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On 4/11/2014 5:40 PM, trader_4 wrote:

The U of MN has a lot of on-line information on low maintenance lawns. One of them is: http://www.sustland.umn.edu/maint/coolseas.htm quote However, older, "common" types of Kentucky bluegrass but few of the modern elite bluegrass varieties have the ability to survive extended drought periods by going into dormancy. ...
For the most part, improved or elite Kentucky bluegrass varieties have been developed in the last 30 to 40 years. Since most of the introductions to date have been selected under systems of generally high fertility and ample moisture, many have limited use in low-maintenance landscapes. ...
Table 3. Plant and Use Characteristics of Improved KB Varieties ... - Higher maintenance requiring ample water and fertilizer for optimum health /quote

Research certainly can develop seed that is low maintenance: "However, there is an increasing amount of research being conducted to improve the water and nutrient conservative nature of improved types. As this continues, it is likely that improved varieties, with their superior disease tolerance, will also have increasing levels of tolerance to environmental stresses and lower fertility levels."
What I wrote is consistent with the link provided (and others).
What has come to market, for homes, does not appear to be low maintenance (at least here). Looking at many packaged seed mixes available here, far as I could tell they were all high maintenance. (They don't tell you that.) I think most people that buy grass seed want 'beautiful' lawns, which requires regulaar fertilizer, and watering when the weather doesn't cooperate. People who buy grass seed are not likely to want their lawn to go dormant and brown.

In addition to the package mixes available everywhere, a good garden center will have bulk grass seed. The mixes use seeds that have been available for a long time, and distribution is not controlled. Seed mixes are available for a variety of uses, including low maintenance.
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On Sunday, April 13, 2014 1:56:20 PM UTC-4, bud-- wrote:

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All lawns are now Kentucky Bluegrass? Good grief. Those geniuses at Univ of MN wrote a whole piece on cool season grasses and they don't even mention tall fescue. That should tell you when they stopped learning and how up to date they are. A lot of lawns and athletic fields are using that here in the mid-atlantic today. Take a look at the old varieties of that, eg the K31 that I specifically cited, and one of the newer cultivars, eg the Rebels, Justice, etc and there is a big difference in appearance. The older one is rough, doesn't have great color and is not well suited to lawns. The newer tall fescues have finer blades, grow slower, and have better color.
I don't doubt that there is some validity to what they are saying, especially with Kentucky Blue Grass. If you want a showcase lawn, anyone will tell you that KBG is the way to go. So, it makes sense that low maintenance is not going to be a priority for developing many new cultivars, because those folks are going to water and fertilize as much as needed. But I think whoever wrote this is going way overboard. For example, Midnight is one of the newer cultivars of KBG and it came in very high in the NTEP evaluations. If you really want a low maintenance lawn, KBG is probably not the right choice to begin with.


Note that isn't what you said. You said improved very likely means "high maintenance". They said the improved versions have limited use in low-maintenance applications. There isn't just low and high. Per what they said there is also the category of medium-maintenance. That cultivars aren't well suited to low maintenance, doesn't mean they are automatically high-maintenance.

lth

Again KBG on the brain.

ons


At least they recognize that improved cultivars have superior disease resistance. They also have insect resistance. And finer blades, and are slower growing, etc. That applies to all grasses, not just KBG. I think the real problem here is they went to sleep and haven't woke up for a few decades, eg they don't even recognize that tall fescues are used in lawns today. I bet you can find that in your local stores.

