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  Reply # 781906 14-Mar-2013 20:20
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kereboi that's really interesting, thanks. Your questions:
1. Wellington.
2. Front lawn on a slope gets no shade and gets wind. Front lawn by house gets little sun, only 10am - 2pm gets part of it when the sun is right overhead. Back lawn mostly gets lots of sun, but in the shade of a big tree stays quite damp.
3. We have clay soil but 20cm of good topsoil on top, and decent but not perfect drainage everywhere. The drainage is effectively soak pits full of stone with drainage coil, sloped toward a sump, with the coil going into a sump. When it rains hard we get some sitting water, but once it stops raining it all disappears reasonably quickly. If we get masses of rain fast the water sits for a while.

I had a rye grass that a cowboy landscaper planted - photos below. It almost looks like wheat. Awful stuff, and it grew patchy. The second photo is the fine fescue/turf rye I planted myself. It grew quickly, easily, and thickly. It's Burnetts Boston Leisure Lawn. It was just about perfect, but grew super fast - I wouldn't mind a slower growing blend, but I'd rather mow it more and have a nice lawn.

I'm considering either the leisure lawn about or a mix of fescues and perennial turf rye. I don't much like the look of the chewings fescue I've seen photos of, it's not so green. The creeping red fescue sounds interesting. I'm not sure if "fine fescue" is a different variety or just a mix of fescues.

The other option is getting the hyrdoseed guy in and using whatever he uses. He's local and has refined his blend over the years, apparently. I'm still trying to find out what he uses. The advantage is it'll grow faster, which could be important given I've been delayed due to the drought. So it's fast reliable growth and less choices, or slower growth from seed.

Thoughts are welcome - though I may be overthinking this! But given I've paid $2K because I didn't like the last grass variety I want to get it right!

Good - boston leisure lawn, a mix of fine perennial turf rye and fine fescue


Bad - making my lawn look like a farm





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  Reply # 781916 14-Mar-2013 20:36
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jonherries: Turned out really nice with lots of regular watering (every evening for about four weeks)!


I'm in Wellington, not so much machinery down here apparently.

Last time I grew a lawn it was watered every 2-4 hours by timer! I varied it by lawn, each got different amounts of sun and wind. I've read you have to keep the seeds moist otherwise they die.




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  Reply # 781918 14-Mar-2013 20:42
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Timmay,

Go with fescue for Wellly. Your ryegrass looks really long. For ryegrass to look best I needs to be 15-30mm long. I find ryegrass is best when its just on its own.

Hydroseeding is great. We usually supply ours with seed so you might be able to pick your own seed.

Try this seed mix

50% Jasper 2 Creeping Red Fescue
50% SR 3150 Hard fescue

Can take a long long time for fescue to establish but once it has its very low maintenance and growns slowly.

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  Reply # 781922 14-Mar-2013 20:46
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keriboi:  and growns slowly.


Atta boy! Wink



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  Reply # 781931 14-Mar-2013 21:01
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keriboi: Timmay,

Go with fescue for Wellly. Your ryegrass looks really long. For ryegrass to look best I needs to be 15-30mm long. I find ryegrass is best when its just on its own.

Hydroseeding is great. We usually supply ours with seed so you might be able to pick your own seed.

Try this seed mix

50% Jasper 2 Creeping Red Fescue
50% SR 3150 Hard fescue

Can take a long long time for fescue to establish but once it has its very low maintenance and growns slowly.


Thanks for the advice! Humor me here... a lot of mixes have some rye in them, for robustness it says. I'm after more of a show lawn than a lawn for kids to play on (no kids - yet), but it has to stand up to a bit of rough treatment occasionally. I will look after it pretty well though. You still recommend no rye?

Why do you include the hard fescue? Going for more of a show lawn, I thought fine fescue was better? I don't want anything clumpy either.




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  Reply # 781938 14-Mar-2013 21:20
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timmmay:
jonherries: Turned out really nice with lots of regular watering (every evening for about four weeks)!


