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Blue Note

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:35 am
by hogmaster
Blue Note KBG has done very well in trials, but I am finding very little about it here. I am primarily interested in a nice texture and good density, and while I want it pretty green, having it the greenest (like Bewitched) is not as important. I am currently thinking about mixing Blue Note with Bewitched and Blue Velvet. Does anyone have experience with this combination or something like it? Thanks!!

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:27 pm
by Johnl445
This is my KBG blend from a local nursery. zinger is probably the worst cultivar of this 4 way blend. I wish it wasn’t even in there. Sometimes I want to know the same thing your asking, if I could be able to tell the difference from one cultivar to the next. and I’ve read all the trials and sometimes I wish I just did a straight mono stand kbg. But from what I’ve read on this forum, with the naked eye you cant tell. it’s hard to tell the difference from a mono stand from a blend of KBg.


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Re: Blue Note

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:02 pm
by jskierko
I did some test plots with various blends (rye and kbg) a few years back. The plot that I had with blue note (it also had bluebank and bewitched) definitely looked to be one of the healthiest, but it seemed to have a brighter green hue rather than the blue-green synonymous with KBG. I ascertained that it was due to the Blue Note in the mix. Everyone has different tastes, but it was too light in color for my liking. If you are looking at that blend for generic diversity, I am not too familiar with the compact America class (which includes Blue Note). Maybe @bernstem can chime in with what he thought of the color of his Moonlight, which falls in that same class.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:27 pm
by bernstem
jskierko wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:02 pm
Maybe @bernstem can chime in with what he thought of the color of his Moonlight, which falls in that same class.
I had Moonlight SLT in a blend with Award and Prosperity. At the time I picked my blend, Moonlight was one of the darkest Compacts. I could not tell the difference in color between the three, but they are very close in color scores. If you look at NTEP data, anything within +/- 0.2 (maybe up to 0.4) points or so is basically the same when blended. If you grow them as monostands next to each other, you will be able to tell them apart but that isn't the plan. Also, keep in mind that color is highly dependent on soil and management. pH and Iron levels, in particular affect color significantly.

I would expect Blue Velvet will be noticeably lighter as it is a full point (or more) lower in color score in the NTEP trials. Some people like a blend with a lighter bluegrass as it can give some texture to the lawn, but if you want a more uniform look, I would pick something darker to blend with Blue Velvet and Bewitched.

I would also point out that the more intensively you maintain your lawn, the more the seed choice matters. A high input, zero weed, short cut lawn will benefit much more from seed choice than one that is maintained more casually. I also think that uniformity matters more than color in appearance. A Zoysia lawn in the middle of summer at 1 inch HOC looks great despite the light green color. A monostand of Midnight invaded with clover will look terrible in comparison. Because of that I picked my blend of Award, Prosperity, and Moonlight SLT to be very similar in color and texture. If it matters, I have since renovated to a monostand to get even more uniformity so you can see where my opinions lean.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:09 pm
by Scagfreedom48z+
Johnl445 wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:27 pm
This is my KBG blend from a local nursery. zinger is probably the worst cultivar of this 4 way blend. I wish it wasn’t even in there. Sometimes I want to know the same thing your asking, if I could be able to tell the difference from one cultivar to the next. and I’ve read all the trials and sometimes I wish I just did a straight mono stand kbg. But from what I’ve read on this forum, with the naked eye you cant tell. it’s hard to tell the difference from a mono stand from a blend of KBg.


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I see that you bought that in Ma. Did they have any tttf mixes?

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:26 pm
by Johnl445
@Scagfreedom48z+
I will take a look next time I go, I definitely remember a fine fescue blend this is a local nursery in Peabody mass called NorthEast Nursery. But If I were to do it all over again I would’ve went to this place because they can get you any elite variety you want.
https://valleygreenusa.com/store-locations/

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 am
by ABC123
Ive had amazing results with bewitch besides rust though. Whats your concerns with bewitch?

