Encouraging rhizome production in KBG?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by That Guy Gary, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    I bought a house in Dec and it's greened up now and appears to be pure KBG. There are some bare spots, mostly around the edges from poor irrigation. For the most part the turf is in great shape and most of the bare spots are small, dinner plate sized or less.

    Other than keeping it well fed and watered is there anything anyone recommends to encourage rhizomes? Since I don't know the cultivar/s present I'd prefer to let the existing turf fill in the bare spots this season before I add any seed.

    Nearly all my clients have rye, fescue, or blends. I don't think we have a single client with a mono KBG lawn actually, so I don't have any experience caring for the turf. I understand it's relatively high maintenance, but it's gorgeous and as I look around the neighborhood and still see dormant yellow rye and fescue everywhere else I'm happy to learn how maintain it properly.
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,822

    One hundred percent bluegrass is very rare--unless the lawn was established by laying sod. Bluegrass is typically a slow starter in spring--brown for a week or two after rye greens up. Double check the species.

    http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/cool-season-turfgrasses-id

    If it is bluegrass--you can find rhizomes--it is not high-maintenance.
    If it is bluegrass and you don't plan to seed. I suggest you move a few "plugs" from other nearby areas into the bare spots. Plant the plugs about 4 to 6 inches apart.
    This is rye.
    http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/content/perennial-ryegrass-lolium-perenne-l
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  3. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,039

    Small spots like that, I chop up with a spade cutting into the existing turf a little. I usually stab at in as I walk a circle around it, then add some divot mix of whatever I can assemble, compost, sand, and mix in. They usually fill in nicely fairly fast, weather permitting.
     
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  4. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,039

    I should have added that in doing so you are both loosening the soil to make root growth easier and pruning roots and rhizomes to encourage new growth. Then, if I have several spot to work on like in the spring or after drought, I will sometimes also make a compost tea to apply to them.
     
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  5. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    It was installed as sod last year before I bought it. When it greened up I assumed prg but still inspected it before I mowed it the first time. Prominent boat tips and a lack of pigment in the lower sheathing, so I pulled a few plugs and believe I identified rhizomes. Opaque lines on both sides of the mid rib as well.

    After crawling around and inspecting the canopy for several minutes I couldn't find any evidence of prg in the lawn at all.

    Here's a pic of what I identified as a rhizome.

    KIMG0361.jpg

    I'd considered moving a few plugs and will do that, and follow 44DCNFs advice on the smaller patches.
     
  6. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,039

    I’ve used a tulip bulb digger a lot to do as Riggle has suggested. A dedicated plugger is easier, but I had the bulb digger on hand, so that was used. Or edging bed scraps can be used to plug as well. Forgive me if that was mentioned slready. I haven't viewed the links above yet.

    As the edge of the patches get sliced, the section can be moved toward the center of the patch and tamped in lightly too.
     
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  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,822

    Sodded lawn, boat-shaped tips, and rhizomes--its bluegrass.
    Bulb digger like DCNF, is a good idea. It will spread by rhizomes--but its a bit slow.
    Do both; I think you could also sow seed if you can find a high-quality all bluegrass seed.
    If you can find the local sod farm, they probably have that same seed or a similar blend on hand and would sell you a pound or two.

    Also--they would be happy to sell you a roll or two of sod. Loosen the soil; cut a patch to fit; irrigate well.
     
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  8. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 13,039

    Good idea if there's not enough donor grass patches can be held in place with landscape StaplesThumbs Up
     
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  9. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Thanks for the advice, I'll snap some pics of the bare spots and the renovations the next time I'm home when the suns out and keep this thread updated as it progresses.
     
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