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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys I'm new here and have noticed this board is popular in KBG :mrgreen: What's your favorite Tall Fescue varieties and why? A couple of guys have said Speedway. Post pics if you have them! And here goes the age old debate..Does fescue grow up from core aeration holes when overseeding? :bandit:
 

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I've tried a number of varieties over the years, some of them as monostands. I'll list them below and give them a grade from 1 to 10.

o Bullseye - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is average, drought tolerance is average.
o Speedway - 9. Color is great, disease resistance is great, drought tolerance is great.
o Rhambler - 8. Color is fantastic, disease resistance is poor, drought tolerance is good.
o Falcon IV - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.
o Traverse 2 - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.
o Rebel IV - 6. Color is poor, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.

I avoid core aerating when overseeding. The seed flushes into the holes and grows in clumps.
 

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5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
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To me areate and overseed don't go together. Aerate is done to break the layers and introduce oxygen and organic matter into the soil thus reducing compactaion.

In seeding or overseeding the intent is to grow grass for it to establish. If you areate, seeds fall into the hole and germinate, but it is hard for it to survive inside a 1/2in hole 2in into the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
j4c11 said:
I've tried a number of varieties over the years, some of them as monostands. I'll list them below and give them a grade from 1 to 10.

o Bullseye - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is average, drought tolerance is average.
o Speedway - 9. Color is great, disease resistance is great, drought tolerance is great.
o Rhambler - 8. Color is fantastic, disease resistance is poor, drought tolerance is good.
o Falcon IV - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.
o Traverse 2 - 7. Color is average, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.
o Rebel IV - 6. Color is poor, disease resistance is good, drought tolerance is good.

I avoid core aerating when overseeding. The seed flushes into the holes and grows in clumps.
Thanks jc good information. I'm really wanting to have a speedway monostand! Heard great things. My ground is just so hard. I have no irrigation. When I do my Reno this fall the volunteer fire department is gonna come out water for me for 2 weeks haha. I'll make a donation. I'm doing about an acre between the front and back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
g-man said:
To me areate and overseed don't go together. Aerate is done to break the layers and introduce oxygen and organic matter into the soil thus reducing compactaion.

In seeding or overseeding the intent is to grow grass for it to establish. If you areate, seeds fall into the hole and germinate, but it is hard for it to survive inside a 1/2in hole 2in into the ground.
Gman do you just recommend a slice seeder for overseeding then? The classen non- self propelled is about the only option I have at my Home Depot. I think I can get a Billy goat at United rentals. Both of those are a workout and a half for an acre but you gotta do what it takes.
 

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The key in an overseed is to get seed to soil contact. 1) Start dropping your HOC and collect the clippings weeks prior. This help have less thatch and also the HOC allows more sun to reach the new plants after germination. 2) If thatch is heavy, I would remove it with a dethatcher to get more chance of seed to soil contact.

I have not used a slice seeder, so I cant comment on them. If it accomplishes the goal of seed to soil contact, then good.
 

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Vols_fan08 said:
Thanks jc good information. I'm really wanting to have a speedway monostand! Heard great things. My ground is just so hard. I have no irrigation. When I do my Reno this fall the volunteer fire department is gonna come out water for me for 2 weeks haha. I'll make a donation. I'm doing about an acre between the front and back.
It's going to be real tough maintaining an acre without water through summer. Not to mention seeding it. I have no irrigation system either, but I only have 7,000 sq ft of lawn. Maintaining that through summer without an irrigation system is a huge PITA, I'm counting the days to fall.

I would recommend maybe carving out an area around your house that would be manageable to maintain with hose end sprinklers(not more than 10,000 sq ft) and designating the rest as low maintenance(e.g. whatever grows there).

