Extremely slow growth this fall

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Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:21 am

Been exactly a month since I overseeded. New seedlings have emerged but haven't even reached mowing height. Is that normal? Don't remember being like that from last year. I've had to mow the old grass 3 times so it doesn't get too tall and block sunlight to the new seedlings. Soil temps in the mid-70s until very recently. I used Scotts Starter and Milorganite.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by saidtheblueknight » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:34 am

How much are you watering if any? How much sunlight is the grass getting?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by 86halibut » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:35 am

What type of grass seed did you use and where did you get it from?
professional noob

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:43 am

Thanks for the questions, guys. I watered 4-5 times daily in the first week to get it going and then reduced it to .25" every two days for about another week and now 0.5" every 5 days. Sunlight is good. It's full sun about 80% of the time from sunrise to sunset; basically full sun unless my house is blocking it. Seed is from a local distributer. TTTF mix with all 4 varieties recommend by the Virginia Tech Extension Office and certified in Oregon.

I'm getting worried since the first frost is approaching fast and at this rate, I don't know what's going to happen...
Last edited by nova_lawn on Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by 86halibut » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:56 am

something seems off since you said fescue. Yesterday I did a first mow on my tttf at day 12 and some areas are mostly shade. I helped my neighbor seed a few spots with tttf from the nursery and it's been mowed twice in 3 weeks.


edit: maybe it's the watering? we watered a couple times a day for at least the first 2 weeks. did you have any preemergent down or anything like that?
Last edited by 86halibut on Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
professional noob

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:50 am

86halibut wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:56 am
something seems off since you said fescue. Yesterday I did a first mow on my tttf at day 12 and some areas are mostly shade. I helped my neighbor seed a few spots with tttf from the nursery and it's been mowed twice in 3 weeks.


edit: maybe it's the watering? we watered a couple times a day for at least the first 2 weeks. did you have any preemergent down or anything like that?
I know! It’s so weird! Last time I did this it all came up so quick and I was mowing twice a week before I know it! I even did a soil test that indicated all normal values except for ph which isn’t even that low. Only thing I can think of I did differently is doing RGS and Humic12. No pre emergent.

What’s your temperature been like?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by Mtsdream » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:37 am

nova_lawn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:43 am
Thanks for the questions, guys. I watered 4-5 times daily in the first week to get it going and then reduced it to .25" every two days for about another week and now 0.5" every 5 days. Sunlight is good. It's full sun about 80% of the time from sunrise to sunset; basically full sun unless my house is blocking it. Seed is from a local distributer. TTTF mix with all 4 varieties recommend by the Virginia Tech Extension Office and certified in Oregon.

I'm getting worried since the first frost is approaching fast and at this rate, I don't know what's going to happen...
I think you may have pulled the water back too quick.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:41 am

Mtsdream wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:37 am
I think you may have pulled the water back too quick.
Thanks! That might be the problem. I just went around the yard and noticed the yard a little dry. It's 25k sqft to cover, so you can imagine the bill :lol: :lol: I'll probably change it to 0.5" every 3 days and see how it reacts. This fall's been really hot and dry down in the mid-atlantic region.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by Mtsdream » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:02 am

I understand, the Midwest has been horrible, i watered my reno too much and had a ton of fungus, part of the learning process i guess?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by Babameca » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:08 am

@nova_lawn +1 on watering issue. Pulling from 4 times a day to every other day is a huge shock for the newly germinated grass. It took me 2 weeks to go from 4 times a day to once daily...and I was going too fast IMO. Considering, I seeded KBG, my intense watering was set for 3 weeks.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by g-man » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:13 am

@nova_lawn what hoc?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by social port » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:27 am

I agree that reducing the water should have been more gradual, but I also wonder if temperature is playing a role here. I'm not sure what your weather has been like, but TTTF doesn't grow as quickly in 90 degree weather as it does in, say, 75 degree weather.
I think that the important thing is that the grass is up. I've had baby TTTF 'pout'' plenty of times, and then growth takes off in the spring. Everything fills in at that point. FWIW.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:55 am

g-man wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:13 am
@nova_lawn what hoc?
HOC is 3"
social port wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:27 am
I agree that reducing the water should have been more gradual, but I also wonder if temperature is playing a role here. I'm not sure what your weather has been like, but TTTF doesn't grow as quickly in 90 degree weather as it does in, say, 75 degree weather.
I think that the important thing is that the grass is up. I've had baby TTTF 'pout'' plenty of times, and then growth takes off in the spring. Everything fills in at that point. FWIW.
Thanks... I guess that's my last hope. I might even consider dormant seeding in some areas.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by g-man » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:04 am

You should mow at 2in for the new grass to have a chance.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:07 am

g-man wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:04 am
You should mow at 2in for the new grass to have a chance.
Thanks, G-man! Just curious... what's the reasoning behind it?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by g-man » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:10 am

The tall grass doesn't block the sun of the young one.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by tgreen » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:57 pm

nova_lawn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:21 am
Been exactly a month since I overseeded. New seedlings have emerged but haven't even reached mowing height. Is that normal? Don't remember being like that from last year. I've had to mow the old grass 3 times so it doesn't get too tall and block sunlight to the new seedlings. Soil temps in the mid-70s until very recently. I used Scotts Starter and Milorganite.
How much starter and how much milo? Did you do both 4 weeks ago? Is this new grass slightly yellow at all? Any pics?

