Kentucky Bluegrass Overseed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by bassplayer7, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    It worked out for me to seed a yard with KBG this year. I'm not very experienced with KBG as I've done more with Fescue.

    Anyway, to get to the point. I seeded this yard on September 9 with Lesco's quality blue blend. I believe germ. rate on the bag is about 85%. I cut it at 1", aerated it (4x), seeded (1.5 - 2lbs per K), fertilized, and sprayed Tenacity. It has been watered well (flat lawn - no runoff).

    It's been 4 weeks, and there has been very, very little that sprouted. The only apparent area that has really sprouted is an area of bare dirt below a tree, and even that is thin and coming up slowely. Is there something that I'm missing here?

    The only thing I can figure out would be if I've made an pesticide application (such as Pre-M) mistake. But I've been aware of overseeding, and been watching labels. It's been a long time since I've applied Dimension, but I can pull the exact date.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

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  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What did you do to cover the seed with all those chunks of plugs lying about? 4X over makes a lot of mess... was there any grass left?
  4. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    I didn't cover the plugs with anything. There was still a nice amount of grass left. Everything was watered in (plugs and seed) within a week due to rain and irrigation to where you couldn't see the plugs or seed.
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  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,664

    So was this fescue originally? Why was it thin, if it was well-watered? Irrigated? If the new seed "took" on the bare soil under a tree, then not likely a pre-emergent was to blame.(What pre-emergent? What date? What rate?) After seeding what was soil temp? Air temps at night? No starter fert? Did you plant a sample of the seed in a coffee mug inside for comparison? Did you prepare one square foot spot outside with a rake for a "perfect" seed bed for comparison? Why spray the tenacity?

    You could have used double than amount of seed. Remember Kentucky bluegrass is very slow--both in germination and early stages of growth. 99 percent of customers are dissatisfied, IMHO. Sod is better. Customers are more satisfied if you include 10 percent rye, because at least you have something coming up. True, rye does not usually make it through the next summer, if temps exceed 95.

    Was the goal to convert this to bluegrass? Or to add bluegrass to the mix at about 20 percent? Was the blue compatible as to grass blade width?

    I wish somebody would compare seed "take" when the seed was sown before aeration to after, in a side by side comparison.
  6. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    I think that would of been the best bet in this situation, I don't think aerating 4 times really help with the germination. KGB is just really slow to germinate, especially in cool temp. That's why I never recommend seeding with pure KGB. Like Riggle said, throw in other fast growing grass in the mix for your customers. Sod is just the best bet for a pure KGB turf.
  7. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    The yard has been bluegrass for years and thanks to Tru-green (and lack of consistent watering through the summer), it has degraded over the years. In the past it has been important to them to stay with bluegrass, although, now I know they probably would have been fine with TTTF. I decided to try sticking with KBG for a couple more years, before overseeding with fescue.

    The lawn is being thoroughly watered by above ground sprinklers now but it hasn't been in the past. Air temperatures have varied between highs in the mid 80's and mid 60's and lows in the mid 40's to low 60's.

    I didn't do the soil prep as a test area (#1 mistake, I suppose). I sprayed Tenacity, because of a weed problem due to a thin grass stand. It's worked nicely so far (rate of 8oz. per acre). I applied 13-13-13 at roughly 7lb/K. The rye would have been a good idea. But as long as it sprouts that's all I care about. Actually, the folks who live there are on an extended leave so they don't care if it takes a long time to come up.

    Dimension was applied in early May at the bag rate (don't remember precisely).

    Thanks for taking your time. I'll answer anything else. I may have missed some questions.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,664

    sounds like you are on the right track and temps are OK. Kentucky bluegrass is just slow. Sowing 6 weeks before frost is perhaps a little optimistic. Probably more weeks would be better. Certain bluegrasses are faster than others. Sod farms don't care, but for homeowners or overseed situations something with some "Bronco" would be helpful. Mixes well with tall fescue. They suggest 3-4 lbs seed per thousand--but I am not sure if you would use more or less in an overseed situation.

    I hope this works out . Photos would be nice.
  9. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    Thanks for the encouragement, and the links. Here is a photo taken the other day (I didn't take it). The grass around the edges of the photo is established. It is hard to see the seedlings but they are there (about 1" tall) and easier to see from the side. The area next to the tree is the most obvious place that it is coming up. I'm sure it is other places, it is just harder to tell. I can get more photos if necessary.

  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,664

    Bass, good start. I wish it was thicker. It doesn't look overly wet. I suggest some more fertilizer in a couple weeks. I would want to get it growing as fast as possible to take advantage of fall rains (if any). If it gets thick--it doesn't really matter if its new grass or old grass.
    And you are right, if the watering by the customer is irregular, fescue might hold up better. They need irrigation or at leat one of those battery-operated timers. TTTF with a narrow blade should blend well with the KBG. A creeping type (LS, Lateral Spread) with good drought and disease resistance like Titanium LS, would be a good bet.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

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