Here's some info on renovation procedures : http://lawniac.com/lawn-renovation
A cheapo watering controller that will help out a lot during renovation: http://lawniac.com/orbit-4-zone-watering-system-review

I wrote the two articles, so if you have any questions just ask.

g-man said:
This help have less thatch and also the HOC allows more sun to reach the new pants after germination.
You put on new pants after the grass germinates? :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
j4c11 said:
Vols_fan08 said:
Thanks jc good information. I'm really wanting to have a speedway monostand! Heard great things. My ground is just so hard. I have no irrigation. When I do my Reno this fall the volunteer fire department is gonna come out water for me for 2 weeks haha. I'll make a donation. I'm doing about an acre between the front and back.
It's going to be real tough maintaining an acre without water through summer. Not to mention seeding it. I have no irrigation system either, but I only have 7,000 sq ft of lawn. Maintaining that through summer without an irrigation system is a huge PITA, I'm counting the days to fall.

I would recommend maybe carving out an area around your house that would be manageable to maintain with hose end sprinklers(not more than 10,000 sq ft) and designating the rest as low maintenance(e.g. whatever grows there).

Here's some info on renovation procedures : http://lawniac.com/lawn-renovation
A cheapo watering controller that will help out a lot during renovation: http://lawniac.com/orbit-4-zone-watering-system-review

I wrote the two articles, so if you have any questions just ask.

g-man said:
This help have less thatch and also the HOC allows more sun to reach the new pants after germination.
You put on new pants after the grass germinates? :lol:
I have thought about the size but on the other hand this area was established with a inferior grass decades ago (K 31) with only rain and no TLC like we do these days. If these newer varieties cannot be etablished and stay decent looking with natural watering then what's the point of ntep and research of these seeds? Why not just stay with the old KY31?I have a well BTW so I don't have an unlimited amount of city water to give up on the yard. :roll:
 

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Vols_fan08 said:
I have thought about the size but on the other hand this area was established with a inferior grass decades ago (K 31) with only rain and no TLC like we do these days. If these newer varieties cannot be etablished and stay decent looking with natural watering then what's the point of ntep and research of these seeds? Why not just stay with the old KY31?I have a well BTW so I don't have an unlimited amount of city water to give up on the yard. :roll:
Trust me, none of us have an unlimited amount of water to give up on the yard. Though the water flowing through the pipe may seem unlimited, the money you have to pay for it is not. At least not for me, I wish :D . I expect my water bill to be around $400 this month.

K31 is actually the hardiest fescue around as far as drought tolerance. People don't stick with it is because it looks crappy - it's wide bladed and the color is very light. NTEP exists as a centralized and objective way to evaluate different characteristics of different grasses from different producers - if everyone does testing their own way, you can't really make any meaningful comparisons. Different companies target different characteristics for their cultivars - for example Barenbrug is big on recovery from traffic and disease resistance because they market their grass to sports fields/stadiums, while others like SRO may focus on turf quality.

Under normal lawn conditions with frequent mowing, none of the high quality fescues are going to make it through a TN summer without major losses if no irrigation is applied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good points. So I should just maintain the crabgrass, KY 31, henbit mixture and keep that looking good? 😂 And KY 31 is better even though it averages a 4.0 mean turfgrass quality? Not trying to be smart, you guys know alot more than I do I'm sure. I just know that alot of places around here have Fescue and I will not have Bermuda in my yard. It's a weed in my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gman I've considered keeping a good looking weed free KY 31 yard. But I honestly think there's more crabgrass in this yard than KY 31 right now. If I'm gonna kill it I might as well do a total kill at this point. And do a newer better variety.
 

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Vols_fan08 said:
Good points. So I should just maintain the crabgrass, KY 31, henbit mixture and keep that looking good? 😂 And KY 31 is better even though it averages a 4.0 mean turfgrass quality? Not trying to be smart, you guys know alot more than I do I'm sure. I just know that alot of places around here have Fescue and I will not have Bermuda in my yard. It's a weed in my opinion!
Without watering through the summer, no cool season grass is going to do well. We talk about high quality, improved, but it doesn't change what the grass is - a cool season grass. I pulled a small clump of Bermuda out of the lawn last year after Hurricane Matthew and the sucker had a foot long tap root. Fescue will barely get to 6" under normal mowing conditions. You(and I) are are the southern end of the Transition Zone. It's called Transition Zone because it's too hot for cool season grasses in the summer, and too cold for warm season grasses in the winter. Neither does well year round.

