Cool season grass type selection - NJ

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mooch91, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. mooch91

    mooch91 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112


    For a while, I've used TTTF almost exclusively for renovation, overseeding, and new lawns here in NJ. In early spring and fall, I think it's one of the best looking turf varieties - thick, dense, and dark.

    That said, it's a disappointment from late spring through August. In the late spring, I find it starts matting itself down, resulting in a very rapid thinning, especially in shade. And in early summer, it can start to revert to its "clumpy" heritage, nevermind the brown patch issues.

    I experience this under all variants of sunlight, fertilizer, and irrigation.

    Any recommendation for better grass types? Or an alternative mix, perhaps?

    I've considered a 10-15% KBG in addition to the TTTF in an attempt to better maintain the density.

    Other thoughts?

  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    If you want top-quality bluegrass sod under irrigation is outstanding. Get the sod used at Yankee stadium from DeLea Sod Farm, for instance.
    Otherwise, I think you are correct--TTTF with 10 to 15 percent Kentucky bluegrass is suited to most situations, if you have about 10 to 15 days with temps over 90 degrees per year. Be sure it is a top quality TTTF, perhaps one that claims to have brown patch resistance and lateral spread like "Spyder LS". Be sure the bluegrass is top quality also, particularly in NTEP trials in your own region and climate. Try to get seed types that were fairly newly released varieties--say nothing older than release date of 2007. And nothing worse in quality than varieties in the top ten in the NTEP trials. (At least top 20.)
  3. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,157

    What variety of tttf are you using? there are hundreds of types. Some being better then others. Look for top rated seed in a blend. Black beauty mix from Jonathan green does great in nj. It does cost more but typically worth it.
  4. mooch91

    mooch91 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I've largely been using Rebels because of the availability. At one time, they had very good ratings, but don't seem to any more. I wonder if my best bet is to try to infuse a blend of some quality KBG in to the most problematic lawns this fall. Hate to go total kill on some of these lawns (and customers may/may not be interested in this route), but I'm not sure how easy it'd be to overseed because the TTTF does recover in the fall (and will crowd out any new seed).
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Good point about the crowd out factor in the fall. You may need to let it dry and just mow it very short during the part of the year when the fescue is thinnest. Seed or slit seed the bluegrass at a very high rate--then water like crazy. After that, it is a contest as to which grass will predominate, and if enough KBG will establish itself to improve the clumpiness situation.

    Grass seed does fine in hot weather--it comes up quick if soil temperatures are high--if--the soil is kept perfectly moist. Under ideal conditions you should be able to get it a quarter-inch tall in seven days. A type of bluegrass with large seeds such as Bronco will come up quicker. The hydroseeders use a lot of the large seed types. Ask them.
    Look up the data--the large seeded varieties have fewer seed counts per pound.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Too late to include this info about "Crest" Kentucky bluegrass in above post.
    Crest is a favorite with hydroseeders because of the large seed size: only 970,000 per pound. It has "Very good seedling vigor and establishment." I compared the data from 10 varieties.
    "It mixes well with tall fescue. Use at no more than 10 percent mixed with tall fescue. Germination can be in as little as 10 to 14 days..."
    I take this to mean that it is aggressive enough that it might take over a tall fescue lawn if used at more than 10 percent of a seeding mixture with tall fescue. Not likely that would happen if the TTTF were already present.

    In my test with grass seed last year, I think I recall getting KBG to germinate in hot weather under ideal conditions at about 6 days.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013

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