I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

A place to discuss organic lawn care products and practices
Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

Here are the pics:

Newly Seeded Backyard section on Sept. 14:
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Backyard on Sept. 25 - 11 days out:
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Backyard on Sept. 25 - 11 days out:
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Backyard on Sept. 25 - 11 days out:
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Frontyard Seeded on Sept. 23, taken on Sept. 25 - 2 days out:
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Backyard on Sept. 30 - 16 days out:
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Backyard on Sept. 30 - 16 days out:
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Backyard on Sept. 30 - 16 days out:
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Frontyard on Sept. 30 - 7 days out:
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Frontyard on Sept. 30 - 7 days out:
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Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
SeanBB
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Grass Type: Paspalum 'Platinum TE'
Lawn Size: 425ft
Mower: McLane Manual

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by SeanBB »

Looking good so far, good work! The compost should help a lot...especially at 2-3". There does seem to be quite a bit of uncomposted woody debris in in but since you added extra organic fertilizer you should be good to go. Coming in good!

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dwaugh
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:57 pm
Location: Akron, Ohio
Grass Type: Mix of cool-season and weeds
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Mower: Toro 60V battery (in Toro Red)

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by dwaugh »

Looking good! What kind of tall fescue did you use?

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

dwaugh wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:29 pm
Looking good! What kind of tall fescue did you use?
The tall fescue I used is Barenbrug RTF. I ordered 25 lbs and they sent 2 - 10 lb bags and 1 - 5 lb bag. The reason I mention this is that the cultivars listed are slightly different on the 5 lb bag than on the 10 lb bags. Each has about 40% RTF cultivars. I mixed them up together as I figure genetic diversity is our friend. See below:

Image

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Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
SeanBB
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Grass Type: Paspalum 'Platinum TE'
Lawn Size: 425ft
Mower: McLane Manual

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by SeanBB »

That is odd...at least you are easy going. I bet that would piss a lot of people off! Excited to see the clover. Do you ever use any other cover crops?

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

SeanBB wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:43 pm
That is odd...at least you are easy going. I bet that would piss a lot of people off! Excited to see the clover. Do you ever use any other cover crops?
Piss me off? Well, I don't know if any of those selected cultivars are really better than the others. I've read good things about Falcon IV. Since RTF cultivar % is the same in both, I don't feel like I'm getting cheated one way or the other. I suppose the reason they don't use 100% RTF cultivars are either cost or that RTF's have deficiencies that clumping cultivars don't. As with any seed blend, it's really a crap shoot as to which cultivars will work best.

I haven't tried any cover crops other than clover. I was thinking about trying birdsfoot trefoil in the most difficult areas.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
SeanBB
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Grass Type: Paspalum 'Platinum TE'
Lawn Size: 425ft
Mower: McLane Manual

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by SeanBB »

Just meant by getting rando bags of seed vs a single 25 pounder. Looking good! Keep posting photos love the progress shots.

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

As of today:

My Sept. 14 seeding, grass germinated Sept. 24 - 15 DAG (3 pics):
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My Sept. 23 seeding, grass germinated Sept. 30 - 9 DAG (3 pics):
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Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
dwaugh
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:57 pm
Location: Akron, Ohio
Grass Type: Mix of cool-season and weeds
Lawn Size: 3K
Mower: Toro 60V battery (in Toro Red)

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by dwaugh »

Is it all in planted in "Reno" areas? Next year I want overseen some TTTF in my ersatz cool season lawn (or by dormant seeding this winter). I'm not ready to commit to a full renovation at this time. Looks good!

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

dwaugh wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:48 pm
Is it all in planted in "Reno" areas? Next year I want overseen some TTTF in my ersatz cool season lawn (or by dormant seeding this winter). I'm not ready to commit to a full renovation at this time. Looks good!
I guess you can say yes, these are all "reno areas". I initially mowed areas down to 1 3/4 inches, covered with 2-3 inches of compost and seeded a mix of tall fescue, fine fescue and clover. What little "good grass" there was grew up through the compost while the crabgrass was smothered.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
SeanBB
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Grass Type: Paspalum 'Platinum TE'
Lawn Size: 425ft
Mower: McLane Manual

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by SeanBB »

Probably a nice way to build some topsoil as well...and also, quickly. I wonder if in those problematic areas you did that for a few years, how quickly that layer would build up? IE; mow it down, cover with 4" soil/compost, seed - grow lawn, repeat!

Green
Posts: 5369
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 am
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Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Green »

@Deadlawn,

Two things:

Hart Seed in Wethersfield (they do ship) sometimes has 0/0 KY-31 seed.

I know a lot of seed you find normally tends to have tons of weed and other crop, including Poa Trivialis. Like this one: Image
It's actually even worse than marked; you have to multiply the percentages by about 1.4 due to the 25% coating.

