type of grass/ when to plant?

esthermgrSeptember 7, 2007

Any suggestions on where to research types of grass and when to seed them? I'm hoping to do something in my mostly partial shade yard this fall.

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Where aer you located? And is your birthday really on 9/11? What was that like??

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 9:25AM
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If the area is partial shade, I think fescue might be the one to consider. But here is a link to the UGA CAES publication on selecting lawns in Georgia. For fescue, the best time to seed is Fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lawns in Georgia (UGA CAES)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 10:12AM
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If the poster is in savanna or somewhere like that, fescue might not be possible. Which is why i asked location.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:27AM
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In a previous post, esthermgr said "Ashford Park, between Buckhead and Chamblee".

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:36AM
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I'm in Atlanta, near Lenox Mall. (Good memory, esh!) Thanks for the link. I'll check out the link.

The yard is mostly in shade or partial shade, so I had thougth fescue also. But I'm worried about having to water it like crazy in hot droughts like this. Oh well- maybe I'll just do a very small area of lawn and make the rest flowerbeds and woodland garden.
Having a b-day on 9/11 is pretty wretched. Having your b-day become a national day of mourning is never fun. But it just gives me an excuse to celebrate the whole week since its hard to get happy on the actual day.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 9:08AM
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maybe I'll just do a very small area of lawn and make the rest flowerbeds and woodland garden

That sounds like a great idea. Grass really struggles in shade, partially due to the lack of sun but also due to the lack of moisture as a result of the trees that are creating the shade!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 11:45AM
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There's a type of lawn that I have used in partial shade and it's done fantastic. Much lower maintenance that fescue or the other grasses commonly found in the area. It's called creeping red fescue. I used a highly rated variety called 'Florentine' that I had to special order but they sell some not so great varieties in big box retailers and also shade mixes consisting of fine fescues (such as creeping red) and also tall fescue in there too for better traffic tolerance.
It the region, there really isn't too much shade for this grass in the summer months, it will help it stay alive. Germination on the other hand could be tricky in shade.

Creeping red is a very fine bladed grass, it's native to GA. You can mow it short or keep it high. The variety I used has a very dark green color. Because of it's lacey fine bladedness it is a unique choice for the area and looks similar to how you would imagine a Scottish meadow to look when kept long. When kept short it's like a putting green. If it's a really high traffic area, it wouldn't be the best choice but daily to occasional use it will do fine.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:06AM
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Also I did not water it except a few times really early in the summer. It has survived this brutal heat wave with no irrigation other than what has fallen from the sky which was one brief shower in the last 45 days. I fertilized lightly in the spring.

And thanks for explaining the birthday on 9/11 thing to me. I remember thinking on that day in '01, what about all the people that are celebrating their birthdays today, this must be a bummer. Anyway happy birthday (tomorrow).

Plant a creeping red fescue blend, you won't be disappointed.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:10AM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

If it's that good, we'll have to consider creeping red fescue for our property. I'd pretty much settled on centipede grass so far. A friend has it and is happy to recommend it to everyone. IAs lawn grasses go, it's heat and drought tolerant and mildly shade tolerant. She has it in dappled high-canopy shade, and you can see what areas get stronger shade than others by the thinning of the grass. It turns brown from frost but doesn't really go dormant and greens up when the temperature rises. And it's low growing, which means signficantly less mowing. It is a lighter, less lush green than fescue.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 12:14PM
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Centipede is really ugly and looks a lot like crabgrass. It also thrives in extremely poor ACIDIC soil. Does this best describe your soil? Beside that is is not the best adapted to our winters in N.GA and is more for the coastal areas. We have better options in the northern part of the state. This is the wrong time of year to seed centipede. You needed to do that a few months ago. Also centipede seed has been very expensive lately due to short supply.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 12:36PM
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Where are the best places to find the creeping red fescue blend? It sounds like it fits the bill of what I'm looking for.

Any suggestions on how to kill the blend of weeds that serves as my lawn now? I have small kids, so I don't like to spray large areas with herbicides.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 4:09PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Tarp it for a couple of weeks? Anything to prevent light from getting to it should kill most of what's there, but not sure how conducive it will be to seeding. i've seen people simply till a section of yard, seed it, water it, cover with hay and have a spectacular yard by the next year. seems to be pretty common practice with any rehabs or new construction in my area.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 4:29PM
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It depends on what type of grass you currently have. If you have tall fescue or weeds as it is, you can spray the enitre yard with roundup or similar grass killer. And be ready to overseed in about 2 weeks after. Just keep the kids off th freshly sprayed grass. If you have bermuda there it is too late to try to kill it this year. In fact,you will likely never be able to get rid of it but being a shady spot should keep it from taking over.

Where I got my seeds was from.... Roselawn Agriseed at 503-651-2130 ask for John
You may have them do a blend for you with some other varieties but tell him florentine has proven itself here.

