starting a fescue lawn from scratch

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by inzane, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,681

    White's right. Same here in my region, its the fescue lawn that have recovered the quikest from this year's brutal drought. (Which technically we're still in.)
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Dormant and dead...dormant means it will come back and recover fully...dead means it will have to be overseeded to return to its original state. Around here it usually goes dormant to the point where the plant cannot recover which results in its death.
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  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,814

    I am not from your area, but...I have heard that 10 percent bluegrass or heat tolerant Texas blue...should be included to add self-repair ability. Is the area irrigated? Do temps get over 95 often?
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,814

    Be sure to look up the seed varieties on National Turf Evaluation Program

    I would try to use varieties from a location near you,or a group of states near you, "Transition Zone". And try to get varieties from the top 10 or 25 percent of the quality list, using the average (mean) quality scores.

    For instance Falcon V, Shenandoah Elite, and Firecracker LS
  5. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    When I was in the Atlanta market during the 90's, we had several clients that had Fescue as their turf type. The problem is just the nature of fescue itself. It's a money pit!! It only grows vertical, gets disease and grubs, stresses out and goes to @&*% if not on a strict turf program every year.

    BUT... since you have expressed that you are on a budget and this is what you are wanting to do... here is my suggestion. Rake out everything that you have done thus far. Invest in some GOOD compost/soil mix. (This will be the only thing I am proposing extra). Seed everything you have done, then dump the compost mix about every 10-15ft for topdressing. Spread it out adding 1/2"-1/4" to the top. Seed again and water in! If you don't want to use straw, then just make sure you water it regularly. It will have a tendency to dry out faster without the straw. However, y'alls temps are dropping like ours, so you should be good. Make sure you either fert, if you haven't already.

    Good luck!
  6. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    couldn't even do the compost.. i did what i did. if it comes up, it comes up. :) wasn't expecting so many calls this fall being a new lawn care business, but have been fairly busy for somebody with a full time overnight job as well. so i did what i could with what time i had.. i tilled it yesterday afternoon, tried to rake it as level as i could.. this morning spread out half the rate of 8lbs per thousand square feet. went over it once with the aerator.. then put the other half of the seed.. turned rake upside down and did as suggested above.. its just a mess, i thought aerating it could help some.. we will see. i probally should have researched the seed more. should be interesting to see what happens. if it doesnt i'm only out 20 bucks in grass seed some starter fert.. and my time.. i could use the excercise anyway. will post some pictures soon. its just a POS back yard anyway. i bought this place as a forclosure last year. not expecting much. honestly, it probally will look better than it did.

    i worked for a few different places in the 90's in atlanta.. i had a route in buckhead at one point, and in the city of marietta, and east cobb. plenty of folks who keep fescue in these areas.. back then, lot of people with the money to keep up with it. to each his own i guess. now.. i will take them on, but i let them know what to expect with fescue in hotlanta. problem with all the new homes they used to build here, they sod the front, then put cheap rye in the back that looks nice till the summer then the new home owner is left with a big mess in the back, no grass.
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    I'm sure that deep tilled yard is going to settle into a lumpy nightmare to mow.
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  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I've used both a Harley rake and a tiller on a dingo, the tiller/dingo turned out this day it's still rough and I even used a roller after I laid the sod...never again will I use a tiller.
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  9. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    yep, definetly gonna be a lumpy mowing nightmare. already was before. may be worse now.. . thats why i went over with the aerator. no roller, so i thought it could help some.. raked more after that. almost seemed like a waste of time. after i tilled it, i realised i pretty much just brought up a bunch of rocks. probally should have had dirt hauled in, etc.. when i finally sod i am gonna get somebody who can prepare the ground right. mabee some grass will come up for now, and i can have a bumpy green lawn again for a few years. my bermuda is like this, i have to mow it taller than i want just for it to look right. but atleast i can level that eventually.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,648

    I have a beautiful front yard of fescue, originally I tilled, raked it out with a 36" landscape rake, seeded used the back side of a leaf rake to move the seed around, then threw bags of composted manure on top of the seed.

    In about 12 days youll see alot of green and by Christmas it will look ok provided you dont let the leaves stay on it. Late Feburary the stuff will grow like crazy and will need to be cut twice a week. After the last frost it is a must to bag what you cut, and never ever cut it when its wet or rain is expected the day you cut it. That lasts till late June then it starts to get brown spots, spray helps but is not a cureall. Late sepetember you get to overseed the stuff and start the cycle all over.

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