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This grass needs far less cutting than any other!
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale

email: art@artdrysdale.com

Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at http://www.artdrysdale.com


April 2, 2019

 

Above, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, is one of the finest and best-known public gardens in the world. Here their famous Quarry Garden Kentucky blue grass looks absolutely perfect. Below two shots of the newly introduced Holiday Lawn that needs cutting no more than four times in a growing season.

 



 


 



 

Give me a lawn that does not need mowing! That’s the number one response most home-owners and professionals give when asked what they want in a new grass. Jacklin Seed in the USA has introduced My Holiday Lawn Kentucky bluegrass, a revolutionary variety that can be mowed as little as once a month, as opposed to the one or two mowings that conventional varieties require on athletic fields, golf course rough, and home lawns. My Holiday Lawn is different from conventional varieties because of its low-growing, compact canopy and its ability to maintain green leaves below the mowing height, even when left unmown for weeks.

When conventional varieties are left unmown for weeks, the plant grows tall and stemmy, and all that remains is unattractive, brown stubble after mowing. Conversely, My Holiday Lawn can go weeks with that freshly clipped look. My Holiday Lawn can be mowed only on Memorial Day, Independence Day, August Civic Holiday, and Labour Day. Its benefits include significantly reducing mowing costs, and saving thousands of dollars. My Holiday Lawn will remain attractive with less mowing.

My Holiday Lawn™ is a patent-pending lawn grass developed over 14 years by bluegrass specialist, Dr. Doug Brede. Brede is an award winning expert on reducing lawn maintenance and is the author of “Turfgrass Maintenance Reduction Handbook,” a guide used by thousands of turf professionals.
When an ordinary lawngrass is mowed infrequently, the plant goes into overdrive, growing tall and stemmy. When you finally do mow, that growth is clipped off and all that remains is unattractive, brown stubble.

Here’s how My Holiday Lawn™ is different: My Holiday Lawn™ has a low-growing canopy, and the grass maintains green leaves below the mowing height even when left unmowed for weeks.
 
When My Holiday Lawn™ is mowed, the leaf growth is only partially removed, keeping your lawn looking fresh and green--not brown and stemmy like ordinary lawn grass. My Holiday Lawn™ is a patent pending lawn grass developed over 14 years by bluegrass specialist, Dr. Doug Brede. When an ordinary lawn grass is mowed infrequently, the plant goes into overdrive, growing tall and stemmy. When you ?nally do mow, that growth is clipped off and all that remains is unattractive, brown stubble.

Here’s how My Holiday Lawn™ is different: It has a low-growing canopy, and the grass maintains green leaves below the mowing height even when left unmowed for weeks. When My Holiday Lawn™ is mowed, the leaf growth is only partially removed, keeping your lawn looking fresh and green. Not brown and stemmy like ordinary lawngrass.
 
When an ordinary lawngrass is mowed less, the plant goes into overdrive, growing tall and stemmy. When mowed, all that remains is brown stubble. With My Holiday Lawn, the grass maintains green leaves below the mowing height even when unmowed for weeks. When it’s mowed, your lawn still looks fresh and green. Not brown and stemmy. The really good news is that My Holiday Lawn is beautiful. It will likely be the most attractive lawn on the block. In addition to less mowing, you’ll enjoy a lush, fine leaved, dark green stand of pest resistant grass. Less mowing and little upkeep.

Potential annual maintenance cost savings: An average homeowner who spends $1300 per year on lawn maintenance service would see their cost reduced to $300 per year – or a 77% savings – when they switched to monthly only mowing according to calculations on www.homewyse.com. Site. And, if you are doing your own mowing, having a few extra weekends off from mowing duties during summer-vacation time...priceless!

Site preparation: To get the full advantage of My Holiday Lawn, the important thing is to get a 100% pure stand. Other grasses and weeds tend to stand out from the low-growing My Holiday Lawn and will need mowing when My Holiday Lawn grasses don’t. Proper pre-plant site and soil preparation are important with any successful turfgrass establishment project but they are doubly important with My Holiday Lawn. Eliminate any existing perennial grassy weeds and turf plants before you seed. This means spraying with glyphosate (RoundUp), waiting for it to work, watering the area and re-treating any volunteers that come up until the soil is free of any other types.