Is it consistent with this?:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/b546/b546_9.html
"Tall Fescue: Tall fescue continues to be a preferred species selection for usage on many Ohio turfgrass sites, particularly in the southern part of t he state. Although the traditional "Kentucky-31" and the new, improved "tur f type" cultivars are all technically tall fescues, dramatic differences in quality and appearance exist. Tall fescues in general tolerate soils of lo w fertility, persist well under low maintenance, and possess good insect an d disease tolerance under Ohio conditions. This species possesses rapid est ablishment, excellent wear tolerance and due to its deep rooted nature, is heat and drought tolerant and will remain green through most Ohio summers w ithout supplemental irrigation. Juvenile tall fescue seedlings are not cold tolerant and will be prone to winterkill. However, well-established seedli ngs and mature lawns will endure most Ohio winters.
The old "Kentucky-31" cultivar is a coarse, bunch type selection and should not be confused with the fine fescues. "Kentucky-31" tall fescue is desira ble only in areas where its coarseness and a bunch growth habit are not obj ectionable. This cultivar should not be used on lawns where high quality is important.
New, improved, "turf-type" tall fescue cultivars have many improved quality characteristics over the "Kentucky-31." These turf type cultivars are less coarse, grow more upright, tiller more readily and exhibit a darker green color than the old "Kentucky-31." Their major attribute is a lower maintena nce requirement than Kentucky bluegrass. These improved types are being use d on many lawn sites and are replacing "Kentucky-31" on playgrounds, parks and low maintenance athletic fields. "
Note that "improved" doesn't equate to high maintenance. And they reconize the many improvements in newer TF cultivars.

What exactly told you they were high maintenance? I don't think it said it on the package. Here the big box stores, garden centers, typically have some "lower" maintenance seed and they are marketed that way with names like "Water-Saver".




MAybe not most people, but there are plenty of hippies and tree huggers that are looking for "green" products, eg grass that needs less water. I even see adds for it on TV. Bob Vila was hawking some grass that allegedly didn't need much water just the other day.

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I think you may have a bug up your ass about "controlled distribution". I suspect the writers of that piece you cited do too. I guess researchers should just spend a lot of time and money and then give the results away for free, instead of getting a couple bucks on a $50 bag, Funny part is, the price for a bag of decent grass seed doesn't vary that much with regard to whether someone has control over it or not. And in the cost of establishing and maintaining a lawn, it's irrelevant, because the seed is just a tiny fraction of the total cost.
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On 4/13/2014 2:34 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Kentucky bluegrass is the dominant variety used in sunny areas here (but not shady).
"Turf-type tall fescue varieties are suitable for athletic fields and low-maintenance lawns in some areas of the country, but do not have sufficient cold tolerance for Minnesota conditions. Further testing and variety development may lead to varieties of tall fescue that will consistently withstand Minnesota winters. At present, tall fescue is not recommended for Minnesota lawns."
You tend to read into something what you want to.

Yawn

Kentucky bluegrass is the dominant variety here in sunny locations.
"Low Maintenance: Suitable grasses are common Kentucky bluegrass varieties & fine-leaved fescues (e.g., creeping red, chewings and hard fescue)"
"Common" means the varieties have been around a long time. They will not likely be used in packaged mixes because package mixes want varieties whose distribution can be controlled.

What a great idea. Use varieties that "have limited use in low-maintenance applications" for a lawn I want to be low maintenance.

"Turf-type tall fescue varieties are suitable for athletic fields and low-maintenance lawns in some areas of the country, but do not have sufficient cold tolerance for Minnesota conditions. Further testing and variety development may lead to varieties of tall fescue that will consistently withstand Minnesota winters. At present, tall fescue is not recommended for Minnesota lawns."

"Turf-type tall fescue varieties are suitable for athletic fields and low-maintenance lawns in some areas of the country, but do not have sufficient cold tolerance for Minnesota conditions. Further testing and variety development may lead to varieties of tall fescue that will consistently withstand Minnesota winters. At present, tall fescue is not recommended for Minnesota lawns."

Various internet sites have information on what varieties are high and low maintenance. The link I provided has some of that information. What I found in package mixes, to the extent I could identify them, were high maintenance.
I have not seen "water-saver" here.

Maybe you could actually figure out what I am saying.
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On 4/13/2014 1:56 PM, bud-- wrote: ...

...
A lot of that has to do w/ the "where"...MN is hardly the location for much in the way of worrying about moisture so it's not surprising that's what's been concentrated on there. Here in much drier (and hotter) climate, there's a lot more emphasis on drought-tolerant lawn grasses and hence, there are a lot more available in stores, even the common hardware stores, not just lawn specialty places. Of course, KY bluegrasses aren't very strong in those mixes, either...
--


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