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View Full Version : No more Thermal Bluegrass from commercial suppliers


ProStreetCamaro
10-10-2012, 03:53 PM
Just found out today from my local blender/supplier that scotts is no longer selling thermal blue to blenders or wholesale suppliers. It will only be sold under the scotts brand at home depot. My local blender/supplier was frustrated with this. He said it was the best bluegrass they had ever seen for our area and it thrived here. Now I will have to over pay to buy scotts and blend it into my own fescue/bluegrass myself. I was planning on up selling this blend starting next season. :cry:

Smallaxe
10-10-2012, 07:58 PM
If you're buying Thermal and mixing it with other KBG, how do you know if you get any Thermal to establish??? If it is that good, why not sow it straight so you know you are getting your money's worth???

RigglePLC
10-10-2012, 09:39 PM
Interesting--if I were Scotts and could get away with this, I would do it too. Is this due to a temporary shortage or more long term?

Axe, makes a good point. How do you tell what percent even got established?

Don't let Scotts confuse you with their similar-sounding names for their 90 percent tall fescue--heat tol bluegrass blend. Keep shopping. I am sure there are other excellent KBG varieties out there. Perhaps some are superior. Bariris, maybe. Take a careful look at what seed experts suggest. Read NTEP reports with a skeptical eye. Paying particular attention to locations near you. Listen carefully to your local state university recommendations.

http://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=677&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=170

ProStreetCamaro
10-10-2012, 11:30 PM
If you're buying Thermal and mixing it with other KBG, how do you know if you get any Thermal to establish??? If it is that good, why not sow it straight so you know you are getting your money's worth???

I am not mixing it with other other kbg. I got it already mixed with TTTF. 90/10 mix. My supplier told me the reports have been fantastic on the thermal blue. He said it has tolerated our summers better than any kbg he has ever seen and it fills in and repairs weak spots excellent. The blend I bought had Falcon V, Turbo and another TTTF with 10% thermal blue. We tried the trio mix at my parents house just to see how it would do. It has 10% wild horse kbg.

Riggle he said it is a permanent thing. No sales to blenders or resellers. Only way to get it is at home depot under the scotts brand.

These guys know there stuff. I am glad they are local to us. What is funny is lesco/jd landscapes is literally right around the corner from them.


http://www.newsomseed.com/grassseedmixes.html

http://www.newsomseed.com/Grass_Seed_Mixes_files/TF-Thermal%20Mix.jpg

ChiTownAmateur
10-10-2012, 11:39 PM
I would have to go back and see if I have the bag still but I am 99% sure that Thermal Blue came with 4% weed seeds, and it showed. I thought it was a total joke and would never use the stuff again. It's hard for me to believe that Scott's makes a superior blue compared to so many terrific ones out there.

Smallaxe
10-11-2012, 08:30 AM
We are to far north for TTTFescue so that blend wouldn't be good here... I wonder how thermal would do in the midwest as compared to MD?

ProStreetCamaro
10-11-2012, 08:59 AM
I would have to go back and see if I have the bag still but I am 99% sure that Thermal Blue came with 4% weed seeds, and it showed. I thought it was a total joke and would never use the stuff again. It's hard for me to believe that Scott's makes a superior blue compared to so many terrific ones out there.



The scotts blue is a hybrid. Regular blue around here tends to not survive very well due to the hot dry summer months. The thermal blue my supplier sells has no weed seeds at all. This is a blend of all hybrid blues. $250 a 50# bag.


http://www.newsomseed.com/Grass_Seed_Mixes_files/Double%20Eagle%20Cert%20Tag_1.jpg

RigglePLC
10-11-2012, 12:33 PM
I don't think the work "hybrid" applies to most types of grass seed. It is probably more of a selection from the best progeny of many attempts at hand pollination of Texas bluegrass and other superior types in the green house.
Hybrid refers to corn where one inbred line is crossed or "hybridized" with pollen from a second inbred line. Self pollenization must be prevented during seed production.

Skipster
10-12-2012, 03:06 PM
I don't think the work "hybrid" applies to most types of grass seed. It is probably more of a selection from the best progeny of many attempts at hand pollination of Texas bluegrass and other superior types in the green house.
Hybrid refers to corn where one inbred line is crossed or "hybridized" with pollen from a second inbred line. Self pollenization must be prevented during seed production.

The hybrid term certainly can apply to some varieties, but you're right that it does not apply to all. However, in this case, 'Thermal Blue' and 'Thermal Blue Blaze' are true hybrids -- they are crosses between Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera).

