What Are These Red Grassy Seed Stalks In My Bluegrass
Bluegrass sends out masses of seed heads usually around May and June each year. Bluegrass seed heads have a tough green stalk topped by a red set of the seeds themselves.
Many people who see these masses of seeds suddenly appearing in their lawns believe that they may be a new infestation of weedy grasses. This usually isn’t true and the difference between weedy grasses and the Kentucky Bluegrass re-seeding itself is easily spotted.
The obvious and best way to spot Kentucky Bluegrass seeds is by the way they look, the red tipped seed stalks are a dead giveaway. The next best way to determine that the lawn is re-seeding is by looking at the sheer numbers of the seed heads themselves. A lawn which is re-seeding itself will do so in abundance – there will literally be thousands or millions of seed stalks across the entire lawn’s surface, whereas if the stalks were of a weedy grass type – the seed heads would be more sporadic in how they are spread over the lawn.
Mulching Bluegrass Seed Heads
Once correctly identified, mulching clippings and the seed heads they contain can often be seen as a good idea to overseed the existing Bluegrass lawn. The main problem with this is that it will most often not work. This is because the Bluegrass seed heads will need to fully ripen and mature before they actually become viable seed.
The full process will often take around 8 weeks for the seed to mature and dry out before they can be used. Leaving a lawn for such a long period of time between lawn mowing would obviously cause the lawn to grow too high and then become scalped and damaged from when lawn mowing resumes, so this is obviously not a good idea.
Other Reasons To Mulch Seed Stalks
While we may not be able to mulch our seeding Bluegrass lawns for the purposes of re-seeding the turf, we can still mulch the clippings into the lawn. This is a great time of the year to recycle the abundance of nutrients which are found in seed stalks, especially Nitrogen. These mowed seed stalks will quickly break down into the soil and release all their nutrient goodness in the process.
Red Fescue Grass
Red Fescue grass is a member of a group of Fescues known as Fine Fescues. Along with all the Fine Fescue varieties, Red Fescue is an excellent grass for all the cooler Northern climates, it copes well with the cold weather and mixes very well with other Cool Season grass types to gain the greatest benefit for the area being turfed.
As a native grass type in North America, Red Fescue is extremely well suited the North American climate, it will thrive in poor soil conditions and under low water levels. Red Fescue has a very fine leaf blade with a rich green color, and tolerates shade very well, especially dry shade, which make this lawn very unique. It is a Cool Season grass which means it is a clumping type or bunch type of grass. One of the only negative aspects of all Fine Fescues is that they don’t handle wear and tear very well.
New Varieties Of Red Fescue
Developments in Red Fescue research have led to a new cultivar being launched which has been extremely popular and well received by homeowners. These new varieties of Red Fescue are known by a few different names such as Evergreen, Pernille, Lustrous and Boreal.
The most unique characteristics of these new varieties of Red Fescue are that they now contain stolons. In everyday terms this now means they are a hybrid between the Cool Season bunching grasses, as well as now having above ground creeping stems which allow them to spread and repair themselves very easily and quickly.
Mixing Red Fescue With Other Grasses
Red Fescues mix well with other Cool Season grasses, mixing with Ryegrass gives the sod greater wear and tear abilities and allows it to recover from damage much quicker. While mixing Red Fescue with a Bluegrass will give the lawn a beautiful dark green color. Proven mixtures of Red Fescue with other grasses are readily available in seed and sod options.
Red Fescue Lawn Care
Being such a hardy grass type, Red Fescue can continue to survive and thrive with very little care on the part of the homeowner. It’s water requirements are very low and it barely needs any fertilizers to stay healthy – in fact not fertilizing the lawn is often the best option to maintain the best health. The lawn can be regularly mowed to an optimum height of 3 – 4 inches, but equally can be left to grow as a No Mow lawn. If left as a natural no mowing lawn Red Fescue will reach a maximum height of around 10 inches.
Planting A New Red Fescue Lawn
As with all other Cool Season grasses, Red Fescue is best planted with either seed or sod in the cooler months of Spring and Fall. Planting in the Summer only puts great stress on the new lawn which can result in permanent damage or even death to the lawn.
Bermuda Grass is a very popular and favorite lawn in the warmer Southern States. It is very fast growing, easy to repair itself from damage, holds a dark green color and prefers and thrives at an eye pleasing very low height. These characteristics make this Warm Season grass type highly suitable to many applications such as homes, parks and golf courses.
