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Derek's Lawn Care
01-27-2010, 01:57 AM
I am going to start offering a new service this year, seeding new lawns, but I am wondering what seed to use. The lawn types are mostly non shaded around here in southern IL, wet springs, hot summers, and cold winters. I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction by telling me what they think about what seeds to mix at what ratios, any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Stevegotcrabgrass
01-27-2010, 10:08 AM
I'd think that you have cool season grasses. I am from NY so I will speak to what I know. Cool season grasses are your KGB, Fescues and Ryes. I know there are others but these are the ones I have experience with. Now depending on your specific situations you can make many mixtures. My supply house will actually make any mixture you want, bag it and sell it to you. A common mixture I see for shaded area's is a KGB,Fescue,Rye mixture. about 10%KGB 60% fescues and 30% P. Rye. This is a shade mix that is common. I have had great success with 70% p.ryes (made up of multiple cultivars) and 30% KGB. With all that being said, I cannot tell you what will work best in your specific area. It depends alot to on what the lawn will be used for and how much abuse it will take. I know P.rye's do well in higher traffic area's so i tend to use them where I know kids and dogs are. I also know the germination is quicker for p.ryes that with kgb.....

RigglePLC
01-27-2010, 10:12 AM
Experience is the best teacher--but she can be bitter and cost you a lot. You should have already attended some conferences or training sessions and you should have already talked to several seed vendors to see what they suggest. Be that as it may. Start studying the National Turf Evaluation program. Pay particular attention to the data for your area. Study data and methods of pregermination. Some hydraulic seeders work cheap. Since not many new houses are being built, you should also consider overseeding work and complete renovations. Disease resistance is extremely important--get the best you can get. If brochure does not say it is resistant to a particular disease--it is not. Be sure to offer a range of seed types to the customer--top quality--to run of the mill cheap cheap stuff. Do not guarantee anything at all.
http://ntep.org/

Per rye is fast and will dominate a stand if mixed with slower KBG. Michigan experts suggest if you use 90 percent KBG and 10 percent rye--you will end up with a 50--50 mixture. Skip the fine fescue--except in shade. Consider quality turf type tall fescue in hot non-irrigated situations.

Derek's Lawn Care
01-27-2010, 12:54 PM
The cool season grasses are what looks good around here and I have a 5 acre lawn so I will do alot of testing on what looks good and what doesnt, but in my test plots I was thinking about mixing these seeds n ratios below. I have read books and read all over this site but still just curious so when i do someones lawn it wont look horrible. If you can tell me any constructive criticism that would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

1- 90% tall fescue, 5% ky bluegrass, 5% perenial rye
2- 90% tall fescue, 5% ky bluegrass, 5% fine fescue
3- 60% tall fescue, 20% ky bluegrass, 10% fine fescue, 10% perenial rye
4- 75% tall fescue, 15% ky bluegrass, 5% fine fescue
5- 85% tall fescue, 15% ky bluegrass

Im just not sure if i should mix the fine fescue and perenial rye grass in at all, or more of another kind of fescue and less tall fescue. These are what I have come up with so far but not sure if thats what i should do

RigglePLC
01-27-2010, 03:28 PM
Derek,
Everything depends on irrigation. If you have it--KBG and rye will do fine. If not or if your temps often get above 90, tall fescue should be a large part of the mix. Is it hot where you are? Humid? There are many cultivars of each species, be sure to get the high-quality and disease-resistance. Also be sure to get endophyte-enhanced rye. Don't use any seed that has not scored high in Indiana tests. Take a look at the heat-tolerant blues. You are forced to use at least 10 percent rye, because otherwise the customer will be disappointed because of the slow progress of the TTTF, and KBG. What kind of equipment did you intend to use? Business will be horribly slow until housing speeds up again. You would be busier (I suspect) by tearing out old turf and replacing it with new sod.

Derek's Lawn Care
01-29-2010, 11:37 AM
Derek,
Everything depends on irrigation. If you have it--KBG and rye will do fine. If not or if your temps often get above 90, tall fescue should be a large part of the mix. Is it hot where you are? Humid? There are many cultivars of each species, be sure to get the high-quality and disease-resistance. Also be sure to get endophyte-enhanced rye. Don't use any seed that has not scored high in Indiana tests. Take a look at the heat-tolerant blues. You are forced to use at least 10 percent rye, because otherwise the customer will be disappointed because of the slow progress of the TTTF, and KBG. What kind of equipment did you intend to use? Business will be horribly slow until housing speeds up again. You would be busier (I suspect) by tearing out old turf and replacing it with new sod.

temps often do reach above 90 degrees, and is humid most of the time. I will spread the seed with a broadcast spreader and you are definitely right, business will be slow until people start buying houses again but I plan to do aeration and overseeding too.
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