SP's thread

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TheWhiteWizard
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Re: SP's thread

Post by TheWhiteWizard » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:05 pm

Mowed the bluegrass yesterday. Learned that frequency of mowing is a decisive factor in pushing lateral growth. Although it is still really hot outside, my bluegrass is growing quickly, so it stands to reason that, if I increase my mowing frequency now, I could get a jump on getting it to spread.
Did you by chance happen to watch the same vid on the youtubes as I did? ;)
Or did you learn that some other place?
Ran the sprinklers for the bluegrass this morning, and then did nearly 3 hours for the TTTF backyard. It has had very little irrigation this summer, but I can't ask it to survive the coming week without some help.

At this point I have covered about 9,000 sq ft. with my trusty aeration fork (heave method). I'm getting pretty good with it. That's a lot of heaving. A lot of repetitions.
Fairplay to you for putting in the work time. Are you filling all those holes with compost for added moisture retention? Beware the soil drying out even quicker with the extra surface area exposed.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:58 pm

TheWhiteWizard wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:05 pm
Did you by chance happen to watch the same vid on the youtubes as I did?
Or did you learn that some other place?
I suppose that I knew that mowing low helped with spreading, but I did not think about the role of mowing frequency. Bermuda is treated similarly to encourage lateral growth, so it makes a lot of sense to me.
I suppose that I put 2 and 2 together to realize that I could be doing more now to encourage my bluegrass to spread. So much of my care for fescue during the summer involves staying off of it (i.e., not stressing it), and I have been treating my bluegrass very much the same way. I came across the information in this thread on tillering. Care to share which videos you were watching? I wouldn't mind viewing those :D.
TheWhiteWizard wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:05 pm
Fairplay to you for putting in the work time. Are you filling all those holes with compost for added moisture retention? Beware the soil drying out even quicker with the extra surface area exposed.

No, I'm not adding compost. I think core aeration would be better suited for making amendments like that. As I continue to practice good cultural care and use N-ext products, the happier I am with my soil. I do plan to throw down a little peat moss in areas, though, to add some organic matter.
As for drying out...well, I hadn't considered that possibility. The heave method leaves a very small footprint on the soil surface. In fact, I can't really see where I have aerated. My grass has a very thick canopy in most places. That being said, I can imagine how increased airflow to the subsurface might lead to faster drying, but I would assume that the effect would be mitigated by better/deeper water absorption.
But on the whole, I'm not happy about aeration during the current weather conditions. Now just happens to be the moment that I must do it if I am going to aerate this year.

On a related note, I broke my trusty aeration fork this evening. I ran down to Lowes to pick up a different fork. They took it back without a receipt and didn't charge me for the price difference. I'm not sure if Lowes, in general, is simply very generous, or if some SP charm worked a little magic. ;)
I think that I'm going to put a TLF sticker on the new fork. Doing so might help prevent another break.

TheWhiteWizard
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Location: Swansea, Wales, UK
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Re: SP's thread

Post by TheWhiteWizard » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:59 am

Care to share which videos you were watching? I wouldn't mind viewing those :D.
Mr Connor Ward talks about thickening up the grass at 12 minutes in, in one of his latest vids, it's called Tenacity bleaching in a new lawn.
I do love watching his channel.
When you mentioned learning about tillering that video came to mind as I'd only just viewed it, made me think you'd done the same lol.

Regarding the heave method with a garden fork, that's exactly what I did early spring last year. Especially towards the bottom of my sloped lawn when the water naturally runs towards. My climate can be very wet at times and with some traffic and neglect it had become quite compacted. When I heaved on the fork there were plenty of audible hisses of air escaping! It really needed doing. The grass was not growing well in those areas but now it is. I fertilised afterwards with a Maxwell mycorrhizal fertiliser. At that time I wasn't on the forum and didn't document it with pics, shame. I have a small compost making area in my garden and I like to add the compost as a top dressing to these areas especially, as the worms go mad for it and naturally aerate for me. I've not noticed compaction in these areas since spring 2018 and haven't aerated since.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:44 pm

TheWhiteWizard wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:59 am
Mr Connor Ward talks about thickening up the grass at 12 minutes in, in one of his latest vids, it's called Tenacity bleaching in a new lawn.
I do love watching his channel.
I haven't seen that one yet, but I will make sure that I do!
I find that I go through phases with the lawn care videos on youtube. Lately, it is Mr. Ward's videos that have received most of my attention. For the past couple of weeks, I've adopted some of his 'lawn-care-everyday' approach, and I feel like I am much more connected to my land. One thing that is somewhat distinctive of his videos is his lack of agenda. I don't feel like he is explicitly trying to teach anything. His videos are more along the lines of: 'This is what I am doing today. Come along if you want to. I might talk about it some if I feel like it.'
TheWhiteWizard wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:59 am
Regarding the heave method with a garden fork, that's exactly what I did early spring last year. Especially towards the bottom of my sloped lawn when the water naturally runs towards. My climate can be very wet at times and with some traffic and neglect it had become quite compacted. When I heaved on the fork there were plenty of audible hisses of air escaping! It really needed doing. The grass was not growing well in those areas but now it is. I fertilised afterwards with a Maxwell mycorrhizal fertiliser. At that time I wasn't on the forum and didn't document it with pics, shame. I have a small compost making area in my garden and I like to add the compost as a top dressing to these areas especially, as the worms go mad for it and naturally aerate for me. I've not noticed compaction in these areas since spring 2018 and haven't aerated since.
That is very cool! I don't hear of very many people using this technique. It is labor intensive, but I really like doing it, and I like the idea behind it.
You've piqued my interest with using the heave method as the aeration technique when adding compost. Maybe I will go this route if I work on my soil next year.

