thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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r7k
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thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by r7k » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:00 pm

Parent's yard, on the lawn level 1..3 scale it currently rates about a 0.2. Soil test came back with pH at 4.8 and low in everything. I think I have the lime applications figured out between now and spring.

I'm thinking of using the big bag of Kentucky 31 from tractor supply, currently @ $55 bag and I think 2 bags would be plenty.
I had asked previously about K31 grass and was mentioned it's not a preferred grass [species?] compared to KYB and other "turf" fescues and ryegrasses in established nice looking lawns. I get that, and would not use that to overseed in my yard however...

for what I am doing, preferably on the cheap, I am not over seeding would be killing and power raking existing weird stuff growing then putting down 100% K31. And I honestly would be happy with a lawn level 0.8, something that can be kept relatively weed free and consistent and would look acceptable... rest of the yards on the street are also horrible. Can K31 grass be planted and grow nice enough if it is all K31? I am only dealing with about 2000 sqft for starters, and given the current state of things i doubt it could look any worse. My impression is this K31 is a pasture grass, could it be successfully seeded at 100% K31 and give a nice looking lawn?
thanks.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Quick read on K31. It is pretty tolerant to a variety of abuses :lol:

https://www.pennington.com/all-products ... all-fescue
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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by 86halibut » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:34 pm

Sure it will look acceptable but if you're gonna kill everything and start from scratch why put down the worst seed possible? Do you douse your dry aged filet mignon in A1 sauce? Seriously though, you said $55 a bag and you need two bags for 2000sq/ft? That seems super expensive. You can get some nice seed for a lot less.
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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by social port » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:42 pm

Personally, I don't think that KY31 is all that bad. It perks along amazingly well in heat and drought. It is prone to disease, like other fescues.
If I wanted a lawn a)comprised of grass b) that is relatively weed free and c) that takes a minimal amount of input,
then ky31 makes a lot of sense, along with spring pre-emergents.
You should read through Powhatan's journal to see which TSC ky31 bag he uses. I think it looks good.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by greengrass » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:48 pm

I don't see what is wrong with KY31, as long as it is uniform in the lawn. It is just a different type of grass that has thicker blades and a different shade of green.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:49 pm

@r7k You may want to add something about being your parent's yard in the title. Might save some confusion.
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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by macdawg » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:54 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:11 pm
Quick read on K31. It is pretty tolerant to a variety of abuses :lol:

https://www.pennington.com/all-products ... all-fescue
The number one source they reference is from 1984.

I'll just say I think the hype on any benefit of KY31 is wildly overblown. I made the mistake of buying it once. The new stuff is 1000x better and I saw an NTEP style comparison once that showed KY31 was worse than about everything as far as performance. Looks worse too. If it's worth doing I'd just buy an $80 bag of tall fescue.

Like a woman you took home that one time that was just a taaaaaad thicker than most.


Image

Image
Last edited by macdawg on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by critterdude311 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:34 pm

r7k wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Parent's yard, on the lawn level 1..3 scale it currently rates about a 0.2. Soil test came back with pH at 4.8 and low in everything. I think I have the lime applications figured out between now and spring.

I'm thinking of using the big bag of Kentucky 31 from tractor supply, currently @ $55 bag and I think 2 bags would be plenty.
I had asked previously about K31 grass and was mentioned it's not a preferred grass [species?] compared to KYB and other "turf" fescues and ryegrasses in established nice looking lawns. I get that, and would not use that to overseed in my yard however...

for what I am doing, preferably on the cheap, I am not over seeding would be killing and power raking existing weird stuff growing then putting down 100% K31. And I honestly would be happy with a lawn level 0.8, something that can be kept relatively weed free and consistent and would look acceptable... rest of the yards on the street are also horrible. Can K31 grass be planted and grow nice enough if it is all K31? I am only dealing with about 2000 sqft for starters, and given the current state of things i doubt it could look any worse. My impression is this K31 is a pasture grass, could it be successfully seeded at 100% K31 and give a nice looking lawn?
thanks.
I think K31 by itself can make a really good yard under the right circumstances. You would not want to mix it with KBG or PRG because it will stick out like a sore thumb relative to those 2. If you can do just K31 by itself I think it looks fine, the uniformity being the key.

