Best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

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Best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

There are two broad categories of grasses in North Carolina and South Carolina: cool-season, cool-climate grasses and warm-season, warm-climate grasses. Each of these types of grasses responds differently to hot, dry periods. The cool-season, cool-climate grasses such as Tall Fescue grow best at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees and have a difficult time adjusting to hot, dry periods; they typically go dormant quickly during drought times.

They also can only survive drought periods for approximately 3 weeks, after which they die. Warm-season, warm-climate grasses such as Bermuda Grass are much more drought resistant, thriving in periods of temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees. These grasses can survive long periods of drought, although they will typically look dry and brown during these periods.

These grasses have deep root systems, and will recover quickly and will green up again once precipitation is reintroduced into the environment.

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Understanding the characteristics of each type of grass is important. For one, it helps homeowners in North and South Carolina to know which types of grass to plant to establish or re-establish a lawn. Understanding the grass types also provides important information for maintaining the health and vitality of the primary turf types.

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A common pasture-type cultivar that is used is called Kentucky 31; however, this cultivar is being replaced by new and more attractive types of cultivars that have a thinner blade, are darker green in color and most importantly, tolerate shade better than Kentucky One characteristic of tall fescue lawns is that they tend to thin out after summer dry spells and are in need of re-seeding in the fall. Bermuda Grass — Cynodon dactylon : Warm-Season, Warm-Climate Grass Bermuda grass is a dark green, dense and low growing type of turf that spreads through rhizomes and stolons.

These grasses tend to have an extensive and deep root system, making them resistant to the pressure that come from heat and drought. Lawns with a high percentage of bermuda grass tend to be low maintenance. Bermuda grasses also tend to be strong candidates for new lawns in areas where temperatures are hot.

These grasses grow rapidly from seed to a full lawn in less than one year. Bermuda grasses are extremely drought-resistant, thriving during periods of high temperature.

They also handle wear-and-tear well, making them the choice for high traffic areas. They also tolerate salt spray well, meaning they can be planted on the coast of North and South Carolina without a concern about salt spray. One major drawback of bermuda grass is that it does not grow well in the shade — to the degree that if a lawn is primarily shaded, bermuda grass is not recommended as the turf of choice.

Bermuda grass also grows aggressively, meaning it can take over an entire established lawn, spreading by above-ground and below-ground runners. Bermuda grass also will invade flower and shrub beds and gardens, typically resulting in the need to weed these areas often. Most lawns are a mixture of different grass seed varieties, with each variety making up a set percentage of the total mixture.

Knowing which seed-mixture variety will work best for your lawn in North or South Carolina involves many variables.Turf seed are available from many garden centers, hardware stores, farm supply, and DYI warehouses. If you plan to establish or renovate your lawn with a cool season grass this fall be sure to seed before the end of September for best results.

Fall is the best time for renovation and seeding of tall fescue and other cool-season lawns. Remember that spring-established tall fescue is more susceptible to drought, heat, fungal diseases, and weed encroachment. With normal summer weather patterns, spring seeding is not likely to result in a year-long stand of healthy tall fescue. So do not delay, seed today! Young seedlings normally emerge and grow best when air temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees. Soil temperatures need to be greater than 60 degrees for good germination.

It is generally better to go a bit early than to seed late. If tall fescue is seeded in less than ideal conditions too cool or no soil moistureyou may experience a thin turf stand going into the winter. So try to get your seed out in September. A typical tall fescue seeding rate is 5 to 6 pounds of seed per square feet. Germination normally occurs within 7 to 21 days under suitable moisture and soil temperatures conditions.

For best results and to make the most of your investment, select cultivars recommended on the Turffiles website click here for recommended tall fescue cultivars. Cultivar names should be listed on the seed bag label.

If you buy a tall fescue blend, try to find one with at least one of the cultivars from the list of recommended cultivars.

These grasses were chosen because they produce a high quality turf in North Carolina and have been shown to be less susceptible to brown patch. Some like to mix in a little Kentucky bluegrass darker color and finer texture or fine fescue for shady areas. Do NOT add ryegrass to the mix. Before seeding, core aerification is recommended to reduce soil compaction.

