Over the last 20 years, we have tried dozens of combinations and we think the best mix for the average Kansas City lawn is a mix of 90% fescue and 10% Bluegrass by weight, which is the same as 50/50 by seed count. Bluegrass seed is much smaller than fescue seed. This combination seems to hold up the best year in and year out. Some of the benefits of this mix for lawn care in Kansas City include:
- Good traffic durability
- Better disease resistance than single stands of either grass on their own
- Reasonable drought and heat resistance
- Newer varieties have nice color and reasonable texture
Bluegrass & Fescue – It’s All in the Mix
We like the 10% Bluegrass in this mix because it gives the lawn the ability to heal from traffic or damage better than fescue alone. It also helps soften the texture. Fescue is very tough, but it is a “bunch” type of grass where the Bluegrass is a “spreading” type.
You can think of a bunch type grass as a grass that spreads in clumps or like an onion with the next new plant sprouting directly off the old plant right next to it. “Bunch” type grasses like fescue spread slowly. The Bluegrass, on the other hand, has runners that it sends out kind of like a strawberry plant so it can spread more quickly and in multiple directions.
The ability to spread will allow the Bluegrass to fill in holes faster, but if left alone, it will eventually take over the fescue and you will return to a monoculture of Bluegrass. Not good!
Only use the 90/10 mix when seeding bare ground. If you already have bluegrass in your lawn you don’t need to add more, remember it spreads. Use fescue alone when overseeding to help keep your percentages in balance.
A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds. Overseeding every couple of years, or anytime the lawn has been damaged, will help keep the balance you want in order to maintain a beautiful lawn.
The Importance of Seed Quality
Check the Label or Get Weeds in Your Seeds!
Have you ever stopped to think about exactly what you’re seeding your lawn with? A lot of homeowners haven’t. It turns out, many brands of seed have more than just the type of grass you desire. In fact, if you aren’t using high-quality seed, you may actually be planting the pesky weeds you are trying to get rid of all year long.
Yes, you read that correctly, you may be planting your spring problems this fall. For example, a common unwanted ingredient in some seed is rough Bluegrass or orchard grass. The problem with these weeds is once they begin to grow, they cannot be individually targeted to remove.
Most Grass Seed Contains Weed Seeds
Do the Math!
Read your grass seed label very carefully. Most will say contains .01% “weed seed” or “other crop” and that doesn’t sound like much, does it? But once you see the math, you’ll understand how .01% of an undesirable guest can be devastating to your lawn.
There are 250,000 fescue seeds in 1 pound of seed so .01% of 250,000 is 25 weed seeds. The standard bare ground seeding rate is 8 pounds per 1000 square feet so multiply 25 x 8 = 200 weed seeds per 1000 square feet of lawn. Our average lawn we do lawn care in Overland Park, Kansas is for 7,200 square feet. 200 x 7.2 = 1,440 weeds planted in your lawn. Always buy high-quality seed.
NOTE: Avoid seed that contains “weed seed” and “other crops.”
Quality Seed Costs More but Is Worth It
Good certified seed usually runs around $2.00 per pound. Times 8 lbs/1000 sq. ft. = $16/1000 times the average lawn of 7.2 = $115.20 just for the seed. So what is the guy on the corner leaving out when he says he can aerate and seed your lawn for $100????? If you choose the wrong seed just to save a few dollars, you are giving yourself a big headache later with unwanted weeds.