There was a list compiled of other seed vendors. Link below

Here is a link that might be useful: list of other places to get turf seed

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:20PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Quirky, you may have inadvertantly pushed me right back to centipede, thank you, because very acid (poor recently decomposed-rock) soil is exactly what we have up here in North Hall and I hadn't picked up on that about centipede. That we might not have to spread lime every year to keep the little grass plants healthy enough to fight off disease and pests is a major, major plus.

For others who are trying to figure out what grass to put down, I do agree that in the wrong situation, like in a front yard next to the neighbor's babied fescue, centipede's appearance may not be entirely satisfactory. Or if you just must have an intensely lush green lawn (me at one time). When I toured the UGA turf trial gardens down in Griffin, I kept wishing the centipede and Bermuda looked better but always returned to the fescue plots and thought only they would do.

Interestingly, the office building down in Griffin is surrounded with a low-maintenance grass, probably either centipede or Bermuda, I forget, and after coming back in from the trial fields it looked surprisingly nice, but of course it gets very good care.

My friend's lovely garden up here north of Atlanta, however, is what eventually sparked my consideration of centipede. It's a fairly large one surrounded with a belt of trees underplanted with mature shrubs, and without bluegrass or fescue a few feet away the lawn, as part of a much-loved but not much-fussed-over garden, is very pretty. ("THAT's centipede?") Nice. Green.

Back in my little sun garden carved out of the side of a mountain (24 x 16 foot lawn!) in Southern California, I had fescue and can attest that with all the water it could want it handled all the heat the desert threw at it. However, we may not have all the water we want available in future, so water requirements are an important consideration, at least for me. During our last 7-year drought, we literally let our tiny lawn die completely and mulched so we could use our limited water to keep our shrubs and trees alive, but that won't be such an easy option for our big garden here. In addition to being relatively drought tolerant, centipede is a creeping grass so it will fill itself back in where it's died out, and unlike those special grass selections available only in sod, the recovery process can be speeded up by seeding. If only it would only stay green all year...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 3:31PM
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They don't call centipede (or centiweed as I jokingly call it) lazy man's grass for nothing. And tall fescue on the other hand takes a lot of work!!
One thing you might try with it is ironite which supposedly makes it darker green to have a tolerable appearance. Winter loss and short growing season would be 2nd and 3rd complaints. If you just need something to hold the soil and have other things you'd rather do with your time than work on the lawn then centipede is the grass. If you had little traffic there are some alternate ground govers i might try first though.

And aggressively creeping grasses are not all they're cracked up to be. Especially with a lot of planting beds.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:38PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Boy does that last bring back a memory. When we were renting in Buford, the "lawn" was a collection of weeds filled in with grasses. I was really impressed with its ability to stay green all year and look good with regular mowing. Another possible "mostly perfect" solution for an imperfect world. Except that my baby planting beds were continually under siege, to the point that they just weren't worth it. Besides creeping plants, when I examined the "lawn" I found that many weeds were going to seed in spite of mowing by stealthily growing sideways instead of up. Georgia seems to have a lot of smart weeds.

I really am a lazy gardener, and willing, or required, to design my garden with that reality in mind. A short growing season is a big negative, though, as I'm specifically looking for ways to extend the garden season, both directions but especially in the fall. Thanks for the tip about Ironite.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:58AM
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There is a variety of tall fescue I was reading about today bred/released by UGA meant to be vigorous in our climate with our whole drought sitation and lower nutrional needs. It's called 'tenacity'. There's a place in Norcross that sells it called Delta. I'm sure it would cost less than centipede and look a heck of a lot better. You can prevent weeds by using pre-emergents at the appropriate time of year and good cultural practices, not mowing too short and not overwatering. Even though you have to mow tall fescue more it slows down in the summer and mid winter so you're basically doing the mowing when the weather is not too hot nor too cold. Now is a good time to seed tall fescue so you could get started right away and have a decent lawn very soon. Centiweed you will have to wait until next summer.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:38PM
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moonphase(z7 Ga)

I really don't know much about seeding a lawn,this will be my first attempt.The house I bought has a yard full of weeds,a blend of clover,crabgrass.etc.It used to be a farm about 20 yrs ago.I want to kill off the old with round up.I bought a bag of rebel,a blend of fescue.I live in north ga in Dahlonega.Is this the time to do this and will this type of seed be ok for my area?I really need some advice about this.Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:51PM
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Yes this is the time. Today would have been a great day for new seed with the mist and drizzle! Rebel is good seed. Just read the label to make sure it doesn't contain very much (preferably none) weed content as is often the unfortunate case with seed bought from retail stores. Don't waste time rounding up crabgrass. It's an annual and it's not coming back now so just scalp mow it and overseed. There's a F.A.Q. in the lawn care forum that is a worthwhile read.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 6:49PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Thanks, Quirky. I was just reading about Tenacity, and Southeast, thanks. I have to admit they sound pretty good.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 11:47AM
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I live in southeast ga on the coast and just recently purchased my first house and have no idea what i am doing when it comes to lawn care. The front yard looks ok, nice grass and a few weeds, but the back looks terrible, bare spots and tons of weeds.I have no idea what type of grass I have. I need help in the back. It gets partial sunlight and i can water enough to get it started. Any suggestions

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:25AM
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