Pic of KBG lawn - need help Real Bad!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by 1966vette, May 18, 2010.

  1. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    Enclosed are some pic of my 7 week old recently planted "elite" KBG lawn renovation project: Last weekend I added another $150 or 50# of KBG in the bare areas. Can you offer some advice?





  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Less fert...more water. Water to keep the seed (not the soil)moist at all times. You should have mixed some rye in with it...maybe 30% or so. KBG can take several weeks depending on variety and weather whereas the rye would germinate in a few days and help to shade the area quickly. The KBG would always dominate over time. Best to fert after the seed is 1 " or so.
  3. EastCoast

    EastCoast LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Rule of thumb would be to have no more than 20% Perennial Rye with your KBG, but the soil looks really dry.
    I would apply some soil/compost over the new seeded area and keep the seed moist.
    It there are no sprinklers, I would apply burlap to keep the seed moist for the first two weeks.
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  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,295

    Kentucky bluegrass is slow to establish. Cold soil and cool weather slows it down, even more. On a sod farm it takes about a year--they harvest the sod at about 18 months. Water every single day for 45 days. Fertilize about every 30 days with a fertilizer high in slow-release nitrogen. Ease up on the fert, when you cannot keep up with the mowing. Do not use quick release fert as it may result in nitrates in your well or ground water.
  5. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    He obv has a heavy hand...I wouldnt recommend expert level fert advice. To the OP focus on the water...the fert is not a big deal and will certainly harm the situation if the water is not what it needs to be. Like someone else said..If you have the opportunity to cover the seed somehow...
  6. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    The soil looks like complete garbage.

    Might want to start there. Try getting a few yards of top soil to add in. I would aerate too if possible beforehand.

    After 7 weeks those results are nothing short of terrible, sorry.

    You should have 95% coverage after almost 2 months.

    If you want to do anything else do it fast before it starts getting hot.
  7. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Too dry
    too dry
    TOO DRY!

    Everything said above I think is valid. Very hard to grow just KBG (i am doing the same right now) in the springtime because when heavy rains come it washes the seed around and away potentially (like a few weeks ago when we got 1" a day and then 3" in a day after 3 days of 1" per).

    My guess is that a combination of the heavy rains, combined with missing some watering cycles (or not watering enough) caused you to only get some germination.

    Since the seed is already down there is not a lot to do with the soil.

    You should cover the area with straw mulch (don't cover more than 50%) and pay a little more attention to watering on a very regular schedule.
  8. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    the lesson behind this imo is that the soil itself needed to be tilled up better or loosened more...the pictures make it look like hard ground, not ungrowable, but not ideal either.

    aerating in fall will help with that...plan to do your best with what you have and then aearate and overseed with same kbg in fall, by spring you'll have a beautiful area
  9. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209


    Thanks for the comments!

    Here is the story on the soil:

    1. It was tilled, leveled, raked, seeded, rolled, fertilized & watered daily for almost 6 weeks. It is not great soil! I wish I had better soil! Unfortunately, sometimes you have to grow KBG on the soil you have, not on the soil you want to have.

    2. It was water daily except 2 days before these photos were taken. I wanted to mow dry grass & apply more seed. I used a push mower to cut the 1 acre lot. Not a lot of fun! I then pulled a spike aerator w/ a ZTR to punch holes in the soil for the new seed w/o harming the new grass. This worked well on the dry soil and I have been watering daily ever since.

    3. It was seed at 3# /1,000 sq ft. per the seed mfg recommendations. However, NOW the seed mfg has increased the recommend KBG to up to 6# / 1,000. I would have applied 6# of seed / 1,000 sq ft had I know!

    4. I’m worried about the following:
    1. weeds – how do I handle crab grass? I do plan to apply 2-4-D after the 3rd mowing.
    2. KBG spread rate – it this lawn ever going to look good?
    3. Cost – I applied 175# of the following “elite KBG seed at a cost of $700
    4. Time – this project is going on way too long
    Below is the type of KBG I planted.
    9PSOD Premium Sod Blend (3 lb/1000 sq ft) ........................3.95+
    25% NuDestiny Kentucky Bluegrass
    15% Midnight Kentucky Bluegrass
    25% Impact Kentucky Bluegrass
    10% Bewitched Kentucky Bluegrass
    25% Beyond Kentucky Bluegrass

    What a fight!
  10. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Ok.....slow it down...you are over working the situation. I can't imagine after tilling that rolling was a good idea. Focus on the water...and the water only for now. Make a decision..do you want solid green?..or do you want a weed free lawn..trying to both is a more advanced skill level. There is a relatively narrow window of opportunity to make it alll come together in the spring. The fall is really the time things will work for you with little effort. Once seed has established...KBG will be fairly aggressive. Just give it water and time.

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