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Low input grasses


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:14 PM
Lake Area Turf Lake Area Turf is offline
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Default Low input grasses

I see alot of talk about organic and natural chemical apps on here but, is anyone doing any work with low input grasses?

In the past few years I have been encouraging property owners to incorporate fescues into those rough, neglected, non irrigated, weed infested areas. Even to the point of using some native prarie grasses and establishing some no mow turf stands. My experiance has been that it can be difficult to get customers on board but once established they really like the contrast of textures and color. Not to mention the benifit to wildlife on these properties.
This also translates to smaller inputs of maintenance all around and can save some big money when its all adde up.

Any thoughts or experiances with these low input grasses?
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:28 PM
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native prarie grasses and establishing some no mow turf stands
What are the benefits of native prairie grasses and what are no mow turf stands?
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:28 PM
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well Steve, First off a no mow turf stand is exactly that... They usually consists of native vegetation to the particular area but not restricted to native veg. For example in my area the native prairies consisted of a lot of big blue stem, little blue stem and indian grass. these are grasses that typically grow from 2'-6' with the wispy stalks and seed heads and dont need to be mowed The scotish varieties of fine fescues can compliment but are not native, Hence "scotish" variety.these grasses thrive in the conditions that are dry, shaded, compacted soils which the blue grasses fail. any area of grasses, intermingling together, no matter their genus or species is considered to be a stand of turf. So when you isolate native and or low imput grasses that thrive in these conditions you can establish an attractive alternative that can be maintained at much lower costs. Little to no fertilizer, pesticide, and fuel requirements = low imput no mow grasses or turf stands.

Real world application: Think of your property that has that steep hill side that sucks to mow. Always looks terible with mower tire ruts, weeds, thin grass and bare soil, you name it. The property owner complains because you cant keep the grass in and the weeds out of this area. your straining your equiptment and or employees just to keep it cut. This is what I do. I first convince the client that they are waisting money maintaing in that manner. next i explain the benifits of the low imput approach. then I overseed the rutted up thin and bare areas with an appropriate variety of low imput grasses. Next i simply stop mowing the area and focus on establishing that particular variety. Pretty soon you have a stand of turf that requires very little maintenance inputs.

Ive learned that, in the right application, you can save your clients money and your company time, while still turning out atractive results. Im going after the root of the problem which as you may know begins with the selection of plant material on a given site. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:41 PM
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These are great thoughts and would make for some fantastic marketing material. Have you thought about putting some together potentially with pictures that could show customers the benefit of this kind of property care plan? I bet it would help you sell more.
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