Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Discuss how to and whether you should renovate your lawn
User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 22nd, 2019, 4:52 pm

Greetings fellow renovators and ATY members!

This is my 10th year as a member of this wonderful forum. Kudos to Turf Toes, Andy and others for maintaining this website which is indispensable for those who want an elite lawn.

This summer I am hiring a landscaper to regrade some areas and build up some others to to prevent some major flooding that’s been happening in back over the past 2 years. Due to physical limitations I do need to hire help for any major landscaping projects these days. I will, however, do my own seeding, rolling and topdressing with the help of my kids (who are now adults).

Overall, I’ll probably have 2500-3000 sq feet of property to regrade and seed. My seed is already purchased. Some of it was not easy to find. Other 2019 Renovators really need to follow Andy’s advice and get your seed now. Thanks to forum members I was able to find sod quality Bewitched from United Seeds in Omaha and certified Mazama KBG and Zinfandel KBG from Long Island Cauliflower Association. Thanks to ATY members Iowa Jim for finding Mazama & Zinfandel at LICA and Green for finding me the Bewitched at United Seeds.

My seed selection reflects the fact that the area to be seeded is partly shady. Most of the areas can sustain KBG but I do have 2 areas will I’ll be mixing in some Fine Fescue to increase shade tolerance. I have some Viking H20 Hard Fescue and some improved Creeping Red Fescue for mixing.

I do need to know how much Fine Fescue to mix in with KBG. I was thinking 70% KBG, 15% Viking H20 Hard Fescue and 15% Garland Slender Creeping Red Fescue. I don’t want the Fine Fescue to dominate, though it may if the shade is too dense. I also have a few pounds of Maxima Strong Creeping Red. Not sure why I bought it. I suspect that I don’t want something too aggressively spreading if it’s not KBG

If anyone is familiar with mixing FF with KBG, please chime in.

Looking forward to seeding. It’s a bit of normalcy for me in my not so normal life.

Greg

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28496
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by andy10917 » June 23rd, 2019, 9:33 am

Greg:

I experimented with Hard Fescues about a decade ago (maybe a little more). I found that while the color can be pretty dark, the growth habit was that they don't like to be upright/erect, and above a 2" - 2.5" cut tend to develop a flopped-over, flowing meadow-like appearance that is a distraction visually from the upright appearance of KBG. I felt it didn't look right to my eyes, especially in the areas transitioning from Hard-Fescue dominated areas to KBG-dominated areas. I didn't care for it - it looked "sloppy" in those areas.

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 23rd, 2019, 12:42 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 9:33 am
Greg:

I experimented with Hard Fescues about a decade ago (maybe a little more). I found that while the color can be pretty dark, the growth habit was that they don't like to be upright/erect, and above a 2" - 2.5" cut tend to develop a flopped-over, flowing meadow-like appearance that is a distraction visually from the upright appearance of KBG. I felt it didn't look right to my eyes, especially in the areas transitioning from Hard-Fescue dominated areas to KBG-dominated areas. I didn't care for it - it looked "sloppy" in those areas.
Thanks Andy. Does the above also apply to Creeping Red Fescue as well?

I agree that areas of KBG/Fine Fescue that I’ve grown in the past look “sloppy” close up. I don’t like the look either which Is why I’m only using a KBG/FF mix for 2 small, isolated areas.

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2290
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 23rd, 2019, 5:09 pm

gryd wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 4:52 pm
My seed selection reflects the fact that the area to be seeded is partly shady. Most of the areas can sustain KBG but I do have 2 areas will I’ll be mixing in some Fine Fescue to increase shade tolerance. I have some Viking H20 Hard Fescue and some improved Creeping Red Fescue for mixing.

I do need to know how much Fine Fescue to mix in with KBG. I was thinking 70% KBG, 15% Viking H20 Hard Fescue and 15% Garland Slender Creeping Red Fescue. I don’t want the Fine Fescue to dominate, though it may if the shade is too dense. I also have a few pounds of Maxima Strong Creeping Red. Not sure why I bought it. I suspect that I don’t want something too aggressively spreading if it’s not KBG
For what it's worth, in my shady small back lawn, which was renovated in 2014 to a FF/KBG blend, the very shadiest areas are now exclusively Prosperity KBG. The KBG is quite thin in those shadiest areas, but it's all that's left. In those shadiest areas, the FF has all died out over the years.

