Wild Fescue in a Fescue lawn

I have ugly grass mixed in with my dwarf fescue. I have been fighting the problem for years. A man at my local nursurey finally said that the ugly grass is "wild fescue", and that there is nothing I can do about it. He even said that if I kill all the grass and plant all new dwarf fescue that he wild fescue would blow right back in again. I couldn't find much useful information about "wild fescue" on the internet. There were mentions of it, but nothing that directly applies to my situation.
I believe he is probably right, but I am posting this just in case anyone knows of a better solution.
I am also interested in chosing a better grass in case I finally decide to get rid of all fescue. I am very satisfied dwarf fescue, but the wild fescue makes me want to change to a different type. I am hoping that there is a type of nice-looking grass allows me to kill off all its competiors and grows well in my zone (Western Garden Book zone 14).
--
Gary Burton



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G Burton wrote:

Most garden centers have a copy of the Ortho "encyclopedia". It covers all varieties of grass and weeds. But some of the info might be a bit out of date. "Tall Fescue" is listed as a common weed grass and might be your problem. However this strain was carefully bread to make a good lawn grass. It resists brown-out in the Summer because it sends roots down 3 feet.
http://www.ortho.com /
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" I am also interested in chosing a better grass in case I finally decide to get rid of all fescue. I am very satisfied dwarf fescue, but the wild fescue makes me want to change to a different type. I am hoping that there is a type of nice-looking grass allows me to kill off all its competiors and grows well in my zone (Western Garden Book zone 14). "
With just about any kind of grass you choose to plant, their is always the possibility of an unwanted weed type of grass showing up. A grass like Zoysia is so dense it will virtually eliminate competition, but it has it's own issues and isn't appropriate for many parts of the country. The best defense is to encourage dense thick growth, which will keep weeds and undesirable grass from getting established. If it's just in a few areas, killing it and then reseeding is the best option.
There are two other alternatives that you may want to consider. There are now some tall fescues that have been breed to be glyphosate tolerant. That means you can use Roundup, in the correct amount, to spray areas that have the weed grass you want to kill. Used in the correct amount, it will stunt the tall fescue somewhat, but not kill it. I think this could be a solution if this has been a consistent problem and/or you live in an area next to open fields, etc., from which undesirable seeds can easily spread. To do that would require killing/reseeding.
The other option is that there are chemicals, like Acclaim, that will kill some of the coarse weed type grasses, but leave fescue intact. What would be most helpful would be to get the grass identifed. To do that, you generally need to let it grow to a seed head and take it to an agrictural extension service. Without identifying it, you could try Acclaim, but it's expensive, might not work, while there are other chemicals that could be effective against it, if you are certain what it is.
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Thanks! That sounds like very good information.
That's interesting about "roundup-tollerant" seed.
I think my next step will be to get a seedhead into the agricultural station. I don't know what I'll do, eventually. For now, I will keep this on file for future reference.

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"That's interesting about "roundup-tollerant" seed."
If you think that's cool, science has done even better. There are seeds available for crops like soybeans and cotton that are very resistant or immune to Round Up, so that it can then be used to control weeds. Here you have a chemical that we all are used to see killing just about anything, and now you have crops that can be routinely sprayed with it. The grass seeds that I know of are not genetically modified, they have been developed from varieites that had natural Round Up resistance. Hence, I don't think it's quite as effective, but the idea is the same and it apparently works.
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On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 09:57:50 -0700, G Burton wrote:

Any chance this is nutgrass ? This is what invaded my tall fescue lawn this summer. After using the preferred herbicide which didn't kill it all, I used Roundup to terminate everything in the effected section. Two weeks later guess what I have back ? Nutgrass ! It pretty ugly stuff reminding me of a cross between a scallion and grass.
Next spring I'm going to be very aggressive at killing everything in the front yard. I simply have no choice. This stuff just keeps coming back. I'm thinking of doing the following.
    1) Blast all nutgrass with a steam machine     2) Hit the yard with SedgeHammer.     3) Simultaneously canvas it with Roundup.     4) Cover the lawn in heavy black plastic     5) Pray. A lot.
And if all works out, I'm going to seed in Zenith Zoysia.
John
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Why not do what I have wanted to do with every lawn I have ever owned. Concrete painted green.
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 07:11:42 -0400, Frank Rosenbaum wrote:

Not a bad idea but then I'd have more time to work on the house ! And how about using gravel on top of the concrete for texture ?
John
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Sure, what ever you want to do. It is your lawn after all. For me, it would give me more time to work on my trains in the basement.
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