Grass Type?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bwclark, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. bwclark

    bwclark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I live in N. Calif. on the coast, and have a 20 year old bentgrass lawn that I would like to overseed or whatever. The current lawn is in very poor condition and requires alot of fertilizer monthly just to keep it green.

    I have a 7 blade reel McLane mower which I use to cut the grass to a short length.

    I would like to try some overseeding with a new grass type but do not know what to use to produce a dark green grass in sun/shade mix that I can cut low.

    I saw a Pennington Enviro-Blue mix that sounds good, but don't know. This lawn has very low traffic and has a auto sprinkler system I installed.

    This is a moderate climate coastal area of Northern California with 35 inches rain per year. 55 F aveage year round temp.

    Any ideas?

  2. bwclark

    bwclark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22


    This also sounds like a type that would work?
    Perennial Ryegrass-turf
    Lolium perenne
    Perennial Ryegrass is one of the world’s most widely used, Oregon-grown grasses. Its popularity comes from its ability to germinate in 7 to 10 days or less. This fine-bladed turf grass is preferred by many home owners because of its dark color, strong root system, its fast response to fertilization and its rapid recovery from trampling. A cool-season grass, Perennial Ryegrass can adapt to many different kinds of soil, including poor soils, clay, and badly drained areas. Oregon-grown turf-type Perennial Ryegrass is a hardy grass that has been used in almost every premier sporting event including the Super Bowl, World Cup Soccer, Rose Bowl, Los Angeles Coliseum, World Series, Olympics and on the world’s finest golf courses. It can be mowed as low as 3/16 inch for golf course greens, an inch or less for tees and fairways and 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches for home laws. This none creeping, bunch type grass likes will sun but will tolerate some shade.

  3. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    You may have a problem mixing other types of grass into your current bentgrass lawn. Bentgrass is typically cut short, and if not, it will produce long upward stems that can crawl over other grasses. During dry spells the bentgrass can dry out and then you'll be left with a patchy lawn.

    Bentgrass lawns can be wonderful, if maintained, but if yours is in such bad shape and if you want to replace it with another type, then it would probably be in your best interest to kill it off first and then perhaps remove it. Sounds like work, but may be necessary.
  4. bwclark

    bwclark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Thanks for the reply!

    I think I will try a section and can mow the existing down very close to the dirt. I have found some rye grass named "Brightstar" that seems as though it might be the best choice.

    Note: I have some 6" diameter patches in the lawn that is dark green and dense, which I think is from the neighbors lawn that I also cut. Mine this time of year is very light yellow to light green, and these patches really stand out.

    If I could have the whole lawn like it that would be great. But I have no idea what it is or if it is truly from this other lawn.

    Maybe a local landscaper might have an idea.

  5. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,345

    Have you done a soil sample? Your using a lot of fert monthly. What type and at what rate are you applying it at? Your problem could be in the soil. Your lawn could be fighting insects...
  6. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    seashore paspalum may be an alternative
  7. bwclark

    bwclark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Thank you for the replies!

    I've decided on D.I.Y. again since I did the initial seeding, etc. 20 years ago.
    I will dethatch/power rake the existing 1 inch of brillo pad thatch, and use my reel mower to pick up the remains.
    Then I will core aerate the turf(pure dirt), which has never been aerated and is currently fairly soft from Winter/Spring rains.
    At that point, I plan to add fertilizer (Super Turf Builder from Scott), and then add Colonial Bent grass seed(which is close to what I currently have).
    Then top dress with some sand. Water, water and hope.
    I have never done this before, but guess I will learn.

    Does this sound ok?
    Is this fertilizer ok or would something else be better?

    As for seashore paspalum:

    "NOTE: Due to state agricultural regulations on soils
    We can NOT ship our Grass Plugs to these states:
    Arizona, California, Oregon, Nevada & Washington"

  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Bob, there are different types of Scotts Super Turf Builder fertilizers, but looking at the one that is labeled as "lawn Fertilizer" I see that its 30% nitrogen and only 3% phosphorus. Part of the 30% nitrogen is probably slow release encapsulated, and part quick release. This type of fertilizer is not what you want for establishing a new lawn.

    Phosphorus is used for planting, transplanting, for new lawns, and so forth because it encourages new root growth. You want the grass seed to establish good roots before it shoots up nice and green. The type of fertilizer you have is like building a house from the roof down, rather than building the foundation first. I would look for a fertilizer with at least 14 or 15% phosphorus, perhaps something like 16-16-16, or 14-20-10, something like that where you've bumped up the phosphorus, and down the nitrogen.

    You mentioned having to fertilize every month to keep the lawn green. Ouch!!! Sounds like a problem. If you keep throwing down a lot of nitrogen, then you're going to build up a lot of thatch and have problems.
  9. bwclark

    bwclark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I decided to say "to heck" with the bent, and will have a sodded high fescue installed. Lot easier to take care of... I hope!

    Bob :waving:
  10. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I would go with a type of fescue or Kentucky bluegrass on this yard as well. The bluegrass will give you a deeper green color, but it requires more maintenance and water to maintain, especially if your going to be cutting it short. Fescue will not have as dark of a color, but requires less maintenance and less water. In my opinion fescue seems like the way to go. The only issue im worried about is removing as much bent grass as possible because it tends to be invasive. Also depending on which fescue you choose, cutting height can be an issue.

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