As one gets further out of the deep shade (farther from the house), the FF has survived in increasing amounts, until the lawn is about 50/50 in the less shady areas. In all honesty, I wish I had gone with just the shade-tolerant KBG. The Prosperity KBG has actually done pretty well in that regard, even though it doesn't have the reputation that Bewitched has for shade. Prosperity did actually do pretty well in shade tests, but was overshadowed by Bewitched. (Pun intended... ;))

I've never tried Mazama, but am curious how it would do in my shadiest areas. My very shadiest areas probably get too little sun for growing grass and should really be switched to something else. I'm currently thinking that crushed rock may be the way to go...

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28496
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by andy10917 » June 23rd, 2019, 9:01 pm

Thanks Andy. Does the above also apply to Creeping Red Fescue as well?
Personally, I hate the fine fescues (does not include Hard Fescues in my book) and they look to my eyes like wispy dying grasses. The color looks wrong to me, and the thin blades, laydown tendencies and patchiness of it make me want to run away. Beside those fatal flaws, they're wonderful.

Take that as one man's opinion, not any science...


User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 24th, 2019, 6:44 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 9:01 pm
Thanks Andy. Does the above also apply to Creeping Red Fescue as well?
Personally, I hate the fine fescues (does not include Hard Fescues in my book) and they look to my eyes like wispy dying grasses. The color looks wrong to me, and the thin blades, laydown tendencies and patchiness of it make me want to run away. Beside those fatal flaws, they're wonderful.

Take that as one man's opinion, not any science...
For the most part I’m no fan of Fine Fescue either Andy. The areas where I was adding fine fescue actually does sustain KBG. I figured it would be thicker with some FF mixed in. I know you’ve been successful growing KBG on your somewhat shady property. How much shade can cultivars like Bewitched and Mazama tolerate?

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 24th, 2019, 6:44 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 9:01 pm
Thanks Andy. Does the above also apply to Creeping Red Fescue as well?
Personally, I hate the fine fescues (does not include Hard Fescues in my book) and they look to my eyes like wispy dying grasses. The color looks wrong to me, and the thin blades, laydown tendencies and patchiness of it make me want to run away. Beside those fatal flaws, they're wonderful.

Take that as one man's opinion, not any science...
For the most part I’m no fan of Fine Fescue either Andy. The areas where I was adding fine fescue actually does sustain KBG. I figured it would be thicker with some FF mixed in. I know you’ve been successful growing KBG on your somewhat shady property. How much shade can cultivars like Bewitched and Mazama tolerate?

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 24th, 2019, 6:51 pm

ken-n-nancy wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 5:09 pm

For what it's worth, in my shady small back lawn, which was renovated in 2014 to a FF/KBG blend, the very shadiest areas are now exclusively Prosperity KBG. The KBG is quite thin in those shadiest areas, but it's all that's left. In those shadiest areas, the FF has all died out over the years.
I was unaware that Prosperity does okay in the shade. Seems like you guys now have an accidental Prosperity mono stand. Do you have any photos of your Prosperity “mono stand”?

Iowa Jim
Posts: 43
Joined: September 17th, 2018, 10:32 am
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Grass Type: kentucky bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by Iowa Jim » June 24th, 2019, 7:40 pm

gryd wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 6:44 pm
andy10917 wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 9:01 pm
Thanks Andy. Does the above also apply to Creeping Red Fescue as well?
Personally, I hate the fine fescues (does not include Hard Fescues in my book) and they look to my eyes like wispy dying grasses. The color looks wrong to me, and the thin blades, laydown tendencies and patchiness of it make me want to run away. Beside those fatal flaws, they're wonderful.

Take that as one man's opinion, not any science...
For the most part I’m no fan of Fine Fescue either Andy. The areas where I was adding fine fescue actually does sustain KBG. I figured it would be thicker with some FF mixed in. I know you’ve been successful growing KBG on your somewhat shady property. How much shade can cultivars like Bewitched and Mazama tolerate?
I did a reno of midnight, bewitched and mazama last fall and they blend real well in shade with about 2 hours of sun. I was surprised that it did so well as i was thinking of putting in a flower bed if it didn't work.

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 26th, 2019, 6:42 pm

Iowa Jim wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 7:40 pm

I did a reno of midnight, bewitched and mazama last fall and they blend real well in shade with about 2 hours of sun. I was surprised that it did so well as i was thinking of putting in a flower bed if it didn't work.
I’m surprised Midnight did okay in the shade.
I guess I should have purchased less Fine Fescue. At this point, based on feedback I pretty much agree with, I’m limiting using Fine Fescue to an area behind the shed and another area that isn’t even my property. I maintain a buffer zone between my KBG and my neighbor’s poa trivialis, creeping bent grass, poa annua and TTTF lawn. I can use some Fine Fescue there.