While older strains of Bermuda Grass can be sown from seed, the newer and far superior cultivars are generally always hybrids, meaning they cannot propagate from seed and must be sown from sod or runners. Being such a fast growing grass, Bermudagrass is often one of the most cost effective grass types to pruchase in sod form
The grass has both above ground runners called stolons, and below ground runners called rhizomes. This growing pattern combined with it’s rapid growth allows Bermuda Grass to grow and to spread very quickly. In fact, Bermuda Grass will quickly invade surrounding paths and garden beds by any and all means possible including sending runners underneath fences and garden edging.
Bermuda Grass has many strengths which makes it a highly desirable grass to many. But for others, these same strengths can be regarded as weaknesses, leading some to believe it as a virtual pest grass if not properly controlled and managed. But like all decisions when choosing a grass type, it is best to first decide how the grass will be used and then to choose based on primary considerations, and who knows… Bermuda Grass may just be perfect for you.
Bermuda Grass Lawn Care
Bermuda Grass requires more direct sunlight than all the grass types, it thrives best from having full sun for most of the day, and will not tolerate any more than a little shade. If Bermuda Grass ever thins out and starts dying away, then the first culprit to look for is usually excessive shade. To repair the problem of excessive shade, the homeowner should prune any surrounding foliage from trees and bushes.
Fertilizer, and the Nitrogen in fertilizers in particular is highly important to Bermudagrass, this grass type has a higher than average requirement to be regularly fertilized in order to stay healthy and green.
Thatch can also quickly and easily build up in Bermudagrass, regular de-thatching is required to remove this thatch layer from the lawn in order the grass stays healthy. The buildup of thatch can result in the lawn being far more susceptible to grass diseases, as well as the quality of lawn mowing being greatly reduced. So de-thatching must be a part of the lawn care routine for Bermudagrass, depending on the health of the lawn, this may need to be done every year to few years.
Pests and Diseases In Bermuda Grass
Bermuda Grass is susceptible to most lawn diseases and pests. Due to it’s rapid growth rates and hardiness, Bermudagrass does very well in fighting and winning mild infestations of pests and diseases, but this can only occur during the active growing season of the warmer months, and only when the grass is in excellent health. Weakened grass which is in poor health or growing in the shade will be at odds to win this fight.
While Bermuda Grass will still fall to pest and diseases, the good news is that it is a very hardy grass type which can take most lawn pesticides and fungicides very well. Allowing these chemicals to kill off the infestations without damage to the grass itself.
Zoysia Compadre is a very popular variety of Zoysia grass which continues it’s rise in popularity, this is due to many sought after features including it’s excellent color, ease of lawn care maintenance, lush density, resistance to wear, and it’s drought tolerance.
As a warn season grass it is best suited to the Northern Transition Region and the warmer Southern States. While it will tolerate shade quite well, this grass always prefers and is best suited to sunny areas. Zoysia Compadre is also fast becoming a first choice for playfields and parks.
When compared to many other grass types, this lawn variety has a lower requirement for fertilizers, can survive on lower watering times and is very adaptable in it’s mowing heights which can be anywhere between 1 – 2 1/2 inches.
Creating A New Zoysia Compadre Lawn
Creating a new Zoysia Compadre lawn can be far easier than many other Zoysia grass types. Unlike many other Zoysia grasses, Zoysia Compadre can be easily grown from seed or plugs which results in a far lower establishment cost to the homeowner. There are no special requirements for establishing a new lawn other than those required for all new lawn types.
Origins Of Zoysia Compadre
Zoysia Compadre is the culmination of the work of Jack Murray at the USDA, it blends two variations of the Zoysia japonica strain to create a hybrid which is far more robust for home lawn environments, is much easier to grow from seed, is much easier to propagate at turf farms, and in home lawns from plugs.
Zoysia Compadre Mixed With Tall Fescue
Zoysia Compadre was once named Zoysia Companion, and there’s a very good reason for this. Zoysia Compadre was originally created to be a companion to a Cool Season turf. For this purpose it works very well, with the greatest benefits arising when it is mixed with Tall Fescue. This seed or sod blending gives Zoysia Compadre another great advantage other than those which the lawn variety already excels from. As Zoysia becomes more dormant in the Winter, the Tall Fescue begins to flourish at the same time, which enables the homeowner to have a lush, green beautiful lawn all year round.
The same advantages do not occur when the lawn is mixed with all Cool Season grass types, nor with all Fescues. If the homeowner does wish to create a blended lawn in this way, the Tall Fescue is the only real choice in order to achieve the greatest results from a blend with Zoysia Compadre
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