Steffen707's Lawn Journal 2021 Bluebank/Mazama/Bewitched Reno

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Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Steffen707's Lawn Journal 2021 Bluebank/Mazama/Bewitched Reno

Post by steffen707 »

Backstory:
I'm in Central Wisconsin, have a mixture of prg, kbg, old school TF from a sod installation that was done 20 years ago in the lawn. I love all the stripes on youtube, but realize I don't have the commitment for short reel mowing. I've got a JD GX345 with powerflow bagger. I bought the mulch kit, but its a PITA to put on/take off. In the next year or two i'm going to replace it, hopefully with an electric zero turn. I only want to mow 2 times per week. Someday i might look into plant growth regulator, but i'm a firm believer in only tweaking so many things at once or else you have no idea what is causing any issues.

I spread milorganite and a winterizer last year with a Scotts Elite spreader I bought last year. I didn't kill anything! So i'm more confident and fired my lawn guy last summer. Pretty sure he threw down lime, cuz "YOU'VE GOT PINE NEEDLES". and he was in general not reliable. They plug aerated my yard after a heavy rainfall. Looked like somebody tilled my lawn. =( It all came back, but took some time. That's when I learned about reciprocating plug aerators instead of the "star drive" kind. I think you need a pull behind, or reciprocating plugger, or else you risk the tines becoming a gigantic tiller under the wrong hands/conditions.

Here is a Before/After of my spring project. i'll post more about that later.
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Future topics:
Equipment

Products - I've read about people mixing their own cocktails with surfactants and soap to aerate the lawn, while it does look less expensive, its just more math/chemistry/involvement than i'm willing to commit at this time, so i've drank the NEXT Greene County Fertilizer coolaid, bought several of their products and am starting to make the soil better (that's the plan anyway).

20 year spring cleanup project

Backyard Test Plots - RPR, HGT, RTF, Reinders 80/20
Last edited by steffen707 on Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Checkout these stripes Ryan Norr & Connor Ward!

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Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

This is my plan for the test plots
4 sections of 4 different grass seed.

4 sections with same grass seed overseeded into existing lawn.

each plot broken up into 2 sections each with different starter fertilizer timing applications.

Each of those sections split up with different seed coverings, Peat Moss, EZ Straw, Seed Aide and then nothing.
Should give 64-8sqft sections = 512sf
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I also thought about just saying screw it and planting the Badger Blue in the whole 1000sf corner of my backyard because i'm 80% sure that's the route i'm going to go.

Badger Blue is what i'm calling Bluebank, Bewitched and Mazama. Because I live in Wisconsin, and it should grow good in Wisconsin.
Last edited by steffen707 on Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

I've read that a good route to go to diversify your stand of grass is to pick 1 cultivar from each of these KBG types because the color (and maybe other things), should be similar and not stick out.
Compact Midnight - My pick Bluebank
Compact - My pick Bewitched
Compact America - My pick Mazama

This should diversify the qualities of your overall turf and hopefully give you better tollerance for disease, insects, drought, stress, ect. ect.

I think picking 1 from the other types and having a mix of 4-5-6, could further diversify your stand, but i wanted dark green and mostly uniform in color so I'm going with this combo (unless i change my mind, =) )

Here are some links that talk about types/classifications.
UMASS KBG Classifications https://ag.umass.edu/turf/fact-sheets/c ... -cultivars
DLFpickseed KBG Classification http://www.dlfpickseed.com/Files/Files/ ... ckseed.pdf
Univ Tennessee KBG Classification https://extension.tennessee.edu/publica ... W159-B.pdf
Last edited by steffen707 on Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

My criteria for picking cultivars was these traits from the NTEP trials (https://ntep.org/) I found that I was able to have AT LEAST 2 of my 3 Elite Cultivars excel in each of the criteria below. I also tried to limit as few of the middle of the road stats as well. Bluebank sucks at greenup, but i'm willing to deal with that to get super dark green. Some concessions have to be made.

