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Best Turfgrass for Northern Georgia??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Sharks, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I have a buddy that lives in Rosewell, GA which is north of Atlanta. He is going to be doing a new lawn in his backyard and is trying to decide what turfgrass seed to use.

    His soil is clay.

    Yard is part sun/part shade.

    I am not sure what to tell him. I do know that he wants to go with seed not sod.

    Since he is in the hills and his elevation is about 1k can he grow fescue there?

    I hear Bahia thrives in clay soil. Is anyone growing this north of Atlanta?

    Current front lawn is Bermuda and looks okay but the backyard is bare dirt since the previous owners had tons of dogs and they basically reduced what was there to nutsedge and dirt.

    Any tips on the best turf for his area??
  2. NC Big Daddy

    NC Big Daddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    TIF 419 Bermuda Sod
  3. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Well, he has a HUGE yard and the cost of sod is a bit too much for him. I will let him know that you suggest the TIF 419 though.

  4. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    If he goes with fescue I suggest putting in irrigation. It'll be toast in summer months w/out. Just curious as to how much sun/shade? I know you said no sod but that may be the better option. He could carry his bermuda on back or perhaps centipede/st augustine. If he did sod he might think about doing it in stages starting at the rear of home and working back...couple pallets now, couple next spring. good luck.
  5. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    He is taking a strong look at certain strains of Bermuda but heard from a friend that "Bahia loves clay". Anyone out there with Bahia experience? It is non-existant in this area.
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    If it is part shade now it will only increase and Bermuda will not tolerate it.It will gradually die off.
    Zenith zoysia is more shade tolerant and looks like fescue,but expensive.
    Fescue is great but requires constant attention.
  7. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,647

    Stay away from bahia. It is a low quality turf that produces fast growing seed heads. In mid/south Georgia it is a pasture grass and basically considered a weed in most lawns.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I was born in Roswell and I have never seen Bahia there. I think it must get too cold in the winter. It's a terrible grass anyway. I had to mow it in S. Florida.

    Tall Fescue is the only thing he can seed there that is permanent. One of the improved cultivars would do best. (Rebels, etc) They grow darker green and denser than the cheaper K-31, with less clippings.

    Best time to seed it is late Sept/Oct so that it gets a couple of season's growth in before the next summer's growth.

    It doesn't handle summer heat and drought well, so expect it to decline some then, but irrigation is needed only if you don't mind it going semi-dormant in the worst of summer. It thins, but doesn't die out completely.

    If kids will be playing on it, go with sodded Bermuda. Keep in mind that Fescue needs frequent overseedings since it doesn't thicken or repair damage. So factor that cost in vs. sod.
  9. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    In Georgia we have a saying about Bermuda grass.
    "The only way too get rid of it is to move"

    It is a tough grass for sure.

    The problem I see is partial shade for Bermuda spells disaster.
    Remeber if the shade is from trees tehn they only get bigger which leads too thinning and die off.Bermuda needs 80 percent of the day in full sun for it too do well.Mix shade with a slope or poor drainage and it gets ugly fast.

    I suggest get the chainsaw and start cutting.Spend the money on bermuda sod 70 bucks per 500 sq feet and enjoy.
  10. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    You have one huge limiting factor which is partial shade. If you have ANY shaded areas, forget Bermuda. It won't last unless is gets several hours of full sun. Bermuda can be established in the form of seed. I know from doing it in my lawn, but his shade element prevents that. Same goes Centipede.

    Bahia is a poor choice for a number of reasons, but it is also requires full sun and is not a good lawn grass. St. Augustine is out because of climate.

    Fescue performs well in sun or shade in this area, but requires high management due to the need for overseeding each fall. Summers are brutal on the Fescue due to our heat and humidity. If he chose Fescue, you cannot even think of seeding it until September. There are numerous cultivars sold as blends that would work for his sun/shade situation. There is a new Fescue product now mixed with Thermal Bluegrass designed to be self-repairing, but I think it requires full sun.

    If he wants to establish it now, under his conditions there is really only one option. Some of the Zoysia cultivars perform well in both sun and shade, so sodding that now would be a good option. Zoysia is pricey, however.

    Either spend the money for Zoysia sod or wait until September to seed Fescue.

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