Getting good soil to seed contact is paramount to maximize available soil moisture. The core aerification holes will capture seed and hold moisture — as a result the tall fescue seedlings often come up as a tuft of turf from the aerification holes.

Best Grass Seed for North Carolina

Apply fertilizer and lime before planting based on soil test results. If irrigation is available, irrigate to keep the top 1. This may require light watering once or twice a day for 7 to 21 days depending on your soil type and weather conditions.

Irrigate early in the morning to reduce water loss due to evaporation. If applying herbicides to kill weeds before seeding, be sure to check the label for any waiting periods that should be followed before sowing new seed. It is very important that tall fescue be maintained at the proper mowing height to allow it to mature before winter and to minimize weed incidence.

Studies have shown that a 3. How often you need to mow will depend on how quickly the turf grows, which will vary with temperature, fertility, and moisture levels. Allow clippings to fall into the turf where they will decay and release nutrients. Note that warm-season grasses such as bermudagrasszoysiagrasscentipedegrassand St. Augustinegrass can be sodded in the fall in the Piedmont, but it is generally not recommended due to the increased chance of winterkill.Since North Carolina has three regions with different soils and weather patterns, not all varieties will thrive in the three regions.

However, this tall fescue blend has a hybrid mix of tall fescue seeds that are more resistant to heat and drought than common tall fescue seeds, making it a good choice for all three regions.

best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

Check out our list below for other great options for NC grasses. North Carolina has three regions. The state is unique in that its regions all have different climates and soil properties. The regions include the Mountains, the Piedmont, and the Coastal Plains. The Mountains region has cooler weather than the others, so a cool-season grass does best in this region. The Coastal Plains region is best for warm-season grasses that can tolerate salty air. This will determine whether you need a cool-season or warm-season grass.

Photo by Daderot licensed under CC0. The best varieties of grass to plant in North Carolina are those that can be planted in two different regions. Especially if you live in an area very close to the boundaries of another region and have more unpredictable weather, a grass that fares well in both regions may give you a better result.

According to Southern Statesthe following grass varieties are ones that can grow in more than one region of North Carolina, as they can withstand both warm and cool conditions, if necessary:. Choosing the best type of grass to grow in your North Carolina lawn not only depends on your region, but also your desire for maintenance, budget, and the foot traffic your lawn receives.

North Carolina State University provides a handy chart that can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different varieties.

For example, if you want a low-maintenance grass that requires little watering and mowing, Centipede grass is a good choice for you if you live in the Coastal Plains or Piedmont regions. Or, if you live in the Piedmont or Mountains regions and need a lawn that grows fast, but stands up to heavy traffic, Kentucky bluegrass is perfect.

If you live in the Coastal Plains of North Carolina, you likely have sandy soil. The Mountains usually have clay soil. This makes it tricky when learning how best to prepare your yard for growing grass in North Carolina.

You have to understand your region and the type of soil you have. Fortunately, there are a few general points to remember when preparing your site for new grass seeds source :.

Planting your seed, again, depends on your region and the variety you choose. Cool-season grasses, for example, which are usually grown in the Mountains region, are best planted in late summer or early fall. Warm-season grasses that thrive in the Coastal Plans can be planted throughout the spring and into early summer.

If you live in the Piedmont region, eHow suggests planting both a warm-season and a cool-season seed mix, starting in spring and overseeding in the fall, for a beautiful, year-round lawn. Check the specific requirements for your variety against your normal weather patterns.

Some varieties require more water than others, for example. If you live in an area with little rainfall, be prepared to give these varieties deep waterings one or two times per week. Also check fertilization requirements and mowing suggestions.

Over fertilizing and mowing can quickly kill off a beautiful lawn.I currently have a tall fescue lawn and I am planning on re-seeding this year. There are many brands of grass seeds being sold at garden centers and I wanted to get your opinion as to what is the ultimate best brand of tall fescue grass seed being sold out there. I saw that you recommend a mix of tall fescue and bluegrass, therefore can you also recommend a certain mix brand?