I wouldn't encourage you to go with KY-31. You can have a nice, high quality lawn October through May. Just understand that without irrigation, most of it won't make it through summer. Most people in this area with fescue re-seed every fall, it's a yearly ritual. Including me - how do you think I went through all those cultivars :lol:.

Don't say Bermuda is a weed, you'll anger the forum gods :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey I don't mind re-seeding in the fall it's get me out of the house and in the lawn 😎. Oh I can tell Bermuda is loved on here ! I can't stand that ugly mess and it getting around my trees and shrubs! You go done into Alabama and that mess is everywhere 😷
 

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I have half an acre. Putting down seed, fert, and peat moss is one heck of a workout. If you do a full acre, you are going to be all kinds of motivated to keep the seeds and sprouts moist!

Are impact sprinklers an option for you? They would save a lot of time.

How thin is the line between letting fescue be dormant and fescue dying off? Is there a moderate watering schedule he could use to maintain dormancy during the summer and minimize losses from the grass dying off?
 

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social port said:
How thin is the line between letting fescue be dormant and fescue dying off?
Non-existent, especially with first year fescue. You might be able to get away with it once it matures(2-3 year old grass), but from my observations and others in the transition zone, once tall fescue goes brown it does not recover. Most people are stuck in a vicious circle: can't get past summer because the grass is young, can't get mature grass because you can't get past summer.

It was one of the reasons I switched to KBG this year, it's supposed to have better recovery from dormancy because of the rhizomes. I'm still not about to let the entire lawn go dormant in its first year, but I will be pulling a plug tomorrow, placing it in a pot and letting it go dormant. I want to see 1)Will it recover in the fall and 2)If it does, how fast will it spread to fill the pot. Stay tuned, I will start a thread. If KBG is able to recover from dormancy and then do some significant spreading to make up for losses, it may be a superior grass choice for the Transition Zone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
social port said:
I have half an acre. Putting down seed, fert, and peat moss is one heck of a workout. If you do a full acre, you are going to be all kinds of motivated to keep the seeds and sprouts moist!

Are impact sprinklers an option for you? They would save a lot of time.

How thin is the line between letting fescue be dormant and fescue dying off? Is there a moderate watering schedule he could use to maintain dormancy during the summer and minimize losses from the grass dying off?
I've always heard old farmers and grass enthusiast around here say just leave your Fescue around 4 inches in the summer. Taller grass equals deeper roots. Obviously disease and fungal treatment comes with taller grass but that's manageable IMO.
 

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j4c11 said:
social port said:
How thin is the line between letting fescue be dormant and fescue dying off?
Non-existent, especially with first year fescue. You might be able to get away with it once it matures(2-3 year old grass), but from my observations and others in the transition zone, once tall fescue goes brown it does not recover. Most people are stuck in a vicious circle: can't get past summer because the grass is young, can't get mature grass because you can't get past summer.

It was one of the reasons I switched to KBG this year, it's supposed to have better recovery from dormancy because of the rhizomes. I'm still not about to let the entire lawn go dormant in its first year, but I will be pulling a plug tomorrow, placing it in a pot and letting it go dormant. I want to see 1)Will it recover in the fall and 2)If it does, how fast will it spread to fill the pot. Stay tuned, I will start a thread. If KBG is able to recover from dormancy and then do some significant spreading to make up for losses, it may be a superior grass choice for the Transition Zone.
Very interested to know how this turns out. I've read of some people having success with KBG in NC. If you consult NTEP, KBG does well in Tenn as well; I often wonder why it isn't more common here. That being said, NTEP runs the trial in Knoxville, which apparently offers better growing conditions for KBG than the "central basin" in middle Tenn--where I and Vols fan reside.

And I've read numerous times that KBG is just difficult to successfully grow in the southeast. We'll all be eager to hear about your methods. Personally, I would love to try to grow some KBG once I have more experience under my belt and when I am confident in my soil.
 

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Vols_fan08 said:
What kind of KBG could survive our heat? I haven't looked them up much. Would a 10%kbg 90% tttf be worth a shot?
Midnight perhaps. I was also considering Award. Perhaps Everglade. I also considered the 90/10 mix, but was then guided towards 100 percent TTTF--primarily because I lack the expertise of pulling that off right now.
 
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