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 10:11 am
by hogmaster
ABC123 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 am
Ive had amazing results with bewitch besides rust though. Whats your concerns with bewitch?
I thought using a blend would be better because of genetic diversity, but I can see that many people here do monostands. People on this forum have some incredible lawns and devote a lot of time to them, but given the size of my lawn and other commitments, I won't be able to do a very high level of maintenance and don't see myself mowing closer than 2 inches.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 10:52 am
by Rxrep
hogmaster wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 10:11 am
ABC123 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 am
Ive had amazing results with bewitch besides rust though. Whats your concerns with bewitch?
I thought using a blend would be better because of genetic diversity, but I can see that many people here do monostands. People on this forum have some incredible lawns and devote a lot of time to them, but given the size of my lawn and other commitments, I won't be able to do a very high level of maintenance and don't see myself mowing closer than 2 inches.
A couple thoughts. I used to have a KBG blend (Midnight, Compact, America) but now have a Midnight monostand which I really like. In my experience, the blend was no better in terms of getting less disease than the current monostand. However what I gained with the monostand was increased uniformity which is key to enhancing appearance. I have a couple of folks among family and friends that sodded with a Tall fescue/KBG blend who have had pretty good results in terms of appearance and disease despite maintaining the turf on the lower end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, because it was purchased sod, I don't know what varieties the farm used.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:17 am
by bernstem
I wouldn't get too hung up on the classes of bluegrass. No one does genetic testing to determine what class the cultivar goes in. The classification is made by the growth and disease resistance characteristics, and some cultivars have inconsistent classification in different sources. As long as you have a mix of 2-3 classes and 3-4 different cultivars you will be diverse and gain the benefits of a blend.

I'll also second Rxrep that I have not noticed a huge difference in disease sensitivity in my old front lawn blend vs my back lawn monostand. I think we push the idea for valid reasons, but I don't know that there is a significant real-life effect. If you really want to have disease resistance, then a TTTF/KBG mix is the way to go, but it will definitely look less uniform than a blend or monostand. If you want a monostand it makes selection much easier - just pick a cultivar in the recent NTEP trial that has done well in your area.

The IN1 location is probably a good one for you to look at. It is maintained at 4+ inches, 2-3 lbs of Nitrogen per year, and without irrigation in full sun. Seems like a good match for your expected maintenance level. you can find the most recent year's results here

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:42 am
by Rxrep
+1 bernstem. Also here is a blend to think about. It is all KBG and was used to sod the Rose Bowl. I only bring it up because it contains Blue Note (title of this thread) as one of the three components. It's called 365ss and contains Bolt, Blue Note, and Legend KBG. Bolt is one of the fastest germinating KBGs. I think this blend was selected for color, texture and quick recovery. Here are a couple of links. Also I think there are a few Youtube videos on it.

https://oregonseed.org/rose-bowl-select ... upplier-2/

https://unitedseeds.com/product/365ss-k ... bluegrass/

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 9:41 am
by Scagfreedom48z+
Rxrep wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:42 am
+1 bernstem. Also here is a blend to think about. It is all KBG and was used to sod the Rose Bowl. I only bring it up because it contains Blue Note (title of this thread) as one of the three components. It's called 365ss and contains Bolt, Blue Note, and Legend KBG. Bolt is one of the fastest germinating KBGs. I think this blend was selected for color, texture and quick recovery. Here are a couple of links. Also I think there are a few Youtube videos on it.

https://oregonseed.org/rose-bowl-select ... upplier-2/

https://unitedseeds.com/product/365ss-k ... bluegrass/
Fast germination and KBG? Does seem possible!! Lol

I wonder if anyone has used this seed that could chime in on their experience? I personally haven’t heard of it

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 1:01 pm
by ABC123
I swear waiting for bluegrass to germinate is beyond horrible. Then you think its all amazing when you see green babies, then sprout and pout hits.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 4:35 pm
by hogmaster
bernstem wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:17 am
I wouldn't get too hung up on the classes of bluegrass. No one does genetic testing to determine what class the cultivar goes in. The classification is made by the growth and disease resistance characteristics, and some cultivars have inconsistent classification in different sources. As long as you have a mix of 2-3 classes and 3-4 different cultivars you will be diverse and gain the benefits of a blend.

