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 Post subject: New Lawn
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:35 pm 
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I am looking at putting in a new lawn. Currently there is no lawn just pasture grass with little bermuda mixed in. Have read a lot about zoysia and turffalo grass. Just needing some advice on which grass would work best and if using plugs or seed is better. I live about 60 miles west of Waco, TX. Any advice would help. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: New Lawn
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm going to ask some more questions before suggesting specific grass types.

How big is the area?
What is it going to be used for (children, pets, just looking nice, etc.)
Are you willing to water and mow...and fertilize?

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 Post subject: Re: New Lawn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Our yard will be about 1/2 an acre. We are fixing to have our first child and we have one outside dog. We live on 12 acres so the dog is not just confined to the yard area. I don't mind mowing or fertilizing. I have a good water well so watering is not an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: New Lawn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Sorry for the delay but I'm back now.

You can easily grow St Augustine, Turffalo, zoysia (one variety called Shadow Turf comes from the Turffalo people), and bermuda. With more difficulty you can grow turf type tall fescue and you might be able to grow Kentucky bluegrass. Fescue is the only grass mentioned that will not spread to form a dense sod.

Shadow Turf is an amazing grass. I have a patch of Shadow Turf that I'm fiddling around with. I'm checking to see if it will force out bermuda. It grows very nicely in a lot of shade. It has a very dark green color and very fine blades. It looks like an expensive bermuda but without the seed heads popping up. I am finding that it has to be mowed or it will get nasty looking. ST is the only zoysia I have experience with. As it escapes into my bermuda driveway I like it more and more. Most zoysias do not take any traffic. This one is no different. The grass blades break off easily and it looks short all the time (because it is). But it seems to enjoy being short.

Turffalo needs full sun. If you have any trees, bushes, fences, mailboxes, or even park the car anywhere between the Turffalo and the horizon, that is probably too much shade. I have seen it looking very successful when mowed anywhere from 3/4 inch high to 4 inches high. It has the best color of green on any buffalo cultivar I've seen. Buffalo grasses go dormant during a drought.

St Augustine would be my first choice for you. When mowed high and watered regularly, it seems to choke out most other grasses. In my case it chokes out bermuda but not everyone has that same success. St Aug will die if it is not watered regularly. It does not go dormant from lack of water.

Bermuda hybrids look very nice especially when mowed at a very low setting. The lowest setting on a rotary mower should work but lower is very nice - like a putting green. Bermuda will go dormant when not watered. If you want bermuda to stay dark green, it needs to be fertilized every month. Otherwise you can fertilize it every couple of months.

Fescue is a fine bladed grass that grows in clumps. The more clumps you have the more grass you have. It spreads but so slowly that the weeds will fill in any bare or thin spots. It needs to be reseeded every fall to get a dense turf. Many people mix fescue with Kentucky bluegrass.

Kentucky bluegrass usually does not thrive in Texas heat so I'm not going to say much about it. You can make it work if you want to water it a little more in the heat.

Key to having a good lawn are the cultural practices of 1) watering deeply and infrequently and 2) mowing at the right height.

With all that in mind, do you have other questions or want to get into more detail about one or another grass?

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 Post subject: Re: New Lawn
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:30 pm 
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How much sun can the shadow turf take? My back yard is on the East side of the house so after about 12 or 1 it is in the shade. What bermuda hybrids would you suggest?


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 Post subject: Re: New Lawn
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:54 pm 
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My Shadow Turf is on the east side and up against the house, so it gets a lot of morning sun and no afternoon. I'm not sure how much moisture it will need in more sun. I've seen it thriving in very dark shade under a low English walnut tree.

Look for Princess 77. I believe it comes as a seed. Wait until June or July to seed. Bermuda really needs warm soil to germinate and take root. Take a look at the Bermuda Bible for specific information about bermuda care.

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