Because Poa species are largely apomictic, they don't usually cross interspecifically in nature. In fact, the man who pioneered sexual hybridization of Poa species, Dr. Reed Funk of Rutgers University, passed away just this week. Anyhow, the crosses only haveto be made once, then the seed produced by the daughter plants is always genetically identical to the parent, so the cross doesn't have to be done every year.

This isn't the case with all plants, though, as some are only incrossers, some are only outcrossers, and others have a blend of the three.

ProStreetCamaro
10-12-2012, 03:25 PM
The hybrid term certainly can apply to some varieties, but you're right that it does not apply to all. However, in this case, 'Thermal Blue' and 'Thermal Blue Blaze' are true hybrids -- they are crosses between Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera).

Because Poa species are largely apomictic, they don't usually cross interspecifically in nature. In fact, the man who pioneered sexual hybridization of Poa species, Dr. Reed Funk of Rutgers University, passed away just this week. Anyhow, the crosses only haveto be made once, then the seed produced by the daughter plants is always genetically identical to the parent, so the cross doesn't have to be done every year.

This isn't the case with all plants, though, as some are only incrossers, some are only outcrossers, and others have a blend of the three.



Very nice explanation. I have read that this hybrid took on traditional physical bluegrass characteristics yet has the heat tolerance of texas bluegrass and has been tested in the deep south with good results. In my area if these findings are true Thermal Blue could be a game changer around here. Everything here is TTTF and I have never seen a lawn that did not have bare are weak spots by late summer.

I feel with a good stand of Thermal Blue mixed in with the TTTF these bare and weak areas will still occur but will naturally fill back in come fall. Also with a healthy stand of Thermal it may help minimize turf tearing due to the dense shallow root system of bluegrass.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-12-2012, 03:27 PM
Would disagree with the use of TTTF in northern climates. Some of the best seeding I have done was a TTTF/KBG/Per Rye mix.

Skipster
10-12-2012, 06:03 PM
Very nice explanation. I have read that this hybrid took on traditional physical bluegrass characteristics yet has the heat tolerance of texas bluegrass and has been tested in the deep south with good results. In my area if these findings are true Thermal Blue could be a game changer around here. Everything here is TTTF and I have never seen a lawn that did not have bare are weak spots by late summer.

I feel with a good stand of Thermal Blue mixed in with the TTTF these bare and weak areas will still occur but will naturally fill back in come fall. Also with a healthy stand of Thermal it may help minimize turf tearing due to the dense shallow root system of bluegrass.

My explanation was the quick and dirty version -- it's really a bit more involved than that. Texas bluegrass (TBG) is an out-crossing dioecious plant that usually has poor quality, poor stand density, coarse texture, pale color, and poor seed production. But, it's better in the heat and drought than Kentucky bluegrass (KBG). So, female TBG plants were crossed with KBG plants, then the daughter plants were crossed again with another KBG selection (called back-crossing), and those daughter plants were crossed one more time with a different KBG selection.

So, for about half of the available hybrid bluegrasses (there are about 10 that I can think of), they were back-crossed to KBG twice. Some were back-crossed 3 to 5 times. The point was to get something resembling KBG that was more heat and dought tolerant than KBG. If you've ever seen TBG by itself, you would never want it in a lawn. If someone put TBG in fron of you and told you that they were going ot use it to make lawn grasses with, you would laugh in their face and tell them they're stupid. That's why all the back-crossed were needed.

I don't think these hybrids have lived up to their hype. In several university trials, they were no different from tall fescue in their water requirements or disease issues and they took much longer to establish than tall fescue (which is why Scotts puts so much tall fescue in their blend). No one would want to want 3 or 4 months for a lawn to fill in when the tall fescue will do it in a couple of weeks.

Smallaxe
10-13-2012, 01:46 PM
That made sense... thanks for the info... :)

maynardGkeynes
10-13-2012, 07:05 PM
The thing with the heat tolerant bluegrasses is that they are heat tolerant, not drought tolerant, a distinction that seems to get lost in both the university studies and the NTEP analysis. I have used Thermal Blue, Solar Green, and Thermal Blue Blaze. TB establishes quickly, and does well in the shade. The color is on the lighter side, however. SG is simply too light green to blend with most elite types. TBB is quite dark in color, but it is little slow to establish. Dura Blue, which I have not used, is said to have a very dark color, but is extremely slow to establish. An ideal blend would be 50/50 TB/TBB. With irrigation, they will do quite well, and stay green a little longer than KBG. I prefer them to TTTF, which does not like temps above 90, and is pretty prone to brown patch in compacted (moist) soils.