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Old 03-30-2011, 11:10 PM
martman100 martman100 is offline
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Warm Season Grass in KY

I am planning on starting the conversion to a warm season turf on my lawn this year. I can't afford to sod the entire lawn, however, I need some advice on the choice and method.

Site info:
Louisville, KY (transition zone)
Over the counter soil test shows low nitrogen and other areas are okay.

I had halted fertilization most of last year due to the extreme heat we had here. I did do a test with some Meyer Zoysia in the back yard and it did really well via the plugs. I normally cut my yard now with a reel mower to about a 1.2 inch height. Worked very well for the Zoysia even without water or fertilizer.

My question and concern is in regards to the options of warm season grasses. The only drawback I see with the zoysia is the growth speed (time to establishment). My BG, Rye, and TTF really took a beating last year and I am tired of dealing with it every year. I could careless about the brown dormancy over the winter. I want something fairly durable, self repairing, and heat/drought tolerant.

So are there any other varieties of warm season grasses that will grow much quicker than zoysia, with a similar blade, and survive our winters?

If not would it be best to plug the zoysia or broadcast sprigs? I don't believe seeding would be the best option and I can convince the kiddos to help with plugging.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:39 AM
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benjammin benjammin is offline
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Not sure about other varieties besides Zoysias but you may want to consider Empire Zoysia plugs too.
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:51 AM
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avguy avguy is online now
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How about Bermuda?
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:36 PM
martman100 martman100 is offline
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I would do Bermuda but I am not sure of a variety that would survive our winters and have a nice low cut with a manual reel mower. Not sure how to plant Bermuda or which variety besides common. I know tif would more than likely die due to how cold it gets here rather than just going dormant. I assume would need to seed rather than plug.

I am open to suggestions but I am so worried the zoysia is going to be too slow of a grower.

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How about Bermuda?
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:28 PM
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avguy avguy is online now
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I'm just a couple hours south of you. So far I've renovated 1 1/2 acres & will renovate another 20k or so this summer. Here's a couple pics of a 14k area of Bermuda I seeded 2 yrs ago with the help of some fine folks here on LS. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=279977
If I didn't have so much area I would have used sod. I seeded a mid grade Bermuda. Feed it on a regular basis & it will grow like crazy. I don't think your winters will bother it any more than ours here.
Also, if it were me, before I spent a dime on anything I would spend the $25 or so & get a real soil test done by your extension office.





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  #6  
Old 03-31-2011, 09:11 PM
martman100 martman100 is offline
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That is awesome. I think you just changed my mind. And I think I will get the better soil test done as well.

I will see what my local Lesco has for seed in regards to bermuda. So I should or should not get hulled?

How tall are you cutting that?
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2011, 09:40 PM
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avguy avguy is online now
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The seed is Sunstar Bermuda purchased from Lesco. That pic of the lawn was taken last year & it was being cut at 3.25". I intentionally cut it that high as I didn't want to have to change the mower height between that area & another that hadn't been renovated yet. This year the entire yard with be cut at 2".

Have the guys at Lesco give you a fertilizing schedule & then get ready to mow. Seriously, last year I was cutting every other day. It's important to get the new roots established as much as possible during the summer months before it goes dormant in the fall. If you feed it on a regular schedule it will grow like crazy.
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