I'm in Wellington, not so much machinery down here apparently.

Last time I grew a lawn it was watered every 2-4 hours by timer! I varied it by lawn, each got different amounts of sun and wind. I've read you have to keep the seeds moist otherwise they die.


I got my machinery from Hirepool Adelaide Road in Newtown, Wellington, per my post... They had a roller as well...

I even think they do a weekend deal.

Jon



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  Reply # 781941 14-Mar-2013 21:23
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jonherries:I got my machinery from Hirepool Adelaide Road in Newtown, Wellington, per my post... They had a roller as well...

I even think they do a weekend deal.

Jon


I just hired someone to do that bit, thanks. I wanted a turf cutter but none available, so they used a rotary hoe. It was really hard going in the dry ground though - which is why I hired someone!




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  Reply # 781960 14-Mar-2013 22:04
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Ryegrass and Fescue are complete opposites. Pure swards of one type look far better.

That hard fescue is a fine fescue and not a tall fescue.

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  Reply # 781980 14-Mar-2013 22:32
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got back from a couple of weeks in sydney, grass has been growing a bunch more.  Its only been mowed once since planting some 7 weeks ago (these are the front lawn this time): 







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  Reply # 782078 15-Mar-2013 08:57
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keriboi: Ryegrass and Fescue are complete opposites. Pure swards of one type look far better.

That hard fescue is a fine fescue and not a tall fescue.


I did a little reading, it sounds like a decent mix, and quite hard wearing. Will it give a nice fine "show lawn" type look, or is it more of a hard wearing low maintenance "just cover the ground" type grass? A search says it's used a lot for golf courses, but not so much for lawns.

If they're so different why are rye and fine fescue commonly used together?




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  Reply # 782090 15-Mar-2013 09:12
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Regs: got back from a couple of weeks in sydney, grass has been growing a bunch more.  Its only been mowed once since planting some 7 weeks ago (these are the front lawn this time) />


I now officially have 'Grass Envy'. Tall Fescue it shall be for us when we re-sow our grass (we live in the Hutt Valley)




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  Reply # 782093 15-Mar-2013 09:15
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Ah re-reading Regs post about using tall fescue, that's a nice looking grass.




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  Reply # 782144 15-Mar-2013 10:00
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They usually mix the two so either way something will establish. Its a good idea if you dont care about the look.

The main downside about a Ryegrass/Fescue mix is that if one day if you wish to control Poa Annua you cant because the two main chemicals will kill one or the other. I cant see anyone ever wanting to do that in their home lawn though.

Tall fescue is very course when it gets older. It is one of the most drought resistant though. If possible check it out somewhere where its been well established. It can be really ugly.

Has anyone thought about Browntop (agrostis capillaris) I think it would go well in Welly. Not as dark as ryegrass but very low maintenance.

Ill take some photos today of a few grasses.




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  Reply # 782148 15-Mar-2013 10:05
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the tall fescue has to be mowed higher than other grasses, so if you're looking for the "show lawn" then it might not be the right option :-)

the main reason I picked it was due to its hardiness. with kids and trampoline etc I need something that will stand up to a bit of abuse. the fact that it stays green is a bonus, but it also means that you get green hands when mowing and picking up cuttings!




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  Reply # 782157 15-Mar-2013 10:51
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Ah ok, I definitely don't want a coarse grass.

According to what I've read browntop makes a thatch, knitting together, and needs to be dethatched regularly. It's used for golf greens.

I'm after a grass that doesn't clumb, doesn't thatch, just grows as blades and looks good, being hardy isn't critical. Would just planting just a perennial turf rye be a good idea? Or just a fine fescue, like chewings or the creeping red?

My default is the rye/fine fescue mix that I posted a picture of above. I don't know which one actually grew well, but it looked pretty good to me. I had to get rid of it after a few months as it was just growing in the patches I seeded, and looked weirdly lush on my horrible brown patchy lawn.




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