The issue I see with K31 right now is tractor supply, or any place you try to order it from comes with way too high of a “weed seed” percentage and “other crop” percentage. I was shocked by the percentages of both on the 50lb bags offered at tractor supply. It would be a deal breaker for me.

So all that being said, if you can find 50lb bags which are weed and other crop free, I think you could make a compelling case for it. The question comes down to where you could obtain that, but it’s not clear if there are any K31 suppliers who can do that now, it seems to be “just the way it is” if you want to do k31.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by critterdude311 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:35 pm

r7k wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Parent's yard, on the lawn level 1..3 scale it currently rates about a 0.2. Soil test came back with pH at 4.8 and low in everything. I think I have the lime applications figured out between now and spring.

I'm thinking of using the big bag of Kentucky 31 from tractor supply, currently @ $55 bag and I think 2 bags would be plenty.
I had asked previously about K31 grass and was mentioned it's not a preferred grass [species?] compared to KYB and other "turf" fescues and ryegrasses in established nice looking lawns. I get that, and would not use that to overseed in my yard however...

for what I am doing, preferably on the cheap, I am not over seeding would be killing and power raking existing weird stuff growing then putting down 100% K31. And I honestly would be happy with a lawn level 0.8, something that can be kept relatively weed free and consistent and would look acceptable... rest of the yards on the street are also horrible. Can K31 grass be planted and grow nice enough if it is all K31? I am only dealing with about 2000 sqft for starters, and given the current state of things i doubt it could look any worse. My impression is this K31 is a pasture grass, could it be successfully seeded at 100% K31 and give a nice looking lawn?
thanks.
I think K31 by itself can make a really good yard under the right circumstances. You would not want to mix it with KBG or PRG because it will stick out like a sore thumb relative to those 2. If you can do just K31 by itself I think it looks fine, the uniformity being the key.

The issue I see with K31 right now is tractor supply, or any place you try to order it from comes with way too high of a “weed seed” percentage and “other crop” percentage. I was shocked by the percentages of both on the 50lb bags offered at tractor supply. It would be a deal breaker for me.

So all that being said, if you can find 50lb bags which are weed and other crop free, I think you could make a compelling case for it. The question comes down to where you could obtain that, but it’s not clear if there are any K31 suppliers who can do that now, it seems to be “just the way it is” if you want to do k31.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Jut60 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:49 am

Seems like two bags would be too much seed for 2000 sf.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Socks » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:18 am

I would not recommend K-31 for three reasons... price wise you can get much better seed at a local feed/landscape store for the same if not cheaper than the prices you’re mentioning. I would highly recommend a TTTF/KBG mix for lower maintenance and high self-repair.

Two - while K31 (for some reason) has a reputation as very tolerant, any bags you find will probably be full of weeds and other crap so a large percentage of the yard will grow in undesirable and you’ll be dealing with the same issues you have now.

Three, and the main reason I never recommend K31 is the size of the blades. If you can get a uniform yard of anything it will look decent - that’s just how it works, however, maintaining a K31 yard from a mowing perspective is not a pretty thing. I have a family member who actually has a uniform K31 and has for years, and they’ve been through so much equipment trying to get a decent cut and finish on their lawn it’s ridiculous. All they ever talk about is how terrible their lawn looks after a mow and trim.

The only exception to all of this is if you can find what @Powhatan uses. That K31 is something entirely different than I’ve ever seen and looks amazing. So maybe ask him :lol:
Last edited by Socks on Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Factor » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:28 am

Are the connecting yards Bermuda at all? If yes the Bermuda will for sure invade. If your just up for tier .8. I would just choose something with rhizomes like zoysia. I

If there is no Bermuda chose any good mix of fescue. You can alway Reno or overseed if you have extra later. 8-10 pounds per 1000 Is plenty.
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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Powhatan » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:39 am

Use the grass species that works best for your location situation, grass seed is grass seed, each has it's advantages and disadvantages. I use KY-31 because I don't irrigate my lawn and it stays greener longer during summer stress than the other surrounding grass species. My front lawn hasn't seen rain since Aug 2 and it's still mostly green. I don't need a country club manicured lawn, just something that can stay healthy longer using low inputs. Also, no lawn is 100% weed free so whatever you use you'll need to manage the weeds.