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:00 pm

tgreen wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:57 pm
nova_lawn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:21 am
Been exactly a month since I overseeded. New seedlings have emerged but haven't even reached mowing height. Is that normal? Don't remember being like that from last year. I've had to mow the old grass 3 times so it doesn't get too tall and block sunlight to the new seedlings. Soil temps in the mid-70s until very recently. I used Scotts Starter and Milorganite.
How much starter and how much milo? Did you do both 4 weeks ago? Is this new grass slightly yellow at all? Any pics?
YES!! It's yellowish green. Not dark green at all. Starter fert at label rates and milo at approx half rate. I'll get some pics in the morning.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by ScottW » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:29 pm

I'm probably "somewhere near you," pretty close to Fairfax hospital, just inside the beltway. Seeded TTTF 2.5 weeks ago and saw emergence 4.5 days after that. Watered twice a day for two weeks and only recently pulled back on the water with the drop in temps the past couple of days. Also had propiconazole down given the warm temps and me keeping constant moisture.

By my math of your schedule, 3 weeks ago you were doing 0.25" every other day, and two weeks ago you were at 0.5" every five days. Yeah man, your s--- was totally parched. The late season heat around here has been absurd until this past Wednesday/Thursday.

New to the forum here but I believe the conventional wisdom is to NOT apply fertilizer at seed-down for the reason you noticed... it will cause existing turf to take off and not give the new seedlings the best chance to grab sun. So ideally you would hold off on the N until after the first mow at 2" HOC, which would normally be a couple weeks after seed-down. But that horse is out of the barn, just keep mowing to 2" HOC. I'd water a bit on Sunday. Might get some help from mother nature on Tuesday, so keep an eye on the forecast but you might be able to skip Monday. What has already emerged will do better now that temps are getting more reasonable.

Where'd you get your seed? I got mine at Betty's Azalea Ranch, a three cultivar blend of Firebird 2, GTO and Hot Rod. In previous years they've used a mix of Bullseye, Turbo and Hemi. So they keep an eye on the NTEP, and it's good clean seed. I was actually looking to try 10% KBG in the mix this year and looked at Newsom seed up in MD, but they were out of stock when I checked in Gaithersburg, and Fulton is nowhere near my usual routes. I need to be more on top of things next year.

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Re: Extremely slow growth this fall

Post by nova_lawn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:38 pm

ScottW wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:29 pm
I'm probably "somewhere near you," pretty close to Fairfax hospital, just inside the beltway. Seeded TTTF 2.5 weeks ago and saw emergence 4.5 days after that. Watered twice a day for two weeks and only recently pulled back on the water with the drop in temps the past couple of days. Also had propiconazole down given the warm temps and me keeping constant moisture.

By my math of your schedule, 3 weeks ago you were doing 0.25" every other day, and two weeks ago you were at 0.5" every five days. Yeah man, your s--- was totally parched. The late season heat around here has been absurd until this past Wednesday/Thursday.

New to the forum here but I believe the conventional wisdom is to NOT apply fertilizer at seed-down for the reason you noticed... it will cause existing turf to take off and not give the new seedlings the best chance to grab sun. So ideally you would hold off on the N until after the first mow at 2" HOC, which would normally be a couple weeks after seed-down. But that horse is out of the barn, just keep mowing to 2" HOC. I'd water a bit on Sunday. Might get some help from mother nature on Tuesday, so keep an eye on the forecast but you might be able to skip Monday. What has already emerged will do better now that temps are getting more reasonable.

Where'd you get your seed? I got mine at Betty's Azalea Ranch, a three cultivar blend of Firebird 2, GTO and Hot Rod. In previous years they've used a mix of Bullseye, Turbo and Hemi. So they keep an eye on the NTEP, and it's good clean seed. I was actually looking to try 10% KBG in the mix this year and looked at Newsom seed up in MD, but they were out of stock when I checked in Gaithersburg, and Fulton is nowhere near my usual routes. I need to be more on top of things next year.
Awesome, hey, nice to meet someone from VA! I got mine from Newsom Seeds in Gaithersburg. My wife had some errands to do up in Rockville, so she just swung by Gaithersburg. The heat's been rough. No rain, too! I forgot what the varieties were, but I know they're from the recommended list from VT and they were rated pretty well for the SE in the NTEP trials.

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