Buying Kentucky Bluegrass Seed

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I'm looking to buy more Kentucky Bluegrass Seed locally and was wondering if anyone has tried Jonathan Green's Sod Maker with good results. Its rather expensive at about $135 per 25 lbs but you get a lot more seed with KB than other types since it is so small. I found this listing online as to the mixture, I could not find it on the companies site:
following grass seed cultivars:
39.40% Deepblue Kentucky Bluegrass
29.55% Blue Sapphire Kentucky Bluegrass
19.70% Blue-Tastic Kentucky Bluegrass
9.83% Midnight Kentucky Bluegrass

Found it on the company site and it looks like the Midnight listed above has been replaced with Washington, otherwise it is the same:

These seem to be good varieties that did well in the NTEP testing.
I would like drought tolerance since we do not have a watering system.

This message was edited Nov 2, 2013 9:48 AM

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

This company, SeedSuperStore, allows you to blend your own, or take one of their standard blends such as the SS1100, but it is rather costly, even more than the Jonathan Green Sod Maker per pound:

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Seedland has an interesting KB blend but the varieties are subject to change, which I do not like and percentages are not given:

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I am seeding the front yard with 10 lbs of the Tri Hybrid Blue blend listed here:
Here is a .pdf on it:

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I over seeded in the first week of November last year with 10 lbs of Tri Hybrid Blue on the front lawn (about 5000 sqft) and 25 lbs of Jonathan Green's Sod Maker on the rest of the lawn (about 10,000 sq ft). I watered everyday until the freeze started which was I think the first week in December. I don't think this was enough time and we had a very cold winter. I think that I see some new grass but not much. I'm going to fertilize with starter fertilizer again, and hope for the best.
I don't think I'm getting very good germination rate and I'm going to do some soil analysis mainly for PH this summer and try it again in the fall with some top dressing.
Thoughts ?

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Well, after a few more weeks I see a lot more green and it seems that much of it did come in, even my neighbor noticed. There were areas near the street and driveway that were competely bare dirt that now look green. It is not thick but at least it is a start. It had not had lime in about 10 years so I put down Cal Turf Pro in the Spring and Fall last year and I think this helped the germination. Here is a discussion about fast acting products:

It mentions that based on soil analysis perhaps I should be using Mag Turf Pro.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I put down another 6 lbs of Jonathan Green's Sod Maker a few weeks ago to fill in the thin areas and top dressed with top soil. I considered buying the top soil in bulk, but then just bought it in 40 lb bags. Bought 200 lbs thinking it might be enough, ended up going back several times until we had put down 1600 lbs. It goes fast.

I think that more and more of the seed from the fall is coming up since KB is supposed to take up to 30 days to even germinate.

I'm seeing lots of green, looks pretty good, I am pleased.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I put down about 8 lbs more of Jonathan Green's Sod Maker in the fall of 2014 to cover several thin areas, and did not put any down this Spring. I saw lots of annual Rye grass this Spring in almost everyone's lawn, especially ours, but it seem to be gone now, or does it change to look like much better grass - I don't think so.
I don't understand why it looks so good.

This message was edited Jun 23, 2015 9:08 PM

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I've been finding that most of Scott's better grass seeds these days have little to no Kentucky Bluegrass (KB) which seems very strange to me, and instead I've been seeing tall and fine fescues being used.

Then I came across this paper that discusses Endophyte-Enhanced Grasses and states that KB does not seem to take on the beneficial fungi where as Fescues do:

Here is a quote from the article:
The term "endophytic" refers to a situation where one organism lives inside another. In this case, a fungus and grass form a relationship that is mutually beneficial and enhances the success of each. The fungal endophytes Neotyphodium coenophialum and N. lolii show no visible signs on their fescue and perennial ryegrass hosts in a mown turf. These endophytes are transferred from plant to plant via seed. The mycelium of the fungus then grows into the sheath, stem, and leaf tissues of the developing grass seedling and maturing plant. Finally, the fungal endophyte enters the flowering stem and seed. Through the seed the endophyte is passed to the next generation of turfgrass plants.

Fascinating stuff!

I don't think this is the same as the Mycorrhizal fungi that has been talked about for many years, with primary emphasis on helping the root system: Anyone know

This message was edited Jun 24, 2015 3:33 PM

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Different organisms.
The mycorrhizal fungi are external to the plant, but in contact with the roots.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

The lawn is really looking good finally, I think that the main improvement came from improving
the soil PH. I had almost no weeds this summer and nice thick deep green grass. My neighbor who works hard on his lawn noticed that mine greened up early and asked if I had fertilized - I had not. There are foot wide strips along the street and the driveway that are mostly dead or crabgrass and the soil is in bad shape. These spots need more attention, I'm going to try JG Full Sun and Black Beauty in these spots since they are supposed to be tolerant of bad soil and full sun.

