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View Full Version : Has Fescue became a thing of the past in the South?


DaddyRabbit
08-16-2007, 06:32 AM
As of late I have had more luck raising a great stand of weeds than anything else w/this "go to he%$" drought we're having. It really doesn't matter what pre or post you use because in my mind of one doesn't irrigate you're screwed where fescue is concerned. Could it be that climates have shifted to a point that one would be wasting his time bothering by planting fescue in this climate? I have a pretty big yard and am to the point of inviting zoysia or centipede in my yard. However, I'll never allow wire grass a moments peace.

lawnspecialties
08-16-2007, 07:19 AM
From 1999 to 2006, all I pretty much dealt with was fescue. This year I've seeded two residentials and three commercials with bermuda. I also picked up a few residentials with Tifway 419 installed. Many neighborhoods being built in Raleigh are all being sodded with bermuda this year.

pclawncare
08-16-2007, 05:26 PM
I have 2 full fescue yards with no shade and it seems no matter what ammount of water is put down it just browns out seems that it gives off more water during the extream heat we have here than iti s possible for the grass to take up during the non hottest part of the day. Basicly it looks nice but if you dont have shade around here your screwed. i have to over seed every fall and spring to even keep the invading bermuda at bay.

DaddyRabbit
08-16-2007, 08:06 PM
When you figure out how to keep that wire grass/Bermuda at bay I'll hire you immediately and pay your price. I have never seen anything as tough in my life!


to even keep the invading bermuda at bay.

BushHawG
08-16-2007, 08:19 PM
As of late I have had more luck raising a great stand of weeds than anything else w/this "go to he%$" drought we're having. It really doesn't matter what pre or post you use because in my mind of one doesn't irrigate you're screwed where fescue is concerned. Could it be that climates have shifted to a point that one would be wasting his time bothering by planting fescue in this climate? I have a pretty big yard and am to the point of inviting zoysia or centipede in my yard. However, I'll never allow wire grass a moments peace.

I was thinking of trying to overseed my middle Tennesse yard with Centipede this Fall, don't know if it will do well with the winters we have, but i'm thinking it might be worth a chance. Much better for these dry hot summers, what have i got to loose ?

KTO Enterprises
08-16-2007, 08:20 PM
When you figure out how to keep that wire grass/Bermuda at bay I'll hire you immediately and pay your price. I have never seen anything as tough in my life!

Do you not have bahia where you are? Ill take an acre of bermuda over 1/8 acre of bahia. LOL

lawnprosteveo
08-16-2007, 09:18 PM
I have 2 full fescue yards with no shade and it seems no matter what ammount of water is put down it just browns out seems that it gives off more water during the extream heat we have here than iti s possible for the grass to take up during the non hottest part of the day. Basicly it looks nice but if you dont have shade around here your screwed. i have to over seed every fall and spring to even keep the invading bermuda at bay.I have alot of fescue customers here in Tulsa. Even in the shaded yards it just doesnt look well once we get into the extreme heat of our late summers. Even the ones who irrigate...it looks marginal. I think Bermuda is the way to go...and Zoysia so long as you have at least some sun.

pclawncare
08-16-2007, 09:38 PM
I really think we are too far south for fescue i dont know but it seemed like the little bit of downtown witchita ks that i have seen looked like they have a bunch of fescue they may be far enough north to take the edge off the extream heat like we have here. Something i noticed the other day as they built a brand new far credit here in town and they soded the entire place w fescue in the heat of the summer they are watering day and night and still id say atleast 1/2 if not 3/4 is dieing or dead and there is not a single tree for shade in the areas they sodded. I just dont get why people think that fescue is so great. yes it is pretty but in these climats around here it takes an extream amount of upkeep and attention. Also about keeping the bermuda at bay its not working too well but the customers keep paying me so i keep putting the seed down and every year it comes up lookes great in the spring then it dies and the bermuda takes over some more.

Envy Lawn Service
08-16-2007, 11:16 PM
Well DaddyRabbit, "where" is too far south?

It's been dang dry a lot of places this year.

Much is destroyed here. Warm season and cool season grass alike.

My non-irrigated warm season lawns have yeilded nothing this year.
I cut them back short early to avoid crown cutting.
They started to green, the we got a late freeze and they went dormant.
They had about enough time to start greening again before they went dormant again due to drought.

My own lawn and field looks like it has been hit several times with roundup.
Total loss probably.

I have no idea what I might try to go back with.

