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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by macaw, Jan 16, 2004.
I'm looking for a good grass seed for shade For here in east TN
turf type fescue. Kentucky 31 Fescue.
Kentucky 31 is a pretty coarse and clumping type grass.
turf type tall fescue would be better.
Tryed fescue even used crepping red fescue. The place I'm trying
to seed is under two big maples trees.about a 15' by 50' been trying for 2 years used some shade mix from lowes still no go.
Your grass seed might not be the problem. Maple tree roots tend to grow more along the top of the ground than other more deep rooted trees. These roots will suck the water out of the top layer of soil making it hard for grass to survive. They also give off a lot of sap so the soil PH could be way out of balance. See what you can do about correcting these problems first. As for the TTTfescues. Southern States sells one of the top rated turf fescues for your area, its called Southern Choice, or you can purchase a blend called Statesman that has Southern Choice and two other fescues. Pennington sells another good seed for your area called Plantation, or their blend which is named enviroblend. And RebellII would be another good one, maybe the allaround best for your area. Here is a link so you can do your own evaluations. http://www.ntep.org/ ,they evaluate just about all kinds of grass seed in several different parts of the country and rate each seed for those areas. If this helps, I'm in Western NC and have the best results with the Southern States brands. One other option you might have would be to use some of the turf type rye grasses. Jacklin seed company sells a gold medalest prennual reygrass that does pretty good in shade. I think you can get it from Knoxsville Seed Company.
I may have the SoutherStates brands backwards. The mainseed might be Statesman and the blend Southern Choice, I'm getting old and memory failing.
Thanks. I think the ground is whats wrong I will soil test and try to get it back in working order.Do you think if I get grass growing
A weak blend of Petters 20-20-20 about ever 2 weeks would help
If you are getting a soiltest, you will have your answer about the fertilizer. I use Peters alot when hydroseeding. It will jump the grass up in a hurry but it will also fade out just as fast. I prefer granular fert for mainenance. I should also note that if your test says that you need lime that you probably wont see the effects of the application for several weeks after it has been applied so applying the lime first before reseeding, (now would be a good time) and waiting a few weeks before applying seed and fert, (late Feb early March), will give the best results. One other note, I dont know how it is where you live but, around here the tests usually call for 90-100 lbs of lime per 1000 sqft. It would be best to apply those amounts in split applications. I like to use no more than 30-35 lbs at a time, any more and I seem to get slower germination. It is also recommended to never apply more than 50lbs per 1000 at any time because the lime tends to lockup the phosphoruos in the fertilizer making it unavailable to the plants. I dont know how true this is but the slow germination I have observed at rates over 30-35 lbs suggest this to be true. One other suggestion would be to mulch around the base of the trees to help maintain moisture
Sources for soil testing:
I prefer to use the county extension service and state university labs for the soil testing I do, they give full recommendation farirly cheap about 12 bucks and the homeowner can't argue with you because you can simply say call the extension agent. You have great credibility and occasionally an alumni of the university so they respect you even more. I always do this when planting grass and usually get some fertilizer application work later from it as well.
One thing I've learned when it comes to trees and turf: The trees always win.
Make it easy on yourself and help out the trees. Mulch to the dripline and underplant with shade perennials. Much easier to maintain, and thus a lot less hassle. And a lot better for the tree. Use no more than 3 inches of mulch, and keep it off of the trunk of the tree. If you need to add soil, use compost that is well aerated, and use as little as possible, 1-2 inches at THE most. Don't want to suffocate the roots of the tree.
Just giving you another option.