We had a large patch of mint and used Round up on it, it dripped onto the grass and killed a 2 ft wide edge around the bed where I did it. It is in full sun and I've decided to try Johnathan Green Full Sun seed since I think the KB has trouble there, put it down this morning 10-11-2015:
JG Full Sun Mix from the label on the bag:
29.45 Dakota Tall Fescue
24.6 Montana Tall Fescue
19.65 Frontier Perennial Ryegrass
9.82 Singular Perennial Ryegrass

This past Friday 10-9-2015 I put down more JG Sod Maker at the overseed rate.
Tomorrow I'm going to also put down JG Black Beauty Ultra at the overseed rate, the Ultra has more KB but they didn't have the non-ultra version where I bought it:
Mix from label:
29.55 Dakota Tall Fescue
29.55 Montana Tall Fescue
19.65 Tonto Tall Fescue
9.82 Madison Kentucky Blue Grass
9.82 Frontier Perennial Rye Grass

These two types are both about $90 for 25 lbs in my area.

This has always been a problem area due to the direct sun and I hope that one of these will thrive in this spot.

This article is what brought me to the conclusion to use turf type tall fescue grasses rather than Kentucky Blue grass:

I had not paid much attention to a strip of lawn along the back that runs along the woods and is mostly shade. I put down JG Shady Nook grass seed in that area this past Friday also 10-9-2015:

I put down 2 bags of Cal U Sol pelletized lime and slow release Fall fertilizer around 10-4-2015. I was not planning to seed when I put down the fall fertilizer - should have used starter. Hope it does not burn the new seed.

This has become my seeding blog, it helps me remember what I did to the lawn.
I'm hoping that this will wrap up the major seeding so that it just needs touch up of damaged areas from now on.

This message was edited Oct 11, 2015 5:38 PM

This message was edited Oct 11, 2015 8:12 PM

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Interesting thread, lots of good info, now I want photos?

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Thanks, I'll try to find my old pictures and take some new ones.

I mention a bit more here about working on the lawn:

I have been using a lot of starter fertilizer since I have been seeding, sometimes
Spring and Fall, and thought that it would be all around good enough. I came across
Greenviews 2 step program with slow release fertilizer that seemed to make a lot of
sense but because of the seeding only had a chance last season to use it fully. I had
never put down the fall treatment do to concern of burning the new seed.
Here are the Spring and Fall Greenview fertilizers:

It seems that putting down the fall fertilizer in the fall last season really promoted some
top growth, I was putting seed down, not seeing much growth, then wow after putting
this down it seems like all the old seed took off. Mostly a very thick lawn.
It does seem to be slow release since it greened up fast in the Spring, even before I
put down the Spring application. Also had minimal weeds and vastly reduced Crab
Grass and clover. I'm going to keep on using it.

I think the starter promoted a lot of root growth, perhaps even on the old grass? The lawn
did quite well even through our long drought this Summer. I did water some but not a lot.

This message was edited Oct 11, 2015 8:54 PM

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Growing a lawn is almost like farming a crop- All the grass plants are growing very close together, and they all want the same nutrients. The soil quickly become depleted.
By applying a fertilizer that supplies these missing elements the grass can grow much better.
Slow release is good. Irrigation and rains could wash away a quick release fertilizer before the grass can benefit. A slow release product usually provides fertilizer for a long time without washing away.

Targeting the roots is important. Growing roots of seedlings and improving the root system of older plants will indeed help against dry conditions. The roots can spread deeper into the soil where water may remain even when the surface is drying out.

Feeding in the fall as the plants are getting ready for winter is good. They can hold extra reserves of energy so they are ready to grow well in the spring.

If you have had some soil tests done, at least for the macro nutrients (N, P, K) then you can purchase the right fertilizer to customize the feeding. It might be, for example, that your soil has some supply of N, but might be lower in P. Most starter fertilizer has moderate levels of N, and more P, which is why you got such good response with the older grass while using it.
The grass plants cannot read that bag to see it is 'Starter Fertilizer'. All they know is that the missing elements became available.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Thanks again Diana.
Wow, I put down the fall fertilizer a few weeks ago and it really perked up again. Looks
like I only have to reseed about half as much near the street!

I looked again at the 2 step slow release fertilizer that I'm using and found this, I've never
had so little crab grass, it seems to work:

"GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed with Crabgrass Preventer has a unique, weed control formula that combines several weed control solutions into one product that will prevent crabgrass and kills broadleaf weeds (dandelions, etc.). This is a distinct advantage over other brands, since you will only need to make one spring application with GreenView, while other brands will require that you apply one (1) crabgrass preventer to halt crabgrass, and one (1) weed killer to control the broadleaf weeds like dandelions. The timing for other brands means you will make two applications just a few weeks apart. With GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed with Crabgrass Preventer, you make one application in Spring and then relax until Fall.

Note: The special crabgrass preventer used by GreenView can be applied up to 4 weeks later than other crabgrass preventers and produce great results, because it not only prevents crabgrass seeds from germinating, it will also kill young crabgrass plants."