Choosing between fescue and bermuda, I'd go back with fescue because I hate bermuda.
For myself I'm thinking of RTF, Centipede or Zoysia.... dunno....

dgfitz
08-17-2007, 03:45 AM
Do you not have bahia where you are? Ill take an acre of bermuda over 1/8 acre of bahia. LOL

Yea,gotta love that bermuda, damn bahai wears blades out like
a Dallas ***** does GI'S.

Nosmo
08-17-2007, 05:55 AM
Well if it weren't for Bermuda and Tall Fescue I would not have any grass left. Got too much square footage to try and irrigate it --- 54,450 in all.

The big trees are sucking the life out of the bermuda in the open areas . I have one large Elm in one area with roots which reach out maybe 40 feet and when the heat is on the grass in that area has no chance.

Tall fescue is still doing good under the shaded areas but mostly except for my front yard everything is stressed including the trees.

I know you guys were talking about fine fescue but I think in this area you'd have just as much luck planting icecubes.

Nosmo

DaddyRabbit
08-17-2007, 09:14 AM
I have made up my mind as much as I hate it not to go back w/Fescue. Its a total waste of time and money in this area. The only problem is affording a quality Zoysia or centipede seed. I have 5 acres that are mowed and even Bill Gates couldn't afford that much sod. Then again, theres always green paint. Whatever warm season grass I go with I have 6 gallons of Round-up, some time on my hands and a hatred for wire grass like theres no tomorrow.

eddings
08-17-2007, 12:24 PM
I don't understand why you guys can't stand bermuda. It is easy to grow looks great in the hot summer with far less watering than most other grasses. It is tough and easy to remove weeds from. The only problem is it goes dormant for so long in the fall and comes up late in the spring.

Envy Lawn Service
08-17-2007, 02:33 PM
I don't understand why you guys can't stand bermuda. It is easy to grow looks great in the hot summer with far less watering than most other grasses. It is tough and easy to remove weeds from. The only problem is it goes dormant for so long in the fall and comes up late in the spring.

Most of us learned to hate it I think because it wasn't native to our area, but with climate change and infiltration of wild stuff it began to invade. Most of us are hating on the common bermuda and see it as a nearly uncontrollable nussance grassy weed.

The common type spreads like crazy and is very hard to control, much less kill. Plus it has no cool soil tolerance, shade tolerance or drought tolerance at all.... yet it always returns....

The hydrid bermuda's are different animals.

pclawncare
08-19-2007, 12:25 AM
I dont hate bermuda its just that i would like to keep it out of my fescue yards. If it wasnt for bermuda id almost have nothing to mow

dave k
08-19-2007, 08:33 AM
Have you tried Thermal Blue? look at this article.
www.walterreeves.com/lawns/article.phtml?cat=6&id=748
I tried writing him via PM, he never replied.
Dave

GreenT
08-19-2007, 01:14 PM
Do you not have bahia where you are? Ill take an acre of bermuda over 1/8 acre of bahia. LOL



Personally, I don't have a problem with Bahia, it keeps me quite busy this time of year.

Under the right conditions is almost bulletproof, nothing can take heat and low moisture better than Bahia. It has a beautiful shade of green, it smells great when you cut it and, 2-3 days after cutting, it has a soft look that I find very appealing.

:waving:

john_incircuit
08-19-2007, 01:54 PM
The pattern we see is that customers that water the tall fescue once a week around 1 inch still have the grass eventually go dormant, customers that water every day or every other day (also to a total of 1 to 2 inches per week) have mostly green grass.

I donít fully understand why this is, as both types of watering supply about the same amount of water per week. Always figured that watering once a week makes roots go deeper and therefore is the better practice. Perhaps it is the cooling effects of the evaporating water that keeps the soil just a few degrees below the shoot growth cut Ė off temperature.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
08-19-2007, 02:10 PM
Well DaddyRabbit, "where" is too far south?

It's been dang dry a lot of places this year.

Much is destroyed here. Warm season and cool season grass alike.

My non-irrigated warm season lawns have yeilded nothing this year.
I cut them back short early to avoid crown cutting.
They started to green, the we got a late freeze and they went dormant.
They had about enough time to start greening again before they went dormant again due to drought.

My own lawn and field looks like it has been hit several times with roundup.
Total loss probably.

I have no idea what I might try to go back with.

Choosing between fescue and bermuda, I'd go back with fescue because I hate bermuda.
For myself I'm thinking of RTF, Centipede or Zoysia.... dunno....

Try Lesco's Teammate Blend. It has done very well on my irrigated accounts. 80% Tri-Fescue blend, 20% perennial rye. Seems like they might even give you a bag or two of it seeing that you are the only person in the usa to run their mowers!lol

DaddyRabbit
08-19-2007, 04:48 PM
Well, I just finished putting out 150 gallons of generic round-up covering my entire yard. I suspect I'll have to treat it at least once more before planting.

stimpy
08-19-2007, 04:51 PM
John incicuit. Same here. My best looking lawns are getting 1/8 inch at 1 am every day. NCSU says root growth stops when soil temps hit 77. That was may 1 at my house.