Iowa Jim
Posts: 43
Joined: September 17th, 2018, 10:32 am
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Grass Type: kentucky bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by Iowa Jim » June 27th, 2019, 6:59 am

gryd wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:42 pm
Iowa Jim wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 7:40 pm

I did a reno of midnight, bewitched and mazama last fall and they blend real well in shade with about 2 hours of sun. I was surprised that it did so well as i was thinking of putting in a flower bed if it didn't work.
I’m surprised Midnight did okay in the shade.
I guess I should have purchased less Fine Fescue. At this point, based on feedback I pretty much agree with, I’m limiting using Fine Fescue to an area behind the shed and another area that isn’t even my property. I maintain a buffer zone between my KBG and my neighbor’s poa trivialis, creeping bent grass, poa annua and TTTF lawn. I can use some Fine Fescue there.
I don't think there is much midnight in the heavy shade areas but the mazama and the bewitched took over.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28496
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by andy10917 » June 27th, 2019, 7:58 am

I don't think that you can determine the final shade-tolerance of cultivars until 2-3 years after establishment. I spoke with the Head Scientist of one of the major seed research companies a few years ago, and she said that the industry-standard was "at least two full seasons".

Early signs of potential shade problems are taller but thinner growth, and then a more "clumpy" growth pattern.

Iowa Jim
Posts: 43
Joined: September 17th, 2018, 10:32 am
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Grass Type: kentucky bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by Iowa Jim » June 27th, 2019, 8:49 am

andy10917 wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 7:58 am
I don't think that you can determine the final shade-tolerance of cultivars until 2-3 years after establishment. I spoke with the Head Scientist of one of the major seed research companies a few years ago, and she said that the industry-standard was "at least two full seasons".

Early signs of potential shade problems are taller but thinner growth, and then a more "clumpy" growth pattern.
I would not have made my posts on the shade had i known this. My lawn was done last fall and i was going on what i was seeing so i may be in for some thinning areas myself. My apologies if i misled anybody because i didn't mean to. Still a rookie at lawn care.

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2290
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 27th, 2019, 1:38 pm

gryd wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 6:51 pm
ken-n-nancy wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 5:09 pm

For what it's worth, in my shady small back lawn, which was renovated in 2014 to a FF/KBG blend, the very shadiest areas are now exclusively Prosperity KBG. The KBG is quite thin in those shadiest areas, but it's all that's left. In those shadiest areas, the FF has all died out over the years.
I was unaware that Prosperity does okay in the shade. Seems like you guys now have an accidental Prosperity mono stand. Do you have any photos of your Prosperity “mono stand”?
I've been intending to take some pics and post them, but just haven't gotten to it yet. The areas where the FF has died out and only Prosperity is left are quite thin with the Prosperity (by no means is it dense and thriving) but the Prosperity KBG is holding on when everything else is gone. I would speculate that these areas get less than 1 hour of sun each day (actually maybe only 30 minutes or so, and even then only low-in-the-sky sun.)

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » June 28th, 2019, 12:30 pm

Thanks for everyone’s feedback. I appreciate it. In 2009 I planted some KBG is shadier areas (though these areas do get a couple hours of sun daily). It has done well. In 2015, I once again planted some KBG in shade. Most has done well until this past winter when erosion took some out. The erosion will be addressed this summer. That said, there are 2 small areas where there is too much shade for a thick stand of KBG. I can add fine fescue to these areas or I can hope that by adding Zinfandel (which is aggressive with some shade tolerance), that these areas will become more “filled in”.

There’s always TTTF/KBG. Been there. Done that. Not interested in going that route at the moment.

For now, I’ll push pure KBG in the areas I believe it will successfully survive. That leaves 2 areas where I have some concerns. I may blend in some fine fescue though will limit it to 20% of the mix. I was gonna go with 10% Slender Creeping Red and 10% Viking Hard Fescue.

Maybe I should skip the creeping red fescue as it can spread and take over an area. Hard Fescue should behave differently but that doesn’t mean it will look good in my lawn. Any thoughts on this strategy would be appreciated.

