ryegrass red thread

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by RigglePLC, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,676

    In west Michigan we have a lot of ryegrass--hydroseeded lawns. My customer is building a new house. I will not be putting in his new lawn. Most hydroseeders use a bluegrass /ryegrass mixture. I am trying to advise him on what cultivars of seed to ask for.

    I particularly want to advise him on what cultivars of ryegrass are resistant to red thread disease. We have a lot around here. Dollar spot and rust are a concern also.

    Does anybody have some good information on red thread resistant ryegrass?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I wish I did...The only one thing I can add (not that it's of any consolation to you) is that Red Thread and Ryegrass are synonomous with each other. Another thing you will see rust. this is most prominent within the first full year of growth, though. For instance, if the lawn is installed this spring, then next spring you will see it heavy.
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    I dont know of any resistant cultivars either. I do know all of those diseases are usually cured with a good fertility program.
  4. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    If your customer has input you may want to recommend a 100% KBG 5 cultivar blend. Any KBG/rye mix with more than 20% rye will produce a 100% rye lawn in 3 years and all the problems of the rye will be yours to solve. As far as the KBG blend, talk to a sod farm in your area. They have already have the real world experience NTEP doesn't provide. For specifics on cultivar performance google National Turfgrass Evaluation Program.
  5. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I agree with Russ. With the new KBG varieties, germination can be had in as little as a week. I never use rye in a blend.
  6. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Your best bet will be selecting Perennial Ryegrasses from the first page at NTEP. http://www.ntep.org/tables.htm

    The 2004 Ryegrass report does not include a Red Thread specific trial. Instead try viewing the sites closest to where your business is. Another idea is to review the "percent cover summer" reports but there were only a couple sites contributing.

    Most of the better cultivars do exhibit some RT resistance. Pizzazz from Turf Merchants is currently at the top of the overall quality by quite a large margin. Jacklin's Tri-Rye is awesome too.

    Two other thoughts come to mind:

    > As Russ said, try adding a different species when appropriate.

    > Use a better source of slow release Nitrogen just prior to "the season".

    Reacted & natural sources of N are much less prone to volatilization & leaching than urea & low % SCU fertilizers. I've personally seen a dramatic reduction in Dollar Spot & Red Thread whenever our clients switch over to a natural organic early Round 2 like:
    8-1-9 from Plant Health Care
    10-0-0 from PHC
    8-3-5 from Nature Safe

    Reacted forms of N like Methylene Urea & UF would help too.

    Most of the Red Thread & Dollar Spot complaints that I hear are when a customer has used SCU or all mineral Round 1 & hasn't gotten back out with R2 yet.

    Here at my own house I cheat. I know this might be too costly to implement on a wide scale LCO basis.

    April 1st - A half pound of soluble N w/Dimension
    May 1st - PHC's 8-1-9 at 12 #/M
    Curalan, Iron & Primo RIGHT AT the second mowing & again 4 weeks later (usually).

    Curalan no longer has a residential use label so you'd need to play around with that. Group 11 & DMI fungicides might offer similar relief but I just like contacts this early.

    Don't get the impression that fungicides & PGR's are the only solution. Freaks like me are anal about their turf. Just switching to the PHC 8-1-9 will have a significant impact on RT & DS if the timing, rate & conditions are correct.

    Whatever you do, don't try to rescue Red Thread with Bayleton granular like so many applicators around here. Your clients aren't likely to perceive value in applications like this. Paint turns brown grass green a lost faster than fungicides even if you do pound it with N.
    Fungicides are best used preventively if at all in residential maintenance.

    High cost + poor results = lost customers.
  7. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    Is the customer against a turf type tall fescue blend. Much less maintenance involved, very durable, less disease issues with the exception of brown patch around here, less nitrogen and irrigation needed.

    Don't get me wrong, kentucky blue is the best looking, but the maintenance needs to be discussed in advance.
  8. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    thats what i was leaning towards, we've soded a few new lawns with TTTF and have had realy good results, takes good, stays green thu the summer and winter, but the draw back is the cost. seed is higher then the KBG, but if it were me i'd 86 the rye (i hate that stuff), the only benifit is the green when KBG goes brown in the hot summer (then you've got customers yelling about disease, NO! it's drought, you need to water:dizzy: )
  9. green horizons

    green horizons LawnSite Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 144

    Rye fills in quick, but it is riddled with problems. Rust is virtually guaranteed. The TTTF's are nice, but if you go this route, make sure it is 100%. Fine blades mixed with course blades looks awful. If you mix rye and kbg, I'd mix it heavy kbg and use annual rye, and reseed in the fall. There's more than one way to skin a cat I guess.
  10. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I always thought that seed was about the same price for KBG and TTTF. I realize you need to put out more pounds per thousand when using TTTF but you can usually get it for much less per pound than a quality KBG mix. So in the end it almost works out the same. What are you paying per pound of seed?

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