Can you buy the cultivar?
  • From what I can tell any SiteOne cultivars you can't buy individually and their blends don't have specific cultivars, they can change from week to week. This was too inconsistent for me.
  • Can you buy the cultivar in amounts YOU want? One cultivar grower told me they only sell to sod farms and in MASSIVE quantities
  • Will the cultivar be around in 5-10-30 years?
Genetic Color
  • I really like the dark lawn look, Bluebank and Mazama are some of the darkest. I've heard Bewitched gets darker in years 2-3. Time will tell.
  • This is such a pain because generally the early spring green up cultivars, don't have deep dark blue/green.
  • My lawn always looks like crap in the spring and kicks into gear after everybody elses, so i'm use to poor spring green up. It would be worth it if I have a lush dark lawn longer than everybody else
Quality in North Central Region
  • I figured this was a good trait. Grass that grows well in my area. Central Wisconsin can get cold. What grows well in the southern part of the transition zone, might not grow well here. Bewitched and Bluebank rated well in North Central.
Fall Color
  • Fall is my favorite time of year. We get about 6 months of stupid winter in Wisconsin, so I want to love my lawn until the first snowflake falls anywhere from early October to late December
Shade Ability
  • I have 1 slightly shady spot, 1 moderate shade, 1 moderate+ shade in my yard. My 20 year old KBG/PRG/TF lawn does pretty good in areas 1 and 2, but struggles in spot 3. I'm hoping new cultivars like Mazama and bewitched will grow their without much fuss.
Traffic Tolerance
  • I've got 2 young boys and a dog that plays fetch. Need good grass for this. I read Bluebank was good, Bewitched was actually THEE highest for Traffic Tollerance in its Trial year. Mazama is poor at traffic tollerance. I found it impossible to have the best of all categories. Barvette HGT is the closest, but its color is lacking. For anybody that doesn't care about dark green, i dont' know why you would look elsewhere, Barvette HGT has been dominant in most categories for YEARS.
Drought Tolerance
  • Not really worried about this because I can always let my sprinklers run longer, but why not look at all the ratings.
Uniformity
  • Who doesn't like a uniform look to their lawn?
Seedhead
  • I hate seedheads. Bluebank, which i think might end up 50% of my seed by weight had an 8.3 for Seedhead rating. It was the best in its trial.
    Its one reason my lawn looks crappy for so long. This also wasn't a huge contributor, but when you look at 20 years of NTEP trial data, have to whittle down the list somehow.
Last edited by steffen707 on Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

To see how I nerded out on my NTEP quest, here's a link to my google doc. Looks like google now lets you scroll and click on tabs in google sheets that are pasted to forums....AWESOME.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Here is a photo from fellow member @jrubb42 with his Bluebank, Bewitched, Mazama test plot.

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He also did an update in this video of his test plots, update starts around 6:06 in the video. Video was posted May 19, 2021


Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Here is a photo of bewitched and mazama test pots grown in a shady spot by @fusebox7
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He noted the Mazama on the right is darker and denser.....

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

I'm making a 40lb batch of KBG Total cost with shipping was around $280
50% Bluebank
25% Bewitched
25% Mazama


I bought 10lbs Mazama from CD Ford https://www.cdford.com/lawn-and-garden- ... uegrass-10, it was like $40+23 shipping from Illinois to Wisconsin.

I bought 10lbs of Bewitched from United Seeds for $65 plus $11 shipping coming from Iowa or Nebraska.

I bought 20lbs of Bluebank from Swellseedco an offshoot of Landmark Seed Co (discoverer?) of Bluebank. https://swellseedco.com/shop/product/bl ... -bluegrass Found a 10% off code online. It was $139 shipped.

JerseyGreens
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Grass Type: BlueBank-Front / NoMix - Back
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Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by JerseyGreens »

BlueBank will make you very happy! I love it thus far and the NTEP trials nailed it spot on.

I had a much slower spring green up, and very little seedheads this year. Plus it's dark as heck!!

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

JerseyGreens wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:11 pm
BlueBank will make you very happy! I love it thus far and the NTEP trials nailed it spot on.

I had a much slower spring green up, and very little seedheads this year. Plus it's dark as heck!!
Yeah, can't seem to get good spring green up with natural dark color. I think I can deal with slower green up for a super dark lawn.

Do you have a monostand of Bluebank in your front yard? I'll check out your lawn journal.

Edit: awesome to see your stripes showed up well by April 9th. I'm eager to see the rest of your thread to see more Bluebank goodness!