It is a good question, but it does not have a very straightforward answer. Have you ever walked into the fruit section of your supermarket to pick up apples and then had difficulty deciding which one you want? How do you decide? And then you have to pick which apples are best in the bin. My wife likes to mix two specific ones for pie, saying it gives it the best flavor.

The same is true of all those grasses. Most of the brands sold at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Perhaps some are a little better than others for shade or disease tolerance, etc. That is the reason why they are often mixed to give the best of more characteristics. Same with fertilizers. It is a little like buying Mountain Dew from Pepsi versus something else from Coke. We do have a list of grasses that perform well in our trials on our website but in many cases we may not have tested all the grasses that are available in any given year that can be upwards to grasses for tall fescue alone.

As for fertilizer, it is generally best to base that purchase on soil test recommendations—at least for the analysis of the fertilizer. The other content issue is primarily if you want all the fertilizer nutrients available soon after application or do you want it to slowly release the nutrients, or some combination e. So, we do not recommend brands.

Time to Seed Tall Fescue

That is a little like me telling you to buy a Ford, not a Chevrolet. There is no good that can come out of planting weeds with your new grass seed. The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program regularly tests different varieties of grasses and publishes their results online. We also have a few other mailing lists you can subscribe to. Now on Twitter.Log In. There is a PDF version of this document for downloading and printing. Lawns are smooth, living carpets that add beauty and recreational space to your home.

The benefits of a healthy lawn go beyond the obvious. As your grass grows, it helps the environment by stabilizing soil and reducing air pollution, noise, heat, dust, and glare. Surveys show that an attractive, well-landscaped lawn can even add to the value of your home. To reap the rewards of a handsome lawn, take great care in the selection, establishment, maintenance, and renovation of your lawn grass.

By making the proper choices, you can create a durable lawn that will grow with minimal maintenance and pesticide use. Whether you are establishing a new lawn or renovating an existing one, deciding which type of grass to plant will be the first step.

No one type of grass is best suited to all situations. A number of factors should be considered before deciding which lawn grass to plant. Your decision should be based on region, climate, intended use or wear at the site, and desired appearance. Find your region in the map in Figure 1. Both cool-season northern and warm-season southern grasses are grown in North Carolina. Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall and less actively in the summer. They stay reasonably green in the winter.

Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass are common types of cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are slow to green up in the spring, grow best in the summer, and go dormant after the first heavy frost.

Also consider the characteristics of each site and your goals to determine which types of grass are appropriate. Choose the grass that best meets your preference for color, density, and texture.

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Choose a tough, aggressive, wear-tolerant grass where heavy traffic is expected. And consider the amount of time, effort, and money you are willing to spend for turfgrass maintenance. Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues—such as creeping red, chewings, and hard—are cool-season perennial grasses used for lawns, mostly in the mountain and piedmont regions of North Carolina.

Unlike warm-season grasses, cool-season grasses remain green throughout most of the winter.

best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

They are better adapted to the mountains and piedmont. These grasses perform best in spring and fall and have a tendency to show signs of stress in the summer. This is especially true as you move toward the coastal plain.

Cool-season grasses are best seeded in early fall, but fair results may be obtained from seeding in early spring mid-February to late March in the piedmont. Generally, late winter or spring seeding of these grasses is not recommended. Tall fescue is best adapted to the mountains and piedmont but can be successfully maintained on the heavy silt loams in the coastal plain.

It is a reliable performer and easily started from seed. It is the best grass to plant if you want a year-round green lawn. Tall fescue thrives in sun or medium shade.

best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

It will not perform well in full sun in the coastal plain, especially if the soil is sandy. It can be seeded by itself or mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or both, particularly where shade is a concern. Tall fescue is a bunch-type grass, so damaged or bare areas will need to be re-seeded.Grasses used in North Carolina generally consists of warm season grasses such as: bermuda, zoysia, centipede, and carpet grass is even used in shady, wet areas of the state.

