Idea for patching

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bpgreen
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Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » May 17th, 2021, 12:34 am

I'm in an area that it's mostly cool season grass, but I've been planting more blue grama, which is a warm season grass.

I've been doing dormant seeding in bare spots. That's partially successful.

Unfortunately, blue grama is a bunch grass.

I've been using some compostable coffee pods (only partially compostable, but good enough).

These pods would fit well in egg carton sections.

I'm thinking of planting seed in these pods, keeping them alive in egg cartons, then putting them in bare shoes where the dormant serving didn't take.

I'll then spot water those for a while so they can establish.

Thoughts?

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turf_toes
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by turf_toes » May 17th, 2021, 8:30 am

Just to be clear, you plan to replace the coffee in the pods with top soil and then seed? (Or plant seeds in the coffee?)

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » May 17th, 2021, 3:03 pm

I was planning on leaving the coffee in the pods as a starting medium.

It might be better to just fill the egg carton with soil and plant in that.

As an aside, one challenge I have is that my irrigation system isn't working, so I have to rely on natural precipitation for my main overseeding attempts. Since most of my precipitation comes as snow, that's not ideal for getting a warm season grass to germinate. That's why I'm considering getting some started indoors and plugging (which also isn't ideal since blue grama is a bunch grass).

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turf_toes
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by turf_toes » May 17th, 2021, 4:10 pm

That sounds interesting. Andy or Morph might have thoughts on coffee as a replacement for soil.

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andy10917
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by andy10917 » May 17th, 2021, 5:31 pm

Hmmm - sounds interesting and worth a try. I checked the pH of coffee grounds and it's 6.5 to 6.8 -- Perfect!! The nature of coffee grounds would also be good for root growth - very good, loose tilth.

The only thing that I could see as a potential challenge is that I notice that when I've used coffee grounds around bedding plants, it has a bit of tendency to grow mold on it. Is that an OK mold or a pathogenic mold (for grass)? I dunno.

When transplanting the grass to the lawn, I'd make sure to mix the grass plug into nice, moist soil - if the grounds dry out it's going to mean curtains for the plug.


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Re: Idea for patching

Post by MorpheusPA » May 17th, 2021, 6:37 pm

They'll tend to dislike getting wet again if they go dry, so that's one consideration, and the fungal growth is another. Usually seed starting is done in a peat/bark fines mix for that reason--it's pretty inert. Even so, things happen. I had trouble with my zinnia and salvia this year and actually had to buy a flat.

It's worth a shot to see what happens.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » May 18th, 2021, 12:06 am

I'm familiar with coffee grounds getting hydrophobic, but it's been awhile, so I forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

I think I'll give it a try. I'll probably water daily with a watering can for a few weeks. By that time the roots should have pushed through the paper filter and down into the soil. Then I'll start cutting back on the frequency, but will probably baby the new grass somewhat the first year. I think I had some that germinated last year, but didn't get established before we had an unusually hot and dry summer that I think may have been too harsh for the new seedlings.

I definitely lost some sheeps fescue last year.

I mentioned that blue grama is a bunch grass, but it does tiller, so there's some limited spreading. Also, since the blue grama is the only grass growing after mid summer, and it doesn't get very tall, I let it go to seed. I asked the company that sold me the seed, and they told me that if I let it go until it's mature, the seed should be viable. So maybe over time, I'll get more coverage.

I'll try to remember to post updates.

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Re: Idea for patching

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » May 18th, 2021, 4:38 pm

andy10917 wrote:
May 17th, 2021, 5:31 pm
Is that an OK mold or a pathogenic mold (for grass)? I dunno.
My understanding from mushroom growers is that the fungus on coffee is the Trichoderma fungus, the same fungus that works against fungal diseases in St Augustine. Supposedly that is why mushroom growers don't like coffee grounds anywhere near their growing medium.

Back in about 2005 I was living in a hotel in Plainview, TX and collecting their coffee grounds every day. It is amazing how long coffee grounds will hold water. I burned up two microwaves trying to dry it out. Sorry about that, Mr Patel. :wave: Anyway I ended up drying it on newspaper in the hotel room bathroom. When you think it is dry, pick it up and it's still very moist. I never was able to fully dry it out, because it has an affinity to absorb moisture from the air - even in dry West Texas. After getting most of the moisture out, I kept it in Rubbermaid bins. Just for reference it never returns to the dry state you get right after grinding it. It's always clumpy and has the blue-green cast of the fungus. I believe it is the fungal hyphae that give it the clumpyness.

Having said that, you might not need to water the grass in the cartons once it sprouts.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » May 18th, 2021, 11:55 pm

I'm not surprised the grounds didn't dry out in the microwave. I *am* a little surprised you didn't figure it out faster. If you've ever reheated a slice of pizza in therre microwave, you know that it gets soggier, not drier.

