Turf Type Tall Fescue in NW Alabama

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Joseph Bradford, May 28, 2018.

  1. Joseph Bradford

    Joseph Bradford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hi all, I am new to this forum but look forward to the insight from professionals.

    I am building a new home in NW Alabama and have read a lot of information about grass types and seeds. I say that to say that all can be very confusing for a guy that mows and trims about 4 lawns on the side.

    My new lawn will be about 3.5-4 acres in size and I'm really wanting to sew it with a turf type fescue. For 1 I think it is the best looking turf when maintained and 2 everyone and there brother that has nice lawns around has Bermuda. I know that I am considered in the transition zone.

    The seed that I keep coming back to is the Titan RX, which I can get locally for $90/50#bag. Titan recommendation is 300-400 pounds per acre which would put me @ $500-$800 an acre in just seed.

    The lawn will be 100% sunlight.

    My questions are

    1. Is it stupid to spend that kind of money on seed when I know that I will not have an irrigation system to water it giving the size of it?

    2. I'm open to different varieties of TTTF, about the only thing that I would like is for it to be able to stripe nice when mown, what would be your suggestions on seed varieties?

    3. When planting can I use a tractor PTO broadcast spreader to spread seed and then run over it with cultipacker or do I need to look for other options for better coverage. I actually purchased a harley rake really cheap last week just for this project and plan on selling when I am finished.

    Thanks in advance for the responses I just don't want to miss something that's important and waste money on this project.
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,190

    why a cool season grass when we get temps from 95-100F in alabama for months at a time?
  3. Joseph Bradford

    Joseph Bradford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Personally I just like the look of it better than Bermuda. Zoysia would be my pick but not really practical giving the cost of zoysia seed. I'm really just looking for opinions of what most would do.
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,599

    If you like TTTF, you should move north where it thrives.
  5. Joseph Bradford

    Joseph Bradford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Haha. That isn’t really an option. I’m getting the sense that it may not be a good idea
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,190

    i like st. augustine, centipede, and zoysia. i don't really care much for bermuda because it is high maintenance. you have to keep it sprayed and so forth or weeds will take it over in no time.

    you could try TTTF but in the summer you better let it get 6" or taller and water it. it may still turn brown i dunno.

    you could get some st augustine or zoysia plugs and put them out. it will take several years to fill in but that's really about the only other option.

    there's a centipede farm not far from here where you can get the extra pieces of sod really cheap. they aren't perfect rectangles or anything. they are just scrap pieces.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,359

    Local advice is better. Is this the seed? It claims good heat resistance...

    Can you find local fescue success examples in your town--where there is no irrigation?

    Fall is the time to sow seed for cool season grasses--8 weeks before frost. Be sure to include lots of starter fertilizer.

    Why not seed Bermuda in the back yard and Titan fescue seed in the front?
    Better yet--seed Yukon Bermuda in the back and--Tifway sod in the front for best quality. Bermuda should be seeded in summer when the temps are above 85--or so I have heard.
  8. Joseph Bradford

    Joseph Bradford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    That is the seed. That’s a good idea. I think I may just plant this in the front for the curb appeal (hopefully) and do some sort of Bermuda in the back. Thanks for the advice fellas
  9. Delmarva Keith

    Delmarva Keith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    You have a lot of ground (captain obvious here :D). I can only add that when you’re laying out which areas for what landscape, for fescue areas in southern end of transition zone, plan on overseeding every fall. Between the heat, occasional drought and fungus issues, it will thin out amd you may even lose a good bit of it over the summers. Also keep in mind that establishing large areas with no irrigation can be hit or miss and will likely be a handful.

    For a landscape project that large that you will have to maintain, keep the budget and labor in mind. The fescue areas will need fertilization and weed control. Same for Bermuda. I don’t know much about zoysia. Whatever it is it will likely have to be mowed at least twice a week in it’s growing flush season or it will look like crap and then what’s the point. What I’m getting at is sure, make the front a showcase and have a reasonable sized back yard for recreation, but establishing and maintaining acres of quality turf is expensive and a lot of work; lots of guys do it but keep that in mind when considering your options now.

    What is there now? Any way to salvage or work with any of it? Like if it’s a forest, thin out some winding paths and plant shade tolerant creeping ground covers. That sort of thing.
  10. Joseph Bradford

    Joseph Bradford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Freshly tilled top soil. The field the house will be constructed in is roughly 12 acres and the ground was pretty rough and hasn't been worked in probably 20 years. I had some row crop buddies come till it up and smooth it out for me. Before that it was a little Bermuda and a lot of what I call field grass and weeds. Very early on right now as I don't have a permit to install my drive way culvert but maybe this picture will give you some idea of what I am working with. If you go straight in line with the first strip of the driveway and don't follow the curve, you will run into the far left side of where the home will be. The front porch will be roughly 400ish feet from the road. Thanks


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