Renovation/Tall Fescue

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by jcschlic, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. jcschlic

    jcschlic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello All,

    My lawn is split in two sections. The front (and thirty feet into my back yard) is sodded that is in excellent condition. Beyond the sod is an area that was tilled and seeded in spring of '09 (clay soil) that has been quite a bit of work to get where it's at now. I aerated and overseeded last fall, today the area is full of a grass mixture (bluegrass which I like, and tall fescue which I don't like and must have been seeded by my father in law when he tilled and seeded the area).

    The tall fescue is currently dormant and this is evident in how a majority of this area looks like an even combination of green (bluegrass) and tan (because of the dormant tall fescue).

    I've been told the only way to get rid (or crowd out) tall fescue is to kill it off. I started doing that this spring when the tall fescue clumps were clearly sticking out like a sore thumb. I started with Roundup and now I'm regretting that because now there's just a few patches here and there of dead matter/hard soil that I'm going to have to patch up.

    Since I am not going to completely kill off the tall fescue (because killing and re-sodding is out of my budget), I have a plan for this fall which is this:

    1. Aerate that area as much as I can
    2. Overseed the area (what to overseed with that will help crowd out the tall fescue???)
    3. Water it all in, cross my fingers and see how things turn out (I won't see results until a year later really)

    Thoughts on this and what to overseed with after the aeration?
  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,986

    I'm guessing you are in a new construction house? Where are you located? shade/sun conditions?
  3. jcschlic

    jcschlic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Yes the house was finished in September of 2008 and sod laid down the following month. You should have seen all the construction trash my wife and I had to remove from the seeded was unbelievable.

    Located in Ankeny, IA (Des Moines).

    Conditions are full sun.

    I've noticed in the last day too that the dormant tall fescue is really evident...quite dominant if you ask me.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    Talk to Larry at American Lawn-they are just down the road from you. Years of experience and very knowledgable.
    Make sure it is actually tall fescue that is the problem. I am wondering about that, as the tall fescue should survive better than the bluegrass in hot weather.
  5. jcschlic

    jcschlic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    RigglePLC, I called American Lawn and Larry was out working for the day...but his wife was a big help, quite knowledgeable. She is convinced that it is not a tall fescue, but a ryegrass that is the grass I'm dealing with here (as tall fescue won't go dormant this time of year, but ryegrass definitely will). I am agreeing with this.

    She said there is nothing I can do until late August when I can aerate and overseed with a 4-way blend of KBG, and use a starter fertilizer called Euro. She said her supplier is Des Moines Forage and Turf which is nice because it's in my home town. I think this is going to be my best plan.

    I think what it comes down to is that the seeded area of my lawn is simply too young which is why there just isn't enough of a healthy blend that with proper watering and fertilizing just simply stays green. This is the basis of my questions and frustration. I think I'm the type of person that wants the instant gratification...I probably should've just put down sod to begin with...

    I'll stick with the above plan and continue the hard work! Thanks!

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