Warm-season grasses are green in the summer and become brown and dormant in the winter. Warm-season grasses are adapted to the sandy soils of the North Carolina coastal plain and most of the piedmont. Warm-season grasses tolerate the high temperatures and summer droughts in North Carolina better than cool-season grasses.

Cool season grasses such as turf type tall fescue can also be used in areas where year round green turf is desired. Ryegrass is typically just used for overseeding warm season grasses in North Carolina. Warm-Season Grasses: Zoysiagrass - Zoysiagrass is a warm-season species that makes optimum growth during high-temperature periods. It can form an attractive turf in all regions of the state and is used primarily for home lawns.

Zoysiagrass has a medium to fine leaf texture and tends to have a light to medium green color. This species produces extensive, thick, stolons that spread rapidly. Because of its prolific stolon production, zoysiagrass has good recuperative potential, however, it may also spread into areas where it is unwanted.

Although drought-tolerant when established, zoysiagrass performs best under moderate moisture levels on fertile, well-limed soils. It will not tolerate poorly -drained soils.

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Its green color is completely lost with heavy fall frosts, and plants remain dormant until late spring or early summer. Due to its relatively short growing season. Bermuda Grass - Bermudagrass is the species most adapted to and most frequently used throughtout the state. Many new and improved seeded varieties have been developed and released during the last 10 years.

Users now have a choice of varieties that are denser and finer textured than the almost extinct seed of common bermudagrass. Bermudagrass spreads aggressively by stolons aboveground runners and rhizomes belowground runners and can become a nuisance when it invades flower beds and gardens. Also, cold-tolerant seeded and vegetative varieties are available that withstand lower winter temperatures. Centipede Grass - Medium in texture with a pale to medium green color, Centipede is slow growing but highly aggressive grass that can be depended upon to produce a good, dense, relatively weed-free turf at low maintenance levels.

In spite of its aggressiveness, Centipede is easily controlled and usually requires edging only once a year around walks and flowerbeds. Although Centipede usually produces a good turf at low fertility and with little management, it responds nicely to good care. Cool-Season Grasses: Tall fescue - Turf Type - Tall fescue is a persistent and durable plant that forms acceptable turf for home lawns, grounds, parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields.Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Tall fescue Festuca arundinacea is the most used grass variety in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina University Extension. The low-maintenance grass covers over 1 million acres in the state, and is the grass of choice throughout the Piedmont and mountain valley given its high tolerance for drought and ability to retain color for the major portion of the year.

A number of tall fescue varieties demonstrate superior performance in North Carolina. Avenger tall fescue is recommended by the North Carolina State University Extension as among the best cultivars of tall fescue for the state. The grass is fine textured and produces a compact, vigorous growth with a good resistance to brown patch. Avenger is well tolerant of the heat and drought of summer, and is adapted to growing in areas of full sun or moderate shade.

The grass grows in a variety of soil types and requires minimal maintenance to keep its appearance. Avenger is popularly used on athletic fields, commercial and residential lawns and golf course roughs.

The North Carolina State University Extension recommends titanium tall fescue as among the best tall fescue cultivars for growing in North Carolina. The grass is very well adapted to growing in fertile or less fertile grounds and in areas of sun or shade.

Titanium grows into a thick, carpet-like turf, and has good resistance to common lawn insects and diseases including brown patch. The grass is well suited to areas of high traffic and retains its vigorous growth even through summer.

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The dense grass inhibits the growth of weeds and is popularly used for sod production and residential and commercial lawns. Firebird tall fescue is cited by North Carolina State University as one of the best cultivars of the grass to grow in the state.

best fescue grass seed for charlotte nc

The low-growing grass has infrequent mowing requirement and a fast rate of germination. Drought-tolerant Firebird is ideal for growing in areas of sun or shade and has an increased level of resistance to brown patch. Firebird starts to regain its color very early in spring and creates a dense carpet of turf during the summer.

The variety is commonly used for golf course roughs, residential lawns and commercial landscapes. Share this article.


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