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Overseeding prairie grass with fescue?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by erervin, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. erervin

    erervin LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 16

    Last September I graded, tilled, added potash, phosphorous, and nitrogen to prepare the soil around our house for new seed. I then seeded turf-type tall fescue (Hound Dog) at 10-lbs/1000 sq ft. It exceeded my expectations and turned out quite nice. The yard is about 3 acres. I did notice crabgrass here and there toward the end of the season poking through. Due to the size of the yard, what pre-emergent herbicide would you use this coming spring to eliminate crabgrass? I’m located in Eastern Kansas BTW.

    Another question, currently on each side of our 800’ driveway there is prairie grass, which we have just mowed in the past. This is probably totals about 2 acres. This grass is a mixture of prairie, fescue, foxtail, crabgrass, and clover. I have fertilized this in the fall with 18-46-0 in the past. The fescue is slowly creeping outward and thickening. If I wanted to thicken the fescue by overseeding, what should I do to prepare? If I’m not going to be able to water it, should I consider overseeding this spring rather than next fall? Would an application of 2-4-D help? I figured I’d core-aerate, fertilize, and sow 5-lbs/1000 sq ft. What can I do to eliminate the crabgrass, foxtail, and clover without starting over by killing everything tilling?

    The first picture is my stand of fescue and the second is the grass mix that’s along the driveway. Thanks!


  2. erervin

    erervin LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 16

    Anyone have any suggestions? I can rent Blue Bird seeder from my local lumber yard for the day to seed. What should I use to eliminate the faxtail and crabgrass without killing everything and starting over? Thanks!
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

  4. erervin

    erervin LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 16

    There was no specific reason why I chose to use HoundDog solely. In my area it seems people either use HoundDog or K31. What would a blend consist of? What are the benefits? I followed Kansas State's literature for growing fescue turf.

    You hit it. It was formally a hay meadow that's been mowed like a lawn. I have a 32hp tractor with a box blade, brush mower, spreader, and 3-section harrow. I also have a 35 gal sprayer with 10' boom.

    There is no grazing.
  5. fertguy2008

    fertguy2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    Do you want to use Dimension as a pre-emergent for crabgrass?
    2-4d for broadleaves? Drive 75 to get rid of any crabgrass that might come up through this season?
  6. fertguy2008

    fertguy2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    Looks Great by the way!!:clapping::clapping::clapping:
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Varieties like 'KY 31' and 'Fawn' are forage fescues, originally selected for horsemen and cattlemen for use in pastures because of the relatively low levels of naturally-occuring endophytes contained within the grasses; which have been known to cause digestive, and even some reproductive issues. " Hound Dog" was among the first class of turf-type tall fescues to be introduced in 1979, but it ended up being a dud (in relationship to the "Falcon" and "Rebel" (fescue) of that time frame.

    It never exhibited the 'finer' leaf blade of the other two varieties, thus, in essence, it can be treated the same way as KY 31 today.

    But that was decades ago...
    Because forage fescues like KY 31, Fawn, (and for the sake of argument, Hound Dog) stayed MUCH more cheaply produced than the then up-and-coming, and much more attractive-in-the-lawn turf type tall fescues, they stayed popular among farmers, those doing temporary seeding, AND

    .... the 'low-bid' crowd using sub-par seed to beat a competitor!:cry:

    That's why they're still largely found in places like feed mills, Tractor Supply Co, etc today !

    The danger of not using multiple varieties in a blend, whether it's 'forage' or not, is that you've created a 'monoculture' in your stand of grass.
    A monoculture in turf typically cannot put up with insect, disease, and travel damage as well as having a blend of fescues, or even fescues with a very small % of ky. bluegrass, depending upon the climate.

    But if you're smart in the way you mow your grass-you don't scalp it in the summer, and you aerate it once every other year at least...you should be just fine.
    It's all relative to how high you want to raise the bar.

    I think your lot size might qualify you to at least think about talking to these guys:

    go to http://www.lesco.com/ and type in your zip code.
    It'll tell you how far away from you the nearest store is.

    As far as pre-emergents are concerned, I'm a "Dimension" man myself, but I think it's wise to let the local guys make that call for you.

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