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2290
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 30th, 2019, 9:38 pm

ken-n-nancy wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 1:38 pm
I've been intending to take some pics and post them, but just haven't gotten to it yet. The areas where the FF has died out and only Prosperity is left are quite thin with the Prosperity (by no means is it dense and thriving) but the Prosperity KBG is holding on when everything else is gone. I would speculate that these areas get less than 1 hour of sun each day (actually maybe only 30 minutes or so, and even then only low-in-the-sky sun.)
Finally posted the photos as a new posting back in our 2014 renovation thread at viewtopic.php?f=13&t=14742&p=335094#p335093

There's more pics over in that thread, but a few are below...
ken-n-nancy wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 9:31 pm
Well Area as of 2019-06-29:
Image

Close Up of Shady Spot at Corner of House in Well Area as of 2019-06-29:
Image

North of Garage as of 2019-06-29:
Image

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2290
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 30th, 2019, 9:45 pm

gryd wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 12:30 pm
For now, I’ll push pure KBG in the areas I believe it will successfully survive. That leaves 2 areas where I have some concerns. I may blend in some fine fescue though will limit it to 20% of the mix. I was gonna go with 10% Slender Creeping Red and 10% Viking Hard Fescue.

Maybe I should skip the creeping red fescue as it can spread and take over an area. Hard Fescue should behave differently but that doesn’t mean it will look good in my lawn. Any thoughts on this strategy would be appreciated.
Ultimately, whether the KBG or FF is able to survive in your shadiest areas is going to depend upon how much light that grass receives. In my shadiest areas, the shade-tolerant varieties of KBG have held their own with FF.

Neither the creeping red fescue or the KBG in my mix has done much spreading, if any, in the shadiest areas. A couple hours of sun per day seems to be the minimum allow the grass to spread or even to keep the grass from being "too thin" as shown in some of the other photos in the link I put in my prior posting here.

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » July 3rd, 2019, 4:21 pm

ken-n-nancy wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 9:45 pm

Ultimately, whether the KBG or FF is able to survive in your shadiest areas is going to depend upon how much light that grass receives. In my shadiest areas, the shade-tolerant varieties of KBG have held their own with FF.

Neither the creeping red fescue or the KBG in my mix has done much spreading, if any, in the shadiest areas. A couple hours of sun per day seems to be the minimum allow the grass to spread or even to keep the grass from being "too thin" as shown in some of the other photos in the link I put in my prior posting here.
Thanks Ken-n-Nancy for sharing your advice and experience. I’ll let you know how much FF I eventually use.

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » July 17th, 2019, 2:14 pm

Mid-July Update:

I pulled the RU trigger on Monday. I sprayed the remaining TTTF/KBG on my property. It will be replaced (for the most part) with 100% KBG.

Equally as important, I had several diseased Spruce removed yesterday. Those areas will now get much more sun making a healthy, thick KBG Stand easier to obtain. I still have 2 small areas that may need some fescue. I’m still mulling it over but if I do mix in some fine fescue, it will be no more than 20% of my mix.

Next step is for my landscaper to make some landscape block borders and bring approximately 20 yards of good topsoil to regrade some areas and replace soil that eroded over the past 2 years. I’m not thrilled with being dependent on someone else’s schedule but the work involved is too much for me. I’ll still be doing the seeding, feeding and topdressing.

User avatar
gryd
Posts: 1600
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Trumbull, Connecticut
Grass Type: Elite Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Gryd’s 2019 Mini Renovation

Post by gryd » August 29th, 2019, 3:43 pm

Time for a long overdue update.
I had my property regraded in the back and also had topsoil, that washed away due to erosion, replaced. I hired a landscaper to bring in topsoil and address the flooding issues. After the landscaper finished I began seeding one area a day until a huge storm wiped me out last week. It was a big blow for me. My arthritis has slowed me down considerably. Now I was faced with repairing the washed out soil and start seeding again. I decided it was too much so I had the landscaper back to add more topsoil and smooth everything out. I then contracted out a hydroseeding company who was willing to use my seed and assured me his tank was thoroughly cleaned out between applications. I also purchased more seed for the hydroseeding from United Seed and Long Island Cauliflower Association.

The hydroseeding took place this morning. The hydroseeding company accomplished in an hour what would take me a week. I’ll update this thread to keep everyone posted. FYI - hydroseeding was cheaper than I imagined. I paid 500 cash for 3,000 square feet. If a big washout comes again, the hydroseeding company will repair any damage for the price of materials only.

Below are 2 pictures.
Image

Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests