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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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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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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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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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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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Vols_fan08 said:
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.
While it is very much true that root depth is proportional to grass length, fescue roots stop growing in the summer as the soil warms up. Once it gets hot enough, they actually begin to die back. Cutting high will help root development during spring and fall, but not during summer - we typically cut high during summer to "shade" the soil underneath and preserve moisture.

Vols_fan08 said:
I'm just worried it's too hot here for kbg. Unless it's shaded. And my trees are still young and small. My house does shade most of my front yard from 3p to dark.
The claim of fescue being more drought resistant is based on the fact that fescue roots can go as deep as 36", while KBG roots only about 12". Under normal lawn and soil conditions with frequent mowing, they both won't go deeper than 6" so that advantage gets wiped out. Thus far, I have not seen any significant difference in drought resistance between bluegrass and fescue. I wouldn't recommend you go to KBG thought - grow fescue which is easier to establish for 3-4 years to gain some experience.
 

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I haven't heard back from my Speedway guy either. They're harvesting right now, and they still need to test the seed for weeds and germination before they can sell it.

I did buy some Midnight seed from Outsidepride, it's fresh off the field tested 6/2017.
 

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social port said:
j4c11 said:
I haven't heard back from my Speedway guy either. They're harvesting right now, and they still need to test the seed for weeds and germination before they can sell it.

I did buy some Midnight seed from Outsidepride, it's fresh off the field tested 6/2017.
Midnight, you say? You are going to get me thinking about a KBG experiment again.

Interested to know how the midnight does. You are our last great hope for KBG in the transition zone! Use the force. (Watched Star Wars Rogue One last night).
I'll keep you posted. I have a 1,000 sq ft strip along the driveway that I'm going to re-do with 100% Midnight. Curious myself to see how it holds up, it always tests very well in Raleigh NTEP tests. If it does well through next summer and it looks much better than the Barenbrug blend I'm going to renovate to 100% Midnight next fall.
 

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social port said:
Do you know what is in the Barenbrug blend?
Sure do.



Barvette HGT scores in the top 3 in many categories. It's top in the transition zone, top in traffic recovery, top in summer patch resistance, and so on and so on. Dead last in genetic color :lol:

We'll see how it looks this fall.
 
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