Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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vancwa
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:48 pm
Location: Portland Oregon area
Grass Type: PRG/FF blend & TTTF blend
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Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

I am near Portland OR. I seeded 5k sq ft section late due to no available irrigation at the ideal time in September, so I seeded in the middle of October. I did keep moist after seeding. I used around 7lb/1000 ft of GCI Spreader Elite TTTF (which has some % of TTTF "Flame" seed that is rhizomatous). In comparison to my other sections using a PRG/FF mix, this was very slow to germinate - partly because Yeah. I realize temps were cooler.

Air temps are now bouncing between high 30's at night, mid-high 50's day. Soil temps now in most spots are 50°.

Question is - are all the un-germinated seeds no longer viable (either rotted or won't survive winter)? Our winter temps are usually mild between 30-45, but we still get shorter intermittent temps below freezing in January and February. We might get snow a week a year.

If the un-germinated seeds are lost, would you just re-seed/overseed any bare spots in spring, or just wait till fall again but starting earlier? Everything I read says spring is not a good time to seed, but Portland has a very mild climate until June or so.

You guys are the experts and I appreciate your opinion!! (Attached a couple pics below. The bare and patchy spots are shady areas around fences or walls. )


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thin_concrete
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by thin_concrete »

Spring seeding can work, but it’s tough. Seedlings just don’t have enough root structure to survive summer temperatures. People do it though.

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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by thin_concrete »

Hit “submit” a little quickly. Your lawn looks good. Spend the winter researching here and getting your soil ready for fall. Maybe do some pruning in those heavily shaded areas if you really need grass there. I have a decent sized section of my back yard where I decided it was too much of an uphill battle to get good, healthy grass. I decided I would rather spend that effort in other parts of my yard/garden.

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g-man
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by g-man »

TTTF in the Pacific northwest can be a challenge. The standard recommendation west of the Rockies is perennial ryegrass.

I would throw PRG right now. Spring seeding can work in the PNW, but you do need to get an irrigation plan until it is a mature lawn.

Topic Author
vancwa
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

g-man wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:36 pm
I would throw PRG right now. Spring seeding can work in the PNW, but you do need to get an irrigation plan until it is a mature lawn.
Thanks g-man for responding! I still have 30 pounds of my PRG/FF mix that I use for over-seeding my other areas of the lawn. It germinates and grows fast plus the FF seems very shade tolerant. I was just trying to keep this 100% TTTF because it should be more drought tolerant than the PRG/FF blend. I don't plan to put in a nice automatic irrigation system back there, but would use the temporary tripod impact sprinklers setup to germinate and limp through the hot summer to keep it out of dormancy.

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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by g-man »

I think your issue will be fungus survival. The wet, cold but not freezing temperatures in the PNW can create problems for you. Have a good fungicide rotation ready.

Topic Author
vancwa
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Location: Portland Oregon area
Grass Type: PRG/FF blend & TTTF blend
Lawn Size: 11000 sqft, 1000 sqm
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

thin_concrete wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:58 pm
Spend the winter researching here and getting your soil ready for fall. Maybe do some pruning in those heavily shaded areas if you really need grass there.
Thanks thin_concrete for responding!

Research in winter is a great idea - both here, other forums and Youtube. (Although some Youtubers are pretty lame. ) The Portland seed suppliers are also super helpful people. I have an unused soil test kit, but my adjacent lawn areas were not bad at all. I did use starter fertilizer, and I plan to spoon feed .25 lb/1k ft of N every 3 or 4 weeks or so. I will prune those trees, at least whatever is on my side of the fence. The trees also block the sun from those big raised beds for growing tomatoes in the summer. Too bad I can't remove them!

Topic Author
vancwa
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

g-man wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:05 pm
I think your issue will be fungus survival. The wet, cold but not freezing temperatures in the PNW can create problems for you. Have a good fungicide rotation ready.
Thanks for the tip on looking out for fungus.

I've previously had fungus in other sections of lawn during warmer/wet conditions. I alternated using Eagle 20 and DiseaseEx and it seemed to control. (Would not use that on immature seedlings though.)

thin_concrete
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by thin_concrete »

vancwa wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:21 pm
g-man wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:05 pm
I think your issue will be fungus survival. The wet, cold but not freezing temperatures in the PNW can create problems for you. Have a good fungicide rotation ready.
Thanks for the tip on looking out for fungus.

I've previously had fungus in other sections of lawn during warmer/wet conditions. I alternated using Eagle 20 and DiseaseEx and it seemed to control. (Would not use that on immature seedlings though.)
To the extent possible, you may want to get a few other fungicides in the rotation now before something becomes an issue. I had a decent sized pythium blight outbreak and I couldn't get mefenoxam in any appreciable amount of time. I was able to manage it with other fungicides, but never got ahead of it and had to reseed those lost areas.

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vancwa
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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

thin_concrete wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:08 pm
vancwa wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:21 pm
g-man wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:05 pm

To the extent possible, you may want to get a few other fungicides in the rotation now before something becomes an issue.
I'm not sure which fungicides are safe on baby seedlings.I think I read that propiconazole was safe on seedlings.

Do you have any recommendations beyond the DiseaseEx (azoxy) and Eagle 20 (myclobutanil) I currently use? I would really have to be sure it would be ok on the baby grass using a preventative rate.

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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by PNW_George »

According to WSU, OSU and UI studies, the best time for seeding in the West part of the PNW is April and May or August and September in that order. Some years even as late as mid-October can work and with mild weather and irrigation even Summers can work but will take a lot of effort. We live in a pretty nice climate for growing grass.

The very wet and cool conditions this fall have not been ideal for any seeding without good drainage and especially not for TTTF. TTTF will likely require more annual over seeding than other types. Perennial Ryegrass and Fine Fescue are the most common West of the Cascades and tend to do the best.

Topic Author
vancwa
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:48 pm
Location: Portland Oregon area
Grass Type: PRG/FF blend & TTTF blend
Lawn Size: 11000 sqft, 1000 sqm
Mower: 21" Snapper

Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by vancwa »

Thanks George.

Most of my lawn area is planted with a PRG/FF mix and it is great. The FF seems to like shade. I do periodically over-seed as it is needed or replace bentgrass invasions. I still have 30 pounds of this PRG/FF seed reserved for over-seeding. It does seem to need lots of water during our hot dry summers like the one we just had this year.

Unfortunately I was not aware of the studies you mentioned. I went with TTTF for this 5k area because I had read it was more drought tolerant and wear resistant. It mostly gets full sun with no permanent irrigation system. I would just use a temporary sprinkler setup on hoses just to avoid going into summer dormancy. I wanted to minimize maintenance back there - mow high and less frequently. But I'd like it to be dense enough to prevent weed invasion.

This TTTF was planted in mid-October, and yes we have mild wet weather which is great for growing grass seed. I will do a spring over-seed with the TTTF, and if that doesn't germinate successfully I would resort to over-seeding with the PRG/FF blend that I already have. My own experience is that the PRG/FF seed is a very fast and successful germination.

Thanks again George!

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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by Green »

Some seeds will probably survive Winter even from back in Sept. But you can't necessarily rely on it. I'd put more down in Spring if needed.
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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Re: Slow and patchy germination of TTTF

Post by Lawn Noob »

I’ve seeded in spring successfully. I then put down dithiopyr on June 1st to stop the crabgrass. It’s worked for me.

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