Green
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Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:53 pm

@social port, my Tall Fescue is spreading to recover from Summer damage. There are patches of wider-bladed Tall Fescue that are getting bigger over the past month or so. It's so weird how it does that. It forms dense tufts of thick grass with stems that grow at odd angles. I guess Tall Fescue lawns become uneven over time...
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:11 pm

Green wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:53 pm
my Tall Fescue is spreading to recover from Summer damage. There are patches of wider-bladed Tall Fescue that are getting bigger over the past month or so. It's so weird how it does that. It forms dense tufts of thick grass with stems that grow at odd angles. I guess Tall Fescue lawns become uneven over time...
That kind of makes me wonder if blade width is partly dependent on season. I've never cared to steep myself in plant physiology and anatomy, so that idea may be entirely ridiculous.
But there is a logic here, I think.
We already assume that TTTF leaves get wider with age.
We also know that leaves at least appear to get thinner under conditions of drought.
What if basic leaf width does slightly increase over time, and there is also variability in leaf width during each season. Perhaps mid summer is the thinnest because the plant is least active. What if vigorous growth during spring and fall makes the leaves temporarily wider than their natural state? That would be easy to track over time, but it would also take some long-term attention and consistency to get those measurements.

Also, the way that you describe stems growing at odd angles kind of sounds like lateral growth.

Green
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Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:26 pm

A lot of this does make sense hypothetically speaking. Also, this past Winter was harsh to the grass for some reason. Lawns lost a lot of their blades. It took a while for them to be replaced in the Spring. Often, at last in tough Winters, the same blades don't all survive year to year.

My neighbor's lawn was so thin in March. In April, they started fertilizing the heck out of it. It filled in fully by May or so. I think they put down 2-3 lbs/M between April and May. They were lucky the heat didn't get it too bad for their fertilizing sins. I think they've put down 3.5-4 lbs up to this point now, and they'll probably do another 1.5 in November. :geek: it's growing like crazy now. Not Tall Fescue, but just an illustration of blade growth. They have lots of fine fescue and PR, some KBG, and a little Tall Fescue, Triv, and Bent.

Tall Fescue isn't aggressive, but given a gap, it will try to slowly move into the area, in a very strong, bunchy way. PR does something similar, but the blades are narrower and less stiff.
Last edited by Green on Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 am

Green wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:26 pm
Tall Fescue isn't aggressive, but given a gap, it will try to slowly move into the area, in a very strong, bunchy way
On that note...we've had some talk about rhizomatous fescue recently.
The other day, I heard an interesting take on the subject: Spreading fescue is not new. Rhizomes can be observed even in 'unimproved' fescue such as KY31. The spreading isn't aggressive. And rhizomes are not widespread, but it does happen, albeit on a small scale. So claims that a fescue cultivar is a spreading type are misleading (akin to saying, perhaps, that there is a new 'sweet' version of chocolate, when, of course, all chocolate is sweet). The LS/Rhizomatous strains spread as much as their older counterparts.

What we may be seeing, then, is not evidence that the newer cultivars, in particular, spread. What we see is evidence that fescue spreads, but does so on a very small scale.

Green
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Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:35 pm

social port wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 am
What we may be seeing, then, is not evidence that the newer cultivars, in particular, spread. What we see is evidence that fescue spreads, but does so on a very small scale.
Absolutely. I can probably show you some KY-31 in my neighborhood that has spread over time, because a lot of people have patches in their lawn of it. And it's the same growth pattern as the improved stuff. Remember that house I told you about where the lawn filled in over time (years) and a lot of it appeared to be KY-31?

Anyway, there are articles talking about both Tall Fescue and Ryegrass spreading from a long time ago (1900s). They do. Just not fast. I see underground pseudostolons (determinate stolons) on Ryegrass plants from time-to-time.

If this wasn't the case, you'd never have to edge. I don't know about you, but if I haven't edged in a long time (a year or two) I get grass with roots I can actually use (replant) elsewhere being cut off from the edge.

But I think the idea is, they're trying to make it happen faster with the more compact growth patterns, etc. Apparently some in nature are more rhizomatous in tendency than others, too.

