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ID this Turfgrass please!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by JFGauvreau, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Did a test recently, bought a bag of seeds (big bag) from one of my suppliers to really test out their seeds.

    It was a blend mix, containing cool season grass:

    40% KBG
    40% creeping red fescue
    20% Perennial rye grass

    Well as soon as I open the bag after purchased, I could already see that some seeds were already dried up and would never germinate. (Turns out that was the KGB)

    So I got either the rye grass or the red fescue.

    Took about 3-5 days for the germination process.

    See for yourself:

    grass 001.jpg

    grass 002.jpg

    grass 003.jpg

    grass 004.jpg
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,725

    Don't give up on the bluegrass--it is just slow. The seed is small, but tough. What was the last seed test date on the seed label? What were the storage conditions. Warm and humid is bad. Cool and dry is good.
    Ryegrass both annual and perennial, has a distinctly red colored base at the soil line. The back of the leaf blade is sometimes a bit shiny--but newer types have less of this. Rye germinates quickest, (72 hours under ideal conditions.) Fine fescue is a bit slower--about a week. Fine fescue has a thin, almost needle-like leaf blade.

    Based on the quick germination and slight pink color at the base near the seed--I suspect it is perennial rye you are looking at.
  3. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Riggle is correct. The rye will germinate 1st. The fescue can take 10-15 days to germinate, the KBG may take 18-25 days to germinate. Patience Grasshopper!
  4. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Also consider the turf type tall fescues. I love them for their deep roots and tremendous drought tolerance and good green color.
  5. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    This grass is over 3 months old, you are correct about the crown part being pink/brownish.

    I remember in the 1st week the crown was bright red.

    This was just one of my many test, this one in particular was for new lawn for overseeding. The seeds were mixed into the soil and then more seeds added to the top. The germination conditions were pretty much perfect, constant dampness, soil temperature ok etc.

    Even if the KGB seeds were good (which they were not) I don't think the KGB would have found sufficient sunlight to grow since the rye grass was already growing and providing shade.

    Rye grass is a very wear tolerant , thus being good for clients that have high traffic on their lawn, but at the same time, rye grass is prone to blade shredding.

    I don't think I will ever add KGB to my mix/blends. It is simply to hard to find good constant temperature for 14-28 days. It is however my 1st choice when It come to think about sod for my customers!

    As far as the storage temperature, I bought them and planted them the same day, I just don't know if they stored it in a cool and dry place.

    My bet on this is the seeds were just really old, and only the rye grass seeds didn't dry up.

    How long is a bag of seeds good for in good storage conditions?

    Thanks for your input btw!
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,725

    Under good storage conditions , grass seed will last a year easily. But expect the germination percentage to be a few percent lower. In some states the seed may not be legally sold one year after the test date--in other states it is 18 months--in some states, no limit.

    Better quality ryegrass seed cultivars have very little problem with poor mowing quality. "Blazer 4" is a good one. "Amazing " has an excellent reputation. Try to be sure disease reistance is mentioned in the description. It should be resistant to red thread, brown patch and gray leaf spot or especially any disease common in your area. If it is not mentioned as "resistant" consider as susceptible.

    You are right about the rye crowding out bluegrass during the first few weeks. Some experts suggest never more than 15 percent rye to reduce the competition with the Kentucky blue.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  7. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298


    I understand what you mean, and it makes sense.
    The problem is, in Canada, it seems like the laws are not the same as USA.

    Most places, when you buy a bag of seed, it will only say the contents % of the seed type. e.g. 40% KGB, 60% rye, it won't tell you if its Adelphi or Merion KBG, it only says KGB.

    Also, it doesn't show the germination %, pure seed %, Date, inert matter, origin etc.

    I wish they would have the same regulation as in the states, so it would be more precise, but right now it's pretty much a "gamble" when you buy a bag of seeds.

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