I never tried to dry then out but if I spread them too thickly, they definitely dried out and crusted over, and then repelled water. I'm not sure how that would work in this use case.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » May 30th, 2021, 1:58 am

Step one is in progress.

I ate all the eggs and now have 18 coffee pods with blue grama seed sitting in the carton.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » June 10th, 2021, 2:13 am

I've been misting the seed several times a day to n keep them moist. So far, I've seen no signs of germination.

From what I've read, I should have seen at least some germination by now.

I think I'm going to order some blue grama and buffalo plugs. I haven't used buffalo to date because I've been seeding, but if I'm going to plug, buffalo spreads better than blue grama.

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Re: Idea for patching

Post by MorpheusPA » June 10th, 2021, 2:25 am

Temperature comes into play, and whether the seed feels like sprouting at that particular moment. I've had seed that was supposed to sprout in 1-2 weeks do it in anything from 48 hours to a month.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » June 10th, 2021, 2:37 am

I just ordered 140 plugs (70 blue grama, 70 buffalo grass).

When they arrive, I'll plant them together in bare spots, more or less evenly distributed..

I'll keep watering the coffee plugs. For a while, anyway.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » June 11th, 2021, 2:28 am

This will be my first experience with Buffalo grass. I've been using seeds until now and I never wanted to try a seeded variety of Buffalo grass.

140 plugs. That seems like a lot. My homemade project was going to be something like 18. I may have to put plugs in areas with live grass.

But I may finally reach my goal of having a lawn in the summer in the desert without watering.

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Re: Idea for patching

Post by MorpheusPA » June 11th, 2021, 6:21 pm

Foe. Toes.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » June 12th, 2021, 2:35 am

MorpheusPA wrote:
June 11th, 2021, 6:21 pm
Foe. Toes.
Took me awhile.

I finally read it out loud.

I'm not going to bother with pics of my failed coffee pods. But I'll try to remember to take pics before I start and as I go along.

The tough part of this is that I'll need to walk around with a hose, hand watering the plugs because the controller for my irrigation system is dead. I've been transitioning to native and naturalized grasses for years, but the death of my irrigation system added motivation to accelerate the process.

Well, that and walking around the lawn, drilling 140 holes in the lawn, making a few slices in each plug's root ball, and planting the plugs in the newly drilled holes.

I don't think my fitness watch has this as an activity (I had one that had "lawn work" as an exercise, but this watch has features that outweigh that). It's kind of humorous to mow the lawn with a manual reel mower and discover that I only took 20 steps (since my arm isn't moving while I'm pushing the mower). Or better yet, to be mowing and have the watch decide I need to MOVE.

Ironically, as I set up to have a lawn that will never need to be watered, I'm technically violating water restrictions. I never got the secondary (unmetered, untreated) water. We're not supposed to water on weekends, and we're not supposed to use culinary water on our lawns. I'll need to water daily for a while, so I'll break the rule about weekends. And I don't have secondary water so I'll break the rule about using culinary water on the lawn.

But I doubt if I'll have any problems. I use very little water, so even with daily spot watering, it's unlikely that I'll go over the monthly usage (most families exceed it just from normal usage).

As an aside, I recently read that so many people abuse the unmetered water they're planning to put in meters. When it was first offered here, it was a flat $85 (there may have been stone differences based on lot size) per year. My understanding is that it's now $200. I think I spent $5 on overages last year. And some of that was because I was watering a tree and left the house on overnight.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by MorpheusPA » June 12th, 2021, 2:38 pm

I aim to confuse. :-)

Strangely, my very basic watch figures out I'm walking when I mow. I don't know how. "Lawn Work" is roughly aerobic exercise for cardio, so I'd just use that.

And you people have unmetered water? Lucky. Every drop that comes out here is metered. Our average bill is about $200 per quarter, except summers when it's double that. And I don't irrigate, except for the gardens.

bpgreen
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Re: Idea for patching

Post by bpgreen » June 12th, 2021, 5:11 pm

MorpheusPA wrote:
June 12th, 2021, 2:38 pm
I aim to confuse. :-)

Strangely, my very basic watch figures out I'm walking when I mow. I don't know how. "Lawn Work" is roughly aerobic exercise for cardio, so I'd just use that.

And you people have unmetered water? Lucky. Every drop that comes out here is metered. Our average bill is about $200 per quarter, except summers when it's double that. And I don't irrigate, except for the gardens.
My current watch seems to be aimed at people training for and participating in triathlons. It doesn't have aerobic or cardio or other (my old watch did). It didn't even have walking as an exercise originally, but there was a willing app that I added later.

*I* don't have unmetered water, but most of my neighbors do. I've heard that they're no longer installing unmetered irrigation systems and have started putting meters on existing systems. The irrigation water is from a different source from the drinking water (aka culinary water) and is untreated. They turn it on in May (I think) and turn it off at the end of September (I think). But I've read that they may shut it off in August this year.

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