Why Grass Seed Mixtures Are The Way To Go
The gardener without years of experience will do well to consider planting a mixture of grasses rather than a solid turf of a single species. If he knows exactly what he is doing, and understands how to control the diseases which might attack his particular single species of grass, the chances are it will survive and thrive without serious injury.
But the beginner rarely has the necessary skill and knowledge for this, and, even when he does, he often runs into unforeseen trouble. If conditions change?such as an extremely wet or dry year?a solid turf of one species may suffer severely, whereas one containing several grasses will pull through in good shape.
Disease is a good example of the type of problem a mixture may help avoid. The fungi which attack grasses are quite specific in their action. That is, some will attack fescues but not bluegrasses, while others attack bents but not fescues. Except for rust, which is largely airborne, most of these turf diseases are spread by contact from one blade to another.
If the turf is made up of more than one species, this plant-to-plant contact is broken. I have seen one section of a lawn, seeded wholly to Common Kentucky Bluegrass, go down by late June when attacked by helminthosporium leaf spot, while another part of the same lawn?planted with Chewing's Fescue and Highland Bent in addition to the bluegrass?showed only an occasional area affected by the leaf spot. Both areas were maintained exactly the same.
Another advantage of mixtures is that they tend to adjust themselves to the varying soil conditions often found within a lawn, and also to differences in sun and shade. It is not uncommon for the same lawn to have one area that receives three hours of sunshine while a short distance away it has sun all day long.
One of the very real problems a seedsman has, for example, is in recommending a grass to the man who doesn't know what a sunny lawn is. I have actually studied lawns which the owner claimed received sun "all day long" and found they had four hours or less.
This is often true in cities, where the line of parkway trees and the house form barriers that cut off the sun until late in the morning and then block it again early in the afternoon.
By doing just a little research, which often amounts to asking a representative at your local nursury or home supply store, you will find the perfect mixture of grass seed for your needs and avoid many troublesome and time-consuming problems.
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