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Applied
1 gallon of 1% milk
32oz of unsulfured blackstrap molasses
5oz of Sea-K
with a final volume of 10 gallons to my 10k yard, then watered for 5min per zone. Have to use warm/hot water for the molasses to dillute. I topped it off with cool water. No idea if hot water is bad for the lawn, but warm water is probably better.

Got a bunch of rain today and for the next 3 days.

No idea if the milk molasses thing is snake oil, but its cheap, good way to practice with my Chapin unicorn sprayer.

Chris LI
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Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
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Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by Chris LI »

Molasses definitely will help to feed the soil microbes. I usually spray UBM at least once in the summer. I also use them in the vegetable garden, occasionally. For milk, I think you need the unpasteurized heavy milk straight from the cow, to be most beneficial (I forget the correct term). However, the 1% couldn't hurt. I saw a thread somewhere delving into it, but can't remember if it is on TLF or ATY.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

I installed a bypass valve in the basement with a WIFI ball valve actuator. So now I can have hot water at my outdoor spigot.

I need to hook up a short hose to a Y at the spigot though. Yesterday it took 30 seconds of water flow to get the hot water to the end of my 100ft hose. Then if I wanted cold water, i'd have to flush another 30 seconds of hot water through the hose. not very environmentally freindly.

Can't wait to have a 3rd stall on my garage with a Utility sink! This will do for now.

Image

I bought it on prime day for $33 shipped. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RS64NKV?ps ... ct_details
It seems to be pretty well built. The manual pull ring doesn't work very well, but I shouldn't have any emergency that I need hot water at the front yard spigot, lol.

I bought another one of these for my 1" main water line. if I get a notification from my Flume 2 that there is flooding anywhere, i can shut off the water to the whole house with the app..........that's the plan anyway.

I just bought this, haven't even installed it yet. Its a Flume 2 smart home wifi water monitor. Was $150 on prime day.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DX ... UTF8&psc=1

There are other ones that are like $400-$500 that have a valve, but then you have to install it. I think my setup for about $240 which requires no cutting/soldering should work nicely.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Well i've done a few things here and there to the lawn, but i've decided to not do the test plots and instead i sprayed 1/3 of the lawn with roundup to renovate.

I had 1.5 gallons of 3-4 year old roundup that I sprayed first, then sprayed 6 more gallons of new roundup from concentrate onto my 3700sf plot.

At first I was thinking I sprayed too heavily, but then read you're supposed to spray 1 gallon roundup per 300sf. I was surprised this morning, 13 hours later that I didn't notice anything, but after work I walked the plot and its definitely dying.

Totally messed up killing off perfectly fine KBG. I'm hoping the new cultivars handle the partial shade better, grow thicker and are darker green. Fingers crossed.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

I decided to skip the test plots and just reno 3700 of my 10k yard this year. I already bought the KBG cultivars, might as well get 1/3 of my lawn done in 2021. I'm not sure if I sprayed too much, not enough, grass was too tall, but the weeds are dead! I mowed the lawn short the other day and i'm going to hit it again with gly this weekend. I started the reno process about 4 weeks out, so I could spray 2-3 times if needed.

Damn KBG is resilliant. Neighbors are freaking out, lol.

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Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Wow, what a difference 4-5 more days makes. The pictures above were after 7 days post glyphosate. The pictures below are at day 11-12.

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Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
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Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

I decided to mark up three roughly 1200sf sections, then mixed up some 4 gallons of glyphosate with lazer dye and 0.33lbs of AMS because i have hard water.

If you actually spray 1 gallon per 300sf, WOW, you really spray the area. I only used 8-9 gallons on round 1, 12 on round 2. This should toast everything else remaining.

I'm liking the "blue grass"!
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Liquidstone
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Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by Liquidstone »

That second round of gly is going to make things super toasty! I like your choice in seed blend, it’s going to be legit. I’ll be following along.

Topic Author
steffen707
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 pm
Location: central wisconsin
Grass Type: Rye / Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 9800
Mower: John Deere GX345

Re: Steffen707 - Jonny's Property

Post by steffen707 »

Liquidstone wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 11:12 am
That second round of gly is going to make things super toasty! I like your choice in seed blend, it’s going to be legit. I’ll be following along.
Thanks. I actually read through a bunch of NTEP data and settled on those three, then saw a bunch of others on here using at least 2 of the three.

So....great minds think alike I guess.

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