Tall Turf Type Fescue or KBG from Lesco?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mlong30, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    I’m currently in the process of reseeding my lawn, and I’m trying to decide if I should keep using Kentucky Blue Grass, or should I use Tall Turf Type Fescue, or should I mix the two together?

    Does anyone here have any pictures of a Tall-Turf Type Fescue lawn or one with mixed with KBG?

    Thanks.

    Matt
    Indianapolis, In
     
  2. TforTexas

    TforTexas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Don't mix the two together, Fescue and bluegrass mixed together looks "clumpy", unless the mix is at least 90% fescue, 10% bluegrass.
    Fescue will tend to be more heat and drought tolerant, but bluegrasses give a much nicer texture and the ability to knit and spread so can recover a little faster. The choice comes down to preference. Is having a nicer texture worth a little more trouble (i.e. watering, insect control)? Or do you want to sacrifice a little bit in texture for durability?
     
  3. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    This is what I'm trying to decide, since I don't have a sprinkler system, and since the value of the US Dollar is falling, it doesn't make sence for me to get one, so thats why I was thinking of getting Tall Type Turf fescue, but I have no idea what it looks like in a full yard. Everyone in my area is using KBG.

    Matt
     
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Everything TforTexas states here is exactly correct, Matt.
    But I have seen many nice fescue / blue lawns work out very well, and "mesh" together satisfactorily in the midwest, through the years...given that the caretaker(s) apply the correct maintenance practices to keep them looking good.

    If you're looking to convert your lawn over to fescue, you've got to make sure you do a thourough job with the prep work before you seed, as well as religious follow-up watering (remember...frequent but SHALLOW watering, at first).
    TTT Fescue / bluegrass lawns that are prepped, sown, and/or watered POORLY will no doubt end up looking something like a "quilt"..... (NO exaggeration)..... by the time the two distinct grass species finally mature and gain their distinct "attitudes", which really wouldn't be until late this summer, at the earliest.

    If one species dominates in germination...and the other one doesn't...you've got problems brewing for down the road!
    The trick is to get good seed to soil contact everywhere as you're seeding, with the EXISTING soil base.

    A 90% Fescue blend 10% bluegrass blend means that's whats in the bag....by percentage.
    Remember though, an indivual bluegrass seed is only about 2/3 the size of an individual TTT fescue seed.
    So therefore, a "90% fescue / 10% bluegrass bag" that is also 50 pounds is actually very close to what is 32 pounds fescue / 18 pounds bluegrass.

    I believe the Lesco name for that EXACT mix is "Tuf Turf"

    They also sell "Team Mates Plus" (which you may find is easier to source than Tuf Turf).
    Team Mates Plus, if I'm not mistaken, is 90% (3 varieties) TTT fescues, 10% ky bluegrass, 10% perennial rye.

    (I wouldn't sweat that little bit of p. rye...if you couldn't find all fescue/blue very easily.
    A smidge of rye will act as a "cover crop"...or a "nurse grass"...and will gradually "fade away" as your other dominant grasses mature later.)
     
  5. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    I decided to go with KBG since my back yard still has about 80% KBG. I plan on renting a Seed Slitter from Sunbelt Rental. I was told by Sunbelt that I need to use the Seed Slitter two days after it rains for good results. Is this true?

    Matt
     
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    You've got your mind made up about 100% bluegrass...and that's what you've committed to doing.
    Just remember the level of maintenance for bluegrass, to keep it looking "up to snuff" as compared to the Jones' fescue yard down the street, is going to be alot higher for you, at your specific line on latitude in the Midwest.
    The reason why the fellow wanted you to rent two days after "a good rain" was so that you didn't try to slice into concrete-hard soil.
    I think I can speak for you...being only a couple hours east of you ( just north of Cincy) that you have plenty of moisture in the soil right now !!

    I recommend slicing in TWO directions with the seeder (each time with the seed meter set at 1/2 rate for "bluegrass) to make sure you don't end up having the seed looking like it was planted in "corn rows" :cry: when it comes up later.
    If you have a little seed left over when you're done slicing two directions...just go into the "tight" areas 1st with a garden rake to loosen those hard-to-get areas, and then "broadcast" it over everything you've done.

    Bluegrass, again, is higher maintenance turf in this area, than fescue.

    I'd recommend reading up on things like (preventive) fungicides, how to detect turf-damaging insects (both surface-feeding and root-feeding...like grubs) :hammerhead:, timing of fertilizer apps, proper mowing, blade sharpening, and when/why to lower blades for winter's preparation, and, like I said before ....seriously consider for your next L&G investment a decent turf SPRINKLER SYSTEM.
     

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