After adding a patio to the back of the house last fall, my back yard looked like the surface of the moon. My front lawn had bare spots and yellowing grass. I needed to find a good grass seed to overseed the front yard and start from scratch in the back yard.
Here in western PA people talk about Penn State Mix like it’s the cat’s pajamas. You know, Penn State Mix because well, it’s Penn St. Mix. After a trip to the big box store, I learned that Penn State Mix means different things to different people. It’s basically a mix of ryegrass and tall fescue, with a little bluegrass thrown in for good measure. I read the labels at the store and each brand had a different blend of grasses. I wasn’t thrilled with Penn State Mix at my last house. The mix of grasses didn’t grow at the same rate or look consistent. So I ditched Penn St. Mix and looked for a single grass type for my yard. Good decision #1.
Kentucky Bluegrass has a highbrow reputation, but it takes a lot of water and maintenance to make it look good. I don’t want a high maintenance lawn that requires a lot water in the hot summer months. It takes a really long time to germinate and it’s pricey. So I considered other options. Good decision #2.
I went online and purchased several bags of high quality Perennial Ryegrass. This Ryegrass had good reviews for consistency and germinated faster than the Kentucky Bluegrass. The reviewers said the grass would grow tall and then flop over. Not a straight growth ‘habit’. Ryegrass in my last yard would turn brown in the hot summer months. I was ready to seed with Ryegrass when I had a fateful conversation with my awesome patio contractor Good2Great Landscaping. Good decision #3.
My contractor told me about Turf Type Tall Fescue (TTTF). He said he had planted it for a customer north of the city and it was the best looking lawn he’d ever seen. This I had to see. I couldn’t find any TTTF at the big box stores, so I expanded my search to online vendors. I learned that within the TTTF grass species are many different types of cultivars, each with it’s own qualities. I chose a custom mix of TTTF cultivars that seemed well suited to my climate and had all the qualities I wanted – lush, green and low maintenance.
I seeded with TTTF and waited for 2-3 weeks before I saw the first sprouts of grass. I was really impressed by the color and look of the grass. It is an emerald green that calms you down after a stressful day’s work. It does not flop over and looks great after I mow. It handles the stress of my active family. The grass has roots that go down several feet into the ground, so it can pick up the ground water and stay green in the summer months. Everyone has commented on how nice the grass looks.
The picture above shows the custom TTTF blend I planted in my back yard last October. I’ve been sharing this blend with my friends and neighbors. Contact me if you want to order a bag.