There are also Tall Fescues in nature that are much better at dormancy than the ones the turf companies sell currently. But I think the reason we don't see them right now in turf seed is because of that, they go brown very readily in hot temperatures, much like fine fescue. If they could find a way to combine the two and keep both traits, it would be great. Remember that ranking on the drought avoidance and drought tolerance in that document I posted. The current turf type Tall Fescue was really good at staying green, but only so-so at ability to stay dormant long-term.
Last edited by Green on Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:53 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:13 pm

@Green, I really like your line of thought above. I hear a conclusion waiting on RTF: Yes, TTTF spreads, but not vigorously enough to rely on spreading as the main source for providing lawn integrity (i.e., fullness of the stand). There is effort underway to develop cultivars that are superior spreaders, but there is currently no clear evidence that cultivars labeled as RTF are better than TF with regard to ‘spreading vigor.’

By the way, do I recall correctly that you are a fan of Bullseye? It isn’t quite gone. Hogan’s should have some available in 1-2 weeks. :mrgreen:

Green
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Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:24 pm

social port wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:13 pm
Hogan’s should have some available in 1-2 weeks. :mrgreen:
Yes...I'm one of the people behind that. ;)
That reminds me, I need to call Stephen tomorrow to follow up on it. I wasn't going to post anything about this until he confirmed he had it in his hands. As far as I know, he only was able to snag a very small order.
Last edited by Green on Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

Green
Posts: 3566
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 am
Location: CT (Zone 6B)
Grass Type: KBG, TTTF, TTPR, and FF
Lawn Size: 15K
Mower: Toro 22", MTD 21", Fiskars 18"

Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:31 pm

social port wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:13 pm
Green, I really like your line of thought above. I hear a conclusion waiting on RTF: Yes, TTTF spreads, but not vigorously enough to rely on spreading as the main source for providing lawn integrity (i.e., fullness of the stand). There is effort underway to develop cultivars that are superior spreaders, but there is currently no clear evidence that cultivars labeled as RTF are better than TF with regard to ‘spreading vigor.’
Yeah, that's the expert assessment as I understand it. KY-31 spreads as well as, say, Firecracker LS or RTF. Now, No-Net (e.g. "Flame")--I don't know if they're a step ahead with that, or still roughly the same. I've used it, but have nothing to look at to judge spreading.

I read that Hard Fescue (also a bunchgrass) can have short rhizomes and slow spreading, too.

Creeping Red has even more...there is the "slender" form, which has shorter and fewer rhizomes, and the "strong" type which spreads noticeably, and actually can take over a whole lawn over a 30-year period if the other species in the mix die out or get subdued by disease, lack of nutrients, etc. Remember my area I dig up in the low-input area in April due to rocks? I never added seed...just replaced the existing sod (mostly CRF, I believe) and added fertilizer. It now looks like I never dug there.

In the front, including right by the street curb, I had irrigation work done in the mid Spring. The guy dug it up and put it back. No seed. Everything looks fine now...no real gaps (Northern mix).

Apparently even Chewings Fescue, a bunchgrass without rhizomes, can be pretty aggressive under low-input conditions and forms a dense sod (I believe I've seen some, and it looks like mat) by tillering over time. I don't think you could really overseed into that.
Last edited by Green on Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:02 am

Green wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:24 pm
Yes...I'm one of the people behind that.
:lol: , that's awesome.
Green wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:24 pm
That reminds me, I need to call Stephen tomorrow to follow up on it. I wasn't going to post anything about this until he confirmed he had it in his hands. As far as I know, he only was able to snag a very small order.
Yeah, give him a call. I was going to post something about its availability in the cool season sub-forum, but I won't if you are going to do it.

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social port
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Re: SP's thread

Post by social port » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 am

I mowed the bluegrass again on Wednesday. I have also been taking the TTTF in the backyard down to 2.5, where I hope to maintain it for the next year. I also found 3 new patches of bermuda that I need to hit in the coming days.

I am eager to start fertilizing and putting down my fall PreM. I'm also wanting to use air-8. I thought I could hold out until, say, next Monday, and I was banking on lower temps and maybe a little rain.

Well, the recent forecast suggests a temperature reduction, but not nearly enough (from the upper 90s to the mid 90s), and virtually no rainfall for the next 10 days or so. Not really what I was expecting.

I may proceed with my fall treatments despite the weather. I'm planning to apply products by zones in order to manage the irrigation side of the application.

Within the next several days I plan to
Hit the remaining bermuda patches
Fertilize, PreM, K, and Air-8 the side section of my front yard.
Low temps are at least going to be below 70 some nights (e.g., 68), so that helps with confidence a little bit.
Last edited by social port on Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Green
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Mower: Toro 22", MTD 21", Fiskars 18"

Re: SP's thread

Post by Green » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:58 pm

social port wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:02 am
Green wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:24 pm
Yes...I'm one of the people behind that.
:lol: , that's awesome.
Green wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:24 pm
That reminds me, I need to call Stephen tomorrow to follow up on it. I wasn't going to post anything about this until he confirmed he had it in his hands. As far as I know, he only was able to snag a very small order.
Yeah, give him a call. I was going to post something about its availability in the cool season sub-forum, but I won't if you are going to do it.
Thanks. Yeah, there were various people looking for it, and apparently there was a little bit left from their suppliers this year.

Just talked with them, and they confirmed a small amount has been ordered, and asked me to please follow up in the next week or two, as they have deliveries occurring all the time. I will call again next Friday, and if/when it's in, I'll post it in the thread I started in the cool-season forum.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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