crown. If you cut low for the first time or more you are going to cut into that crown spongy layer at first. This layer is like a spongy thatch layer and is hard to describe. This material needs to be removed and thinned out. My lawn had a bunch of this stuff when I decided to cut low. I used a power rake seeder machine with a delta reel blade to cut this out. I went over it in several directions and pulled out a lot of dead old material. Keep in mind at this point my lawn was only 2 years old grown from seed. I vacuumed this removed thatch up with my rotary mower. Removing this significantly thinned out the lawn. You can also accomplish this with a manual thatch rake. If you are wanting to go low you will need to thin your lawn out. These are all my opinions so take it for what it is worth.

After I thinned the lawn out I over seeded with PRG heavy. Going with the PRG was my best move IMO in going low. It added a beautiful look to the KBG. I would do it all over if I had to do it again. If I knew then what I know now I would started with this mix when I seeded.
Please note that I'm not trying to start a war between anyone. I'm well aware there are many differing opinions on and approaches to turf care. Without getting too complicated, what I'm trying to achieve is a yard that looks as good as ward's. I want to be able to maintain it at a low HOC and have it look nice and smooth. If I'd be better off just leaving it all KBG I'm fine with that too. I do have cultivars that are compact varieties so they should be able to handle the low cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wardconnor said:
g-man said:
Bump. I'm curious to the rational for adding prg.
It's beautiful and tolerates low mowing
For me, it's this plus the benefit of quick establishment. I have kids and dogs. While my KBG will fill holes, it does so slowly. I'd like something in the mix that I can throw down periodically to fill small spots of wear. There's got to be a reason that golf courses use this in their divot repair mixes frequently.
 

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RockyMtnLawnNut said:
wardconnor said:
g-man said:
Bump. I'm curious to the rational for adding prg.
It's beautiful and tolerates low mowing
For me, it's this plus the benefit of quick establishment. I have kids and dogs. While my KBG will fill holes, it does so slowly. I'd like something in the mix that I can throw down periodically to fill small spots of wear. There's got to be a reason that golf courses use this in their divot repair mixes frequently.
Are you talking as a 50/50 mix KBG/PRG or straight PRG to fill and patch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kolbasz said:
RockyMtnLawnNut said:
wardconnor said:
It's beautiful and tolerates low mowing
For me, it's this plus the benefit of quick establishment. I have kids and dogs. While my KBG will fill holes, it does so slowly. I'd like something in the mix that I can throw down periodically to fill small spots of wear. There's got to be a reason that golf courses use this in their divot repair mixes frequently.
Are you talking as a 50/50 mix KBG/PRG or straight PRG to fill and patch?
The new area I plan to seed with 10% PRG and 90% KBG. I plan to overseed my existing 100% KBG with some PRG as well.
 

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I have said this in the past but I at one time had straight KBG and paid a premium for the seed when I seeded in 2014. I was very hesitant to contaminate the KBG.

After talking in person with a seed dude that has been in the grass seed industry for 30 plus years, I decided to go for it with PRG. He recommended that I over seed with PRG heavy if I wanted a sexy showy lawn that stripes well and tolerates low mowing heights. I tole me that PRG was going to be my go to seed. He told me the heavier the better. Not sure if he was trying to sell seed or not with that comment. I now know why he recommended this option.

PRG is awesome. Its very sexy and showy and stripes awesome. I still have straight KBG in the back and the difference is huge. I much prefer the front with the ryegrass. Everyone (people that comment) that comes by on bike path wants to know "what kind of grass" it is. They all think its bent or "golf course" grass. I tell them is just regular KBG and PRG and that its just taken care of well.

My back lawn looks okay but is does not look nearly as nice as the front. This is due to a few things.. one being that I do not spend as much time on it making it look as nice and the other being that its only KBG. Its also where the kids and dogs hang out and that is my wifes area for them.

I would not personally hesitate one bit to over seeding very heavily all of my 20k lawn with PRG.
 

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RockyMtnLawnNut said:
By heavy overseeding, what are we talking about in pounds per 1000?
I have no idea about that. I think I have bought and put down 150 lbs. Probably easily 100 lbs over 7500 in the last 2 fall seasons. I have since moved to side yard with the PRG. Probably 50 lbs each fall. I just buy it and put it down. I am very un-scientific about it. The more the better in my mind. I know.. I know..... its not the popular opinion.

I think the math comes out to be like 6# per 1000 for each fall season overseed.

The front 7500 does not need more seed. Its so super thick and knit together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I'm going to post any progress that I make to this thread. The pictures attached are of my currently beat up and embarrassing lawn and back yard. We've done a lot to the back yard this year including tree removal/replacement, added the play structure, and rebuilt the deck. Now I get to turn my focus back to the lawn. The other day I was able to start moving some of the rock on the hillside in order to get it ready for seed. The last time I did a reno, the area was flat and I topdressed with peat moss. Any thoughts on how to keep the seed stable on that hill? GrassDaddy I know you used a tackifier on yours. Anybody use penn mulch, seed aide, or encap starter pro? Also, after I finish removing rock, I'll post a few more pics of that area. It appears to be very bumpy as soil has settled in interesting places. I need to smooth it out somehow. I can either get some topsoil and drag/roll then fallow or I can have someone harley rake it and drag/roll, which might not be as cost effective. Any thoughts are much appreciated.







 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good morning guys! The weather here in the Denver area has seemingly taken a turn for the cooler side. I'm still going to wait until about mid August to seed because the weather can change quickly here and I suspect it may warm back up again soon. In any event, I spent some time clearing up the rest of the rock on the hillside last night. There are some tree roots to chop out, but they're fairly surface level so not that bad to get out. My question is this: the area is fairly bumpy right now, so how do I get it smoothed out? Nail drag to break up a bit and then drag and roll? Add some new topsoil and drag/roll? Any ideas are greatly appreciated! I'll post a pic when I can figure out how to get my phone to copy the link. As an aside, the lawn is now down to about an inch with the reel!
 

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My thoughts lead to sheer brute work.. Shovel and rake or a tiller lightly tilled. If you need to bring it up then bring in top soil and level with 2x4x8 on hands and knees.

If you fluff up soil with tiller be sure to roll with heavy roller to pack it back down to prevent settling in the future.

As you go at it you'll naturally figure out the best way to get the project done. Without seeing it in person it's slightly hard to give an accurate recommendation.

Drag drag drag. Then drag some more before seed down. Did I mention dragging before seed down? Do it. You skip this step.... You'll be sorry.
 
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