MudslinginFX4
08-19-2007, 06:43 PM
My irrigated properties are hanging in there, but barely. The non-irrigated properties are toast. I have most of my irrigated properties water coming on 2 times per day, 3 times per week. Once in the morning about 30-40 minutes per zone, and once around 2:00 in the afternoon for about 15-20 minutes per zone to cool them down.

The water restrictions placed on the area are making it very hard. Currently we are on a restriction of 3 days per week, they are talking about switching to 1 day per week very soon. If they switch to one day per week, I don't even know how many customers are going to invest in seeding this year, even though they don't have anything left for next year.

lawnspecialties
08-19-2007, 06:52 PM
My irrigated properties are hanging in there, but barely. The non-irrigated properties are toast. I have most of my irrigated properties water coming on 2 times per day, 3 times per week. Once in the morning about 30-40 minutes per zone, and once around 2:00 in the afternoon for about 15-20 minutes per zone to cool them down.

The water restrictions placed on the area are making it very hard. Currently we are on a restriction of 3 days per week, they are talking about switching to 1 day per week very soon. If they switch to one day per week, I don't even know how many customers are going to invest in seeding this year, even though they don't have anything left for next year.

I usually start making some calls around this time to see which customers (not my year-round full-service customers) want to reseed. This month, I've had people calling me before I could even call them. :)

Hey, if they want to try it again, God bless them. Tall-fescue is starting to become like annual ryegrass. People are getting in the frame of mind that it's just something you have to reseed every year so they expect it and budget for it.payup

MudslinginFX4
08-19-2007, 07:17 PM
90% of our customers invest in the seeding yearly, I sent out newsletters last week, and have heard back from maybe 50 or so residentials so far. My commercial contracts include the aerating and seeding already. I'm worried though if they change the watering to once per week this may change. Thank god a lot of my customers are still on wells so the city water restrictions dont matter.

lawnspecialties
08-19-2007, 08:31 PM
90% of our customers invest in the seeding yearly, I sent out newsletters last week, and have heard back from maybe 50 or so residentials so far. My commercial contracts include the aerating and seeding already. I'm worried though if they change the watering to once per week this may change. Thank god a lot of my customers are still on wells so the city water restrictions dont matter.

Right now, you can apply for a 45 day unlimited watering permit if you are renovating a yard. If Raleigh does indeed go to the once per week schedule, I don't know if that will apply.:confused:

You can also get a special permit with Cary as well. I don't remember how many days it allows.

puppypaws
08-19-2007, 10:10 PM
Well, I just finished putting out 150 gallons of generic round-up covering my entire yard. I suspect I'll have to treat it at least once more before planting.

150 gallons, how much grass do you have? I use 2 qts. per acre in 10 gal. total solution with a gallon being liquid nitrogen to make it take up the Glyphosate quickly. I have to apply this twice with it actively growing both times to get good control, the second application is for what came back from rhizomes that did not get a drink the first time.

It is so dry here now the only thing that would kill Bermuda grass is hogs, they will dig up rhizones and all then eat it.

topsites
08-19-2007, 10:14 PM
Fescue is my seed of choice, I don't believe I have ever used anything else.

It is a tough grass, in the summer I raise the cut height and spread out the service dates, in addition to not cutting during the worst heat this helps keep things green, but grow it's not supposed to, it never grows much in Jul-August, not even with 3-4 rains / week.

Once the temps drop below 90 things will pick up some, september is a bit like spring, but not quite.
Worst thing that eats me is the price of seed has gone sky high, dang near $100 for 50 pounds.

lawnspecialties
08-19-2007, 10:30 PM
Fescue is my seed of choice, I don't believe I have ever used anything else.

It is a tough grass, in the summer I raise the cut height and spread out the service dates, in addition to not cutting during the worst heat this helps keep things green, but grow it's not supposed to, it never grows much in Jul-August, not even with 3-4 rains / week.

Once the temps drop below 90 things will pick up some, september is a bit like spring, but not quite.
Worst thing that eats me is the price of seed has gone sky high, dang near $100 for 50 pounds.

Holy cow, topsites. PM me if you need to. I'm getting mine this year (delivered, too) for about $60 a 50 lb. bag. This is their "Platinum blend" and it's the "pallet price". Not sure if they'll head to Richmond but I do know they deliver quite far at times.