What Type of Grass?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I am getting ready to plant a new lawn after I ammend the soil and install the sprinkler system. I live in Washington state in the Columbia Gorge across from Hood River (Oregon). We have pretty wet but usually not too cold of winters and relatively hot and dry summers. I am looking for a recommendation of a grass or grass mix to use. The most common grass planted around here is a mixture of tall fescue and either Kentucky blue or perenial rye which is nice but I want to look some of my other options. My main concerns for the grass are durability (kids and dogs), resistance to insects and disease and of course overall appearance. We get sun most of the day from mid-morning through early afternoon. I really like a shorter, finer grass like what is used on golf course fairways but don't know if that would be suitable for us. I think they use creeping bent grass on the golf courses around here, would that be right? Would that work for my needs? Any other recommendations? Thanks for any help.

  2. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    OK, I did a little more research and I think I have pretty much narrowed it down to either colonial bent grass or the Kentucky blue/tall fescue mix. I would definately prefer the bent grass but I'm not sure my situation is ideal for it. For one thing, I am going to be mowing, at least initially, with a Kubota B7800 with a 60" mid-mount deck and turf tires on it. The total weight is a little over 2000 lbs and the lowest it can cut is 1-1/2 inches. Does this eliminate bent grass from my choices? Furthermore, I don't want a grass that is going to be a maintainance nightmare. I don't mind spending a fair amount of time on the lawn but I don't want it to become my life. For fertilization and weed control I installed a fertigation system but I also know that bent grass is a little sensitive to fertilizing and such. Will fertigation dilute the chemicals enough to keep it from damaging the grass? I sure would love a bent grass lawn but not if it is going to be a major headache. I am still open to other options but as far as I can tell the two options I listed at the beginning of this post are the most success-prone for my locale.

    One other question - Does anyone know what would be a good native or wild grass to plant over our septic drain field and the surrounding area? I want something that does not need to be mowed and will grow up to about ten or so inches and is drought-resistant. I can water it but it would be nice to just not have to worry about it. I like the looks of buffalo grass but not sure it would work in my area.

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice anyone can give me. I look forward to hearing some responses and getting my lawn finished so I can start enjoying my summer.

  3. susanmc

    susanmc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    have you thought about buffalo grass?
  4. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Do you mean for the lawn or over the septic field? Buffalo grass is one of the grasses I am considering for the septic area. I just am not sure if it would work well in our climate or not. I guess I can try it and if it doesn't work I'll just plant something else as it's a relatively small area and wouldn't cost much to replant. For the main lawn I was thinking we want a regular traditional turf-type grass. We like the look of a consistent short-cut grass but just can't decide on which one. Like I said, we really like bent grass but don't know if it would work in our situation. However, I will do a little research on buffalo grass to see if it may be suitable for our lawn. Thanks for the advice.

  5. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    You might look into Sheeps Fescue for the septic...4-6" tall I understand and "no" maintenance which is a matter of the look you want, I'm sure. The bentgrass thing wouldn't be my choice for lots of reasons, like disease and thatch to name only two. I would go for a blend of 60-70% per. rye, 10-20% blue and 10-20% fescue for mowing heights of 2-3" and good wear tolerance, especially since you have good sun exposure and irrigation. Wilbur Ellis Co. can supply you with seed. See Ken or Bo at the Portland, Ore store, or Matt or Mike in Auburn. 1-800-275 6920 (Auburn). Country Greens Turf Farms in Olympia sells their field sod seed retail also...some of the best sod on the coast. 1-360-456-1006 Neal
  6. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    Bentgrass is definately high maintenance.
    The above poster has a good recommendation about seeding percentiles.
    The post about buffalograss - well this is a C4 grass mostly used for native type areas, roadsides, low maintenance conditions. Your particular climatic conditions would mean it is dormant longer than it is growing. Weed poliferation is also a large problem with buffalograss. Have you researched crown vetch?

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