IMO in a urban community I wouldn't use KY-31, use a traditional turf grass species. Also, sounds like the soil is going to need some fixing to properly support any grass seed you put down.

Here are the recommended KY-31 sowing rates if that's what you decide to do.
Last edited by Powhatan on Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by jcs43920 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:34 am

If I were you I would just get turf type tall fescue. It’s still very low maintenance and would be much better overall than Kentucky 31. It really doesn’t cost that much more either. Now I have a friend that has a Kentucky 31 yard and it actually looks decent however he has to sharpen his mower blades literally every two mows because those thick grass blades just dull it out and if you dont sharpen the blades then the grass will get severely splintered and get deseased super easily. The other thing about Kentucky 31 is the fact that the bag will have a massive amount of weed seed in it since it’s an economical grass, and to get a bag that doesn’t would cost just as much if not more than turf type tall fescue which is a much better grass in my opinion.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Socks » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am

Powhatan wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:39 am
Use the grass species that works best for your location situation, grass seed is grass seed, each has it's advantages and disadvantages. I use KY-31 because I don't irrigate my lawn and it stays greener longer during summer stress than the other surrounding grass species. My front lawn hasn't seen rain since Aug 2 and it's still mostly green. I don't need a country club manicured lawn, just something that can stay healthy longer using low inputs. Also, no lawn is 100% weed free so whatever you use you'll need to manage the weeds.

IMO in a urban community I wouldn't use KY-31, use a traditional turf grass species. Also, sounds like the soil is going to need some fixing to properly support any grass seed you put down.

Here are the recommended KY-31 sowing rates if that's what you decide to do.
This is the advice I would listen to as Powhatan knows what he is talking about :lol:

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Butter » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:37 pm

There are some very nice K31 lawns in my area. However I think that it takes just as many inputs to have an equal K31 lawn as opposed to a TTTF lawn. Whether it be tier 1 or 5 or whatever. Does that make sense?
One thing not mentioned is that K31 grows a lot faster than TTTF. You will be mowing more. It does stripe well because of the wide blades.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by r7k » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:18 pm

for roughly $100 I would have had plenty of seed for the entire yard, about 5000-7000 square feet I'm guessing.

I was only going to tackle the front and side at first at < 2000 sqft.

I have no idea yet what mail order good TTTF seed cost, but it sounds like that is the route I should go. I just need to make some calls and emails and see what seed I can find.

Driveway side of yard is bermuda, but where it is is basically separate from the rest of the yard that i care about.

it looks i will be going to tractor supply for the ~ 1000 lbs of bagged lime I'm going to need, and since I saw the big bag of K31 there I wanted to ask.

thanks for all the inputs.
not going to do K31.

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by john5246 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:50 pm

why start with inferior genitics of Kentucky31 if you can get a better grass for the same price? You would be much better off with a scotts or pennington blend of whatever.
What about black beauty Ultra from Jonathan green?

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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Green » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:39 pm

For people from (or who go to for half the year or whatever) Florida, KY-31 looks a lot like the normal/predominant home and business lawn grass there (e.g. Floratam St. Augustine Grass). So, it's all about what you're used to. The trick to making it look good is probably to have a dense, level, well-fed, weed-free stand and sharp mower blade and mow above 3 inches. I might do this someday if I have a lawn area at my business location and need to plant from scratch.
Last edited by Green on Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: thinking of doing Kentucky 31 renovation

Post by Thick n Dense » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:29 pm

I mean how much input are your parents going to do?
And what goals are you trying to accomplish?
If it goes dormant in the summer is that not acceptable?

This is the way I see it.
If they're will to water a couple times a year go TTTF.
If they dont care that it goes dormant use PRG or kbg

If they wont water and want it green all year around then ky31 is probably your best bet. But with minimal water input, you should consider other options.

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