For grub control, you might want to try GrubGone. It's a preventative and gets put down in early August. I plan to try it. Milky Spore may not overwinter consistently in MA (or anywhere in the Northeast).
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.

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

Green wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:23 am
@Deadlawn,

Two things:

Hart Seed in Wethersfield (they do ship) sometimes has 0/0 KY-31 seed.

I know a lot of seed you find normally tends to have tons of weed and other crop, including Poa Trivialis. Like this one: Image
It's actually even worse than marked; you have to multiply the percentages by about 1.4 due to the 25% coating.

For grub control, you might want to try GrubGone. It's a preventative and gets put down in early August. I plan to try it. Milky Spore may not overwinter consistently in MA (or anywhere in the Northeast).
Until reading a few posts on this forum, I never thought about how many seeds 0.1% is! More concerning are the noxious weeds listed. The bag of KY-31 I bought was from Hancock Seed and had this label even though it was advertised as Pennington Kentucky 31:

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/produ ... WCEALw_wcB

I just checked the bag and apparently I lost the label which states exact percentages. It's not the coated seed.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

Yesterday, I did my first mow on my Sept. 14 seed which starting germinating on Sept. 24 (21 DAG). I started at 2 1/4 inches HOC, but then saw immediately this looked too low, so I raised the HOC up to 2 3/4 inches. Even though I rolled the seed, the compost layer is still soft, so apparently mower wheels were sinking into it a bit. That is apparent on some areas where I had to go around trees which caused some gouging. I measured the cut grass afterwards and it was 2 inches!! I purposely chose yesterday for a mow because today is a washout, so the grass should recover well.

There are thin areas for sure, but I'm just going to let them try to fill in on their own. Leaves are starting to come down hard in some areas. Pics below:
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Image

Image

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Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
440mag
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:15 am
Location: WestrnNCFoothilsToGreatSmokies
Grass Type: Blend tall fescues
Lawn Size: 30,000sf (hills! :-/
Mower: JD X580, Bolens19”wMulchBlade

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by 440mag »

Deadlawn wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:14 am
...
September 2019 (Sunny areas): So I decided I needed some soil amendments. I bought some bulk compost as well as some 50/50 compost/topsoil mix ... It all came up beautiful and thick and was green all winter and well into the spring. All seemed like it was going well until late May 2020 brought daytime temps into the 70's, grass started turning brown and dying back. By mid-June 2020, I had a mostly dead lawn (even the clover died!!!) with a few errant grass clumps. ... grass was pretty dead before drought.

In the meantime.......

April 2020 (Mixed sun and shade areas near and around trees): I got more compost, ...

...
Sept. 2020: I am going down this rabbit hole again. ...
As you can probably guess, the reason I am posting in the organic forum is because I don't want to use harsh chemicals. We have sensitive wetland areas nearby and there are toads and garter snakes around here which are very sensitive to pesticides and herbicides.

This year I did have an infestation of Japanese beetles and I have noticed some grubs in the soil when preparing garden beds. I have just treated my yard with milky spore which worked well for Japanese beetles back in NJ. Not sure if the grubs factored into the demise of my grasses, it was the adult beetles that were a real problem eating foliage on my raspberry plants and fruit trees. ...
So if you have read this far, thank you. Attached are some recent pics. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!


...
OP, I’ve read your post and skimmed and scanned the entire thread as key elements of your OP “ring a loud bell” with me. I too was baffled by large areas of turf inexplicably dying and it was sometime before I discovered my soil had been infested with not just grub but something much, much more pernicious: WIREWORMS!!!! :( :o :shock: :?

And come to find out, I was introducing them into my yard via the loads of LOCAL bulk top soil (from nearby crop farms!) and LOCAL compost (Multi-year old municipal leaf collections!) I was having brought in!

Ironic thing about it all is that top soil looked like textbook “loam,” - you’d see it coming off the dump truck and hear Tarzan’s voice: “Top soil good, Tarzan Like! “Mmmmmm!” And that compost! Just as black as the richest amendments you can imagine - I’d be spreading it and be hearing Homer Simpson’s donut voice in the back of my skull: “Rich compost, mmmmmm!

Bad news: no chemical that kills grubs will even touch wireworms

Good news: Beneficial Nematodes gets em ALL! And they are otherwise harmless to the environment, and harmless to earthworms, amphibians and reptiles!

And, certain suppliers have “blends” of strains of beneficial nematodes that specifically target turf munchers!

https://hydro-gardens.com/product/guard ... on-5p385a/

https://www.arbico-organics.com/product ... -nematodes


That whole experience is still painful to think about and the only thing that ameliorates the knowledge I was bringing those lawn destroyers by the sheer DUMP TRUCK load is having my horizons expanded via use of those beneficial nematodes!