I'll also second Rxrep that I have not noticed a huge difference in disease sensitivity in my old front lawn blend vs my back lawn monostand. I think we push the idea for valid reasons, but I don't know that there is a significant real-life effect. If you really want to have disease resistance, then a TTTF/KBG mix is the way to go, but it will definitely look less uniform than a blend or monostand. If you want a monostand it makes selection much easier - just pick a cultivar in the recent NTEP trial that has done well in your area.

The IN1 location is probably a good one for you to look at. It is maintained at 4+ inches, 2-3 lbs of Nitrogen per year, and without irrigation in full sun. Seems like a good match for your expected maintenance level. you can find the most recent year's results here
Thanks much! It's interesting that the 2017 study for IN1 went to a 4+ inch cutting height, which seems awfully long. Earlier studies for IN1 used a 3-inch height, which seems more reasonable. I didn't look closely at that information before.

Part of my reason for using a blend is that I have some areas with light to moderate shade, and I was thinking that some parts of the blend may do better there, with the appearance being somewhat gradual as the shade increases.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 4:39 pm
by hogmaster
ABC123 wrote:
Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 am
Ive had amazing results with bewitch besides rust though. Whats your concerns with bewitch?
Thanks. How easy it is to control rust? Would Bewitched be okay by itself in shade areas? Would I be better off blending Mazama into shade areas?

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:35 pm
by g-man
How much shade are we talking about? Can you post an image of the area?

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:55 pm
by hogmaster
g-man wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:35 pm
How much shade are we talking about? Can you post an image of the area?
Thanks for responding. It was dark when I got home tonight, and tomorrow I'm going out of town for a few days, but I'll post pictures as soon as I can. Two areas are below a tree (one is a very large birch, and the other is a full-size apple tree), and probably the worst shade is a 10-foot wide strip between my house (east) and a line of mature evergreens (west). I have a ranch house, but both the floor and roof are tall.

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 8:14 am
by hogmaster
hogmaster wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:55 pm
g-man wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:35 pm
How much shade are we talking about? Can you post an image of the area?
Thanks for responding. It was dark when I got home tonight, and tomorrow I'm going out of town for a few days, but I'll post pictures as soon as I can. Two areas are below a tree (one is a very large birch, and the other is a full-size apple tree), and probably the worst shade is a 10-foot wide strip between my house (east) and a line of mature evergreens (west). I have a ranch house, but both the floor and roof are tall.
@g-man, I was able to take some pictures this morning. The first is the front tree and side of my house, the second is the birch.
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Front tree and side of house, mostly in the shade

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Birch shade (my old grass didn't do too bad here, maybe because of light reflection from lake, but the branches extend about 20' to the left)

Thanks for your help!!

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:34 am
by g-man
Most of the snow melted, that tells me that it is likely getting enough sun. My north facing front yard is still white. The main concern with the birch is the roots taking away the moisture during the summer. Do you have irrigation?

Re: Blue Note

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:55 am
by hogmaster
g-man wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:34 am
Most of the snow melted, that tells me that it is likely getting enough sun. My north facing front yard is still white. The main concern with the birch is the roots taking away the moisture during the summer. Do you have irrigation?
Thanks, @g-man. Yes to irrigation. It currently is not very uniform and some areas don't get hit, and the lines are undersized and have very low pressure. During summer I need to run them about 8 hours every day to get enough water. The first thing I want to do this spring is redo much of the irrigation (new leaders, more heads, zone revisions). The area around the birch usually isn't too bad with my old grass (a mix of all kinds of stuff), and certainly not as bad as around my garage. I originally was't going to add much water around the birch, but I suspect you will suggest that I do so for the tree ;)

The other thing I will add is that my neighbor waters the crap out of his lawn. He has way too many sprinkler heads spaced too close together with too much psi. He is on the side of my house opposite the garage (see previous pic). Within minutes of him starting to water his front lawn, we used to get a small stream running in the backyard between our properties that accumulated into standing water against the lake (backyard). It only grows as he turns on closer zones. Last summer I brought in 45 yards of soil to address the standing water (see my To Roll or Not Roll post). That worked well for the standing water, but the grove along our property line is typically very wet and sometimes too soft to walk on. Would this excess moisture cause local problems for Bewitched?

Thanks again for your help!