Grass Seed Mix

onthewayJuly 9, 2010

I live in Southeastern Virginia (zip 23325). I have been organic for almost one year now. I have tall fescue planted. There may be a slight mixture of perennial rye or fine fescue because i have some areas of very fine grass blades mixed in. I water deeply infrequently. I do battle some brown patch because the high heat and humidity around here at points in the summer. I have been using cornmeal to help that fight and milk as well.

I know this fall i will have to reseed and renovate some areas due to the brown patch and some bermuda still sneaking by.

Anyone have any ideas on a good brand or mix I should use for this area. I used Southern Belle last time and fairly please but not sure if I should go with something with a bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass mix. Also looking to find what brand seeds would be best. I have been on my extension site and have a hard time finding the recommended seeds for sale.

I know this is long, but any advise on fighting the bermuda as well?


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Check out the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program -- NTEP.

They have studies that run 5 years at a time doing nation wide evaluations of turfgrass cultivars...

Check out the results from the universities that are closest to you... The ones that do well are proven performers in your area...

One thing... The latest literature indicates that Brown patch is heavily related to too thick of a Stand density and Nitrogen fertilization in spring/summer... You may try backing off of your overseed rate (Like less than 1/2 of the recommended bag rate)... and only overseed in areas that go bare or areas that thin out a huge amount... Allow the stand to thin out a bit over the summer and don't fertilize with anything synthetic between March and September... Some studies suggest no nitrogen fertilization at all between March and September... Use foliar iron to improve color instead...



Here is a link that might be useful: National Turfgrass Evalations

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Have you talked with the people at your counties office of your Virginia Tech/Virginia State University Cooperative Extension Service office about what their research, paid for by you, has found about the best turf grass for your area?

Here is a link that might be useful: VSU CES

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 7:58AM
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Thanks for the follow ups guys. I have researched the extension site for their reports, but my question is maybe is it a good idea to mix the rye and bluegrass in with the fescue. I will try calling the extension and talk to the master gardner. I know that i had a hard time locating these seed brands that I read in the report around here. Maybe they have a better idea.
As far as the brown patch, is stand density the amount of grass in one particular area? I am not sure I know what that means. I do not use anything synthetic at all so that is not an issue. Can organic ferts. play a role in this as well?

With the bermuda grass, is my only option to dig it up to get it out and then reseed or is there another way I can take care of this?
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:13AM
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I think most successful way of getting rid of Bermuda is moving to a place where Bermuda doesn't grow.... Minnesota seems to be a reasonable candidate...

You have to dig it out... and even better -- it sends LONG rhizomes all over the place deep underground... It was nothing for me to dig up 18" deep runners out of rose flower beds...

Check out the article below on Stand Density, Brown patch, etc...


Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting Article about TTTF

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 3:01PM
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I have limited experience getting rid of Bermuda and/or St. Augustine since where ever I worked as a gardener where those grasses grew the people wanted them. I can remember that keeping those grasses out of planting beds could be as much work as keeping Quack Grass out is here, although as I recall we did not need barriers as deep for those grasses as are required for Quack Grass. The organic method of eliminating Bermuda, or St. Augustine grasses would be to dig them out since nothing you could spray on them would be accepotable to an organic gardener.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 8:03AM
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thanks again guys. If i ever start over from square one I may decide to use bermuda exclusively! I guess I will have some digging time ahead of me this late summer to be ready to plant this fall.

Interesting read on the stand density and the relation to some of the lawn disease. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:54AM
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