This message was edited Oct 16, 2015 7:16 PM

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Just as I noted about your White Grub thread:
Timing the application is critical to the success.
Following the label directions for the weed n feed is very important. As you have seen, when weeds are discoraged, the lawn grasses have a much better chance of growing well.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I have read somewhere that in the spring, a good way to know the proper time to put down pre-emergent weed controllers on the lawn, is to do it when the forsythia is blooming in the neighborhood. The forsythia blooms when it warms up, just when the weeds are going to start sprouting. That is what I try to do, anyway even if not true it helps me remember to do it!
I like the idea of a product that combines both pre-emergent crabgrass killer and weed killer. I rarely seem to get around to doing both, because as you mentioned they need to be separated a bit in time if put on the usual way. Does anyone else use the Forsythia method?
I have a copy of "Lawns" by the turfgrass pros at Scotts, the fertilizer company. I found it a very useful book. They have a nice way of helping me decide what to do-they give you 4 options of how much work you want to put into your lawn, show what your lawn will look like, then what to do when. I picked a middle-of-the-road option, and even so I occasionally forget something. It look good but not great.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I believe that when the Forsythia blooms is approximately right, but I'm fairly certain that crabgrass needs fairly warm temps to germinate maybe 70+ degrees. I've read that it is common to put it down too early and it begins to wear off by the time the crabgrass germinates. They made a strong recommendation to wait until many broad leaf weeds were up and then put it down early when the grass is wet with dew because it has to stick to the leaves of broad leaf weeds to be effective. It worked great, but I also think it has a product to kill early emerging crabgrass so it is tolerant of being a bit late.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

The newly seeded area has grass about 1" high!

I decided to weed out some remaining Crabgrass there and found grubs right within the first .5"
of soil. Found one about every 6" and they are quite milky white. I put down milky spore several years ago and was never sure if it worked or not, but why are they not dead?

Is it normal for them to be at the surface this late in the season? It has been very warm for November, mid 50s to 60s even occasionally 70 midday. Are they at the surface because they are sick?

This area of the lawn is full sun and has been a difficult area, the grubs have probably not been helping.

I'll probably put down a dylox based grub killer just to try to keep on top of it.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Unusual to see them that high up this late in the year. Yes, I would do something to kill them when they are that populous.
I do not know how long milky spore spores last.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

This site says:

"Milky Spore begins working as soon as it is applied as long as grubs are feeding. Once grubs are infected they will multiply the Spore by several billion times and spread it further. In warm climates good control can occur in one to three years. Once established in a lawn, Milky Spore has been known to last 15 to 20 years."

That is so cool that the little pests multiply the spore!

I think that they are probably infected given their color and the spore must be in them so even if I use a killer the spore is probably multiplied by now. They might just take some time to die, no idea.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Let us know in the spring, how it looks.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Lawn looks great, my neighbor wants to copy what I did.

We've not had much rain the last month or so and several small areas went brown.
I was a bit late watering them, but then watered about twice a week, then it rained
and they came back.
There is some brown mixed throughout the lawn and it is nearly all, fine blade grass
that I believe is the Kentucky Bluegrass. The stalk falls right off it is so dry.
Is it possible/likely that the roots are alive and will grow new stalks next season?

If not, I think I'm done with KB since it requires too much water. I do like the fact
that it spreads but if it all dies then that does no good.

This message was edited Jul 17, 2016 3:16 PM

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I think one of the nice things about seed mixes for lawns is that if one type does not do well, the others can just take over. If it looks great, then all is well. Have you tried uploading any photos? I would like to see it.
My lawn is green and has weeds, I am going to mow tomorrow, I was on vacation and it is a bit long, I doubt my neighbors want to copy it!

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I put the fall fertilizer down around late Oct of 2016, lawn looks greener than any of the
others on the street.
Last summer was a bad drought in our area, there was a watering ban.
The lawn is generally good, but I'm probably going to have to overseed some of the
difficult areas again in the fall. Really not too bad. I hope that we have more rain this

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

BEFORE October 2013:
Here is a picture from October of 2013 to give an example of how bad the lawn was
before overseeding. The tall weeds in the corner are the garden from the previous owner that our lawn guy "forgot" to mow - I didn't notice it.
I had seeded in previous years to 2013 but nothing seemed to take, I think that the soil PH being off just
made it impossible to grow - just a theory don't know enough to say for sure.
The part that is somewhat green near the house gets some shade so that it did not dry out as much.

This message was edited Apr 4, 2017 2:59 PM

Thumbnail by PeteB7
Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Here is a picture of the front from July of 2016, I watered a lot until the ban came due to the drought. I watered even more in 2015 when the grass was young. We do not have irrigation so I'm hoping to get
to the point where the lawn does not need much if any watering.

I'm amazed by how little crab grass we have and the 2-step program seems to be working very well.
I would check the label to see if there are any very potent weed killers that might be unsafe for small
children. My boys are grown so we don't have any playing on the grass. I did nothing other than putting
down the Spring product, no weeding, no spot treatment.

This message was edited Apr 4, 2017 3:08 PM

Thumbnail by PeteB7
Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

This is a picture of one bed that became overgrown with mint, I used Round-up on it and it dripped onto the lawn killing it:

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Here is that area around the bed in lighter green, about a month after seeding with JG Full Sun mix November 2015:

This message was edited Apr 4, 2017 3:28 PM

This message was edited Apr 4, 2017 3:29 PM

Thumbnail by PeteB7

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