I still have fights on my hands (weed outbreaks, preventing fungal outbreaks, etc.) same as everyone but, I no longer have my entire yard overshadowed by that recurring bizarro “lawn murder mystery!”
When it comes to everything, anytime I edit anything it is always because I forgot something! ;)

Topic Author
Deadlawn
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:43 am
Location: Western Mass (Zone 6A)
Grass Type: Tall fescue/fine fescue/clover
Lawn Size: 1/4 acre
Mower: Honda HRR 216PDA

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by Deadlawn »

440mag wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:07 pm
Deadlawn wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:14 am
...
September 2019 (Sunny areas): So I decided I needed some soil amendments. I bought some bulk compost as well as some 50/50 compost/topsoil mix ... It all came up beautiful and thick and was green all winter and well into the spring. All seemed like it was going well until late May 2020 brought daytime temps into the 70's, grass started turning brown and dying back. By mid-June 2020, I had a mostly dead lawn (even the clover died!!!) with a few errant grass clumps. ... grass was pretty dead before drought.

In the meantime.......

April 2020 (Mixed sun and shade areas near and around trees): I got more compost, ...

...
Sept. 2020: I am going down this rabbit hole again. ...
As you can probably guess, the reason I am posting in the organic forum is because I don't want to use harsh chemicals. We have sensitive wetland areas nearby and there are toads and garter snakes around here which are very sensitive to pesticides and herbicides.

This year I did have an infestation of Japanese beetles and I have noticed some grubs in the soil when preparing garden beds. I have just treated my yard with milky spore which worked well for Japanese beetles back in NJ. Not sure if the grubs factored into the demise of my grasses, it was the adult beetles that were a real problem eating foliage on my raspberry plants and fruit trees. ...
So if you have read this far, thank you. Attached are some recent pics. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!


...
OP, I’ve read your post and skimmed and scanned the entire thread as key elements of your OP “ring a loud bell” with me. I too was baffled by large areas of turf inexplicably dying and it was sometime before I discovered my soil had been infested with not just grub but something much, much more pernicious: WIREWORMS!!!! :( :o :shock: :?

And come to find out, I was introducing them into my yard via the loads of LOCAL bulk top soil (from nearby crop farms!) and LOCAL compost (Multi-year old municipal leaf collections!) I was having brought in!

Ironic thing about it all is that top soil looked like textbook “loam,” - you’d see it coming off the dump truck and hear Tarzan’s voice: “Top soil good, Tarzan Like! “Mmmmmm!” And that compost! Just as black as the richest amendments you can imagine - I’d be spreading it and be hearing Homer Simpson’s donut voice in the back of my skull: “Rich compost, mmmmmm!

Bad news: no chemical that kills grubs will even touch wireworms

Good news: Beneficial Nematodes gets em ALL! And they are otherwise harmless to the environment, and harmless to earthworms, amphibians and reptiles!

And, certain suppliers have “blends” of strains of beneficial nematodes that specifically target turf munchers!

https://hydro-gardens.com/product/guard ... on-5p385a/

https://www.arbico-organics.com/product ... -nematodes


That whole experience is still painful to think about and the only thing that ameliorates the knowledge I was bringing those lawn destroyers by the sheer DUMP TRUCK load is having my horizons expanded via use of those beneficial nematodes!

I still have fights on my hands (weed outbreaks, preventing fungal outbreaks, etc.) same as everyone but, I no longer have my entire yard overshadowed by that recurring bizarro “lawn murder mystery!”
Thanks for the reply! Wireworms a.k.a. click beetles? Can't say I've seen any of those and these areas were problematic before I introduced the compost. I find a grub or two every so often while digging and I did see quite a few Japanese beetles. I put down milky spore for the Japanese beetles as it worked for me when I lived in NJ.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

User avatar
440mag
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:15 am
Location: WestrnNCFoothilsToGreatSmokies
Grass Type: Blend tall fescues
Lawn Size: 30,000sf (hills! :-/
Mower: JD X580, Bolens19”wMulchBlade

Re: I just want something that's green and doesn't die.

Post by 440mag »

Deadlawn wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:01 pm
... these areas were problematic before I introduced the compost. ...
Well Holmes, THERE GOES my hypothesis (pause to puff pipe) :lol:

Click beetle larvae, that’s them (nasty little grass root terrorizing buggers they be, matey)!

https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-prob ... m-control/

PS - the article left one other item out, one VERY important to use lawn enthusiasts: WILD TURKEYS, skunks, opossum, raccoons and ALL MANNER OF NOCTURNAL “turf rip and flippers” LOVE Wireworms - and will raze turf to get to them! :shock: I didn’t mention it earlier but, before we discovered Wireworms were being brought in by the dump truck load, we’d wake up some morning and our yard looked as if a gang of adult men had spent the night going over our yard’s newly germinated lawn with roto-tillers!


Image
When it comes to everything, anytime I edit anything it is always because I forgot something! ;)

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