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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2005
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    428
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    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Sowing fescue in west TN

    I have sown this yard twice without much success. The house is for sale and I need to do something to help the front yard. Its about 60% covered in a nice grass/weed mixture and about 40% bare dirt. I am trying to get this done as cheaply as possible. Should I just try and rough up the soil and overseed or till it all and resow? Assuming I till and resow when is the optimum time to do so in west Tn, if one is wanting to do it in spring instead of fall? The soil here typically requires lime, so I intend to spread lime, sow, fertilize and water. Anybody have some tips on how I can maximize growth while minimizing cost?
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2005
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    234
    Location
    northeast tennessee
    Tractor
    Bobcat B300

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    if you have sowed it twice already i would say its time for a diffrent approach. first off take some soil samples and have them checked. this will tell you exactly how much lime or other amendments are needed. west tn. has a good bit of clay as i remember. if this is the case you may need to do more than just rough it up.the soil test will be a starting point to go from. your county agent should know where to get the samples checked at.
    good luck

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2005
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    West TN
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    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    I am trying to go cheap, as I am getting ready to sell. But I suppose a soil sample is necessary. Hopefully they are not too expensive. I will try and get one to them tomorrow.

    I said I have sown it twice, but I actually just overseeded it last yr. The first year it was tilled, limed, fertilized and sowed. Then covered it with wheat straw. The only area that it was successful was in the shaded areas.

    The local co-op guy recommended a 5 seed blend of fescues. I think I am going to come up with something to pull behind the tractor to just scratch/rough up the majority of the yard where there is moderate coverage, and then till up the part that is bare and sow it with the 5 seed blend. All this after the soil sample and adding what is needed to the soil, assuming it isnt prohibitively expensive.
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    49
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Tractor
    Lenar FS-274

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    If you are wanting a quick fix for selling, might be good to mix some rye grass as well. Might be cheaper if the mix has a lot of annual rye in it. The rye will mostly likely germanate much faster than the fescue as well.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2005
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    428
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    West TN
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    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    I have it tilled, and am trying to come up with a harrow of some sort to smoothe it out. Will it be okay to sow a 50/50 mix of rye and fescue?
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  6. #6
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    2,622
    Location
    Sevierville, TN
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT 425

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    Quote Originally Posted by jmt1271
    I have it tilled, and am trying to come up with a harrow of some sort to smoothe it out. Will it be okay to sow a 50/50 mix of rye and fescue?
    Yes -- it should, as long as you do not mow it short. Rye will not stand up to being mowed under 4" tall or so...

    The rye is used because it sprouts much quicker than fescue and gives the fescue shade while it is sprouting and growing initially.

    Is it annual rye or perennial rye? If perennial rye, you can mow it shorter next year -- down to typical lawn height of 3-1/2" or so.... If annual, it won't be there next year, unless you allow it to grow tall and go to seed....

    I've found watering to be the key in getting grass seed to sprout. It must remain wet at all times for about 2 weeks. This can mean having to water it twice or three times a day -- if needed -- to keep those seeds wet. That's the real purpose of the straw or mulch -- to help keep the top of the soil shaded so the seeds stay moist...

    As far as a harrow -- you can use old metal bedsprings, chain-link fence (you'd have to add weight to either of them) or even something like a railroad tie with a chain hooked on it to pull it...

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2005
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    West TN
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    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    I borrowed a buddys section harrow. It seemed to do the trick. I sowed the fescue rye mix. Will try and keep it wet. Thats the worst part. I despise messing with the POS sprinkler and making big ruts every time I go out in the seed bed. Praying for rain, but not too much, we will see.

    Had a ball doing it. The tiller is too small(4 ft) but it is amazing. The PTO shaft gave out on me finally. The only thing tractor supply had was a little smaller, it says fertilize spreader on it. I was in a pinch and got it. Will it hold up or should I return it and have them order the correct one?
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    428
    Location
    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    I realize that I need another PTO shaft. I returned the one to trac supply. They dont have the one I need. Where is a good source for PTO shafts online? Thanks, Jeff
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  9. #9
    Elite Member woodlandfarms's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    4,145
    Location
    Los Angeles / SW Washington
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 1850

    Default Re: Sowing fescue in west TN

    Quote Originally Posted by jmt1271

    I said I have sown it twice, but I actually just overseeded it last yr. The first year it was tilled, limed, fertilized and sowed. Then covered it with wheat straw. The only area that it was successful was in the shaded areas.
    Are you sure you are watering correctly?

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