It is possible to control a few stragglers after planting using a rope-wick herbicide applicator. But, it is more desirable to have them completely controlled before seeding. Broadleaf weeds are of less concern, since they can be controlled after establishment with selective herbicides such as 2,4-D.

My Holiday LawnTM is the innovation that can make that happen. You can renovate and replace your existing lawn with a grass that requires mowing as little as once a month. Now, I realize some folks actually enjoy mowing their lawn. It’s relaxing and smells nice. But for many of us in turf careers however, we would rather do something besides tend grass on weekends. For us, My Holiday Lawn is the answer. Here, I’m going to answer some of the questions posed at trade shows this winter regarding Holiday Lawn and how to grow it.

Q: What kind of grass is My Holiday Lawn?
A: My Holiday Lawn is a series of 3 very compatible Kentucky bluegrasses that can be used in combination or straight (one single variety). We recognize that bluegrass is not adaptable everywhere, but in North America alone over 100,000,000 people can grow a bluegrass lawn, and Holiday Lawn can save them time and money.

Q: Can you mix My Holiday Lawn with other turfgrass species?
A: No, not if you want the infrequent mowing characteristics. Other grasses grow taller and faster and would defeat the desirable traits in My Holiday Lawn.

Q: It sounds too good to be true. What are some of its pitfalls?
A: You might miss the nice attractive striping pattern on your lawn. You will get striping from your monthly mow, but it will dissipate in a couple weeks, replaced by a soft appearance. Also, you can’t forget about weed control. A fast-growing thistle or vine that is easily controlled by mowing may instead need help from herbicides. And thirdly, my biggest concern is copycats – companies who bring out a product virtually overnight and say it has the same characteristics as XYZ. There are already some odd grass seed mixtures on the market claiming zero mowing. Consumer beware.

Q: Anything different when it comes to establishment and grow-in?
A: No, these grasses can be treated like you would a normal Kentucky bluegrass. Seeding rate of 2 to 3 lb. per 1000 ft². Starter fertilizer and mulch. Pretty standard.

Q: What about soil prep? Anything different?
A: Yes, it is important with this grass to work with a clean slate in terms of soil. You don’t want pre-existing grasses. The overall mowing frequency of your new lawn will be dictated by its tallest growing component – weeds, foreign grasses, etc. Therefore the ideal situation would be to control the vegetation twice with glyphosate herbicide and get a good kill, and then cultivate and sod with My Holiday Lawn. The sodding will help smother out existing grasses and get you a pure stand. It is possible to control grassy weeds after the fact, but why go to that trouble if you don’t have to?

Q: What is a good fertilizer and rate?
A: First year fertilization is fairly standard. The stand should be pushed with NPK to fill in. Then as soon as complete, back off to lower levels. We have done experiments to answer the question of maintenance fertilization. After the first year, slow release, coated fertilizer seems to be best for slow feeding. If you dump a lot of quickly available fertilizer on a Holiday Lawn, you will be mowing it next week. It performs best when fertilized with 1 to 3 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 ft² per year, split into one or more applications. If you get heavy-handed with the fertilizer and apply 6 lb. N per year, you can plan on mowing twice as often.

Q: Is My Holiday Lawn attractive enough to use on golf courses and sports fields?
A: Yes indeed. We have tested the Holiday Lawn varieties against chart-topping varieties from the NTEP (National Turfgrass Evaluation Peogram) and found similar or better performance. As a matter of fact, two of the varieties have exceptional resistance to mildew and rust disease.

Q: What happens to this grass if I mow it less often than once a month?
A: The main negative would be that it wouldn’t keep that freshly mown look. It would start to get more of a rolling look to the top of the canopy and weed control would become an issue as it competed with taller growing weeds. But compared to other options on the market, it would be an excellent choice for such a site. If you get heavy-handed with the fertilizer and apply 6 lb. N per year (into one or more applications), you can plan on mowing twice as often.

Q: Is My Holiday Lawn attractive enough to use on golf courses and sports fields?
A: Yes indeed. We have tested the Holiday Lawn varieties against chart-topping varieties from the NTEP and found similar or better performance. As a matter of fact, two of the varieties have exceptional resistance to mildew and rust disease.

Q: What happens to this grass if I mow it less often than once a month?
A: The main negative would be that it wouldn’t keep that freshly mown look. It would start to get more of a rolling look to the top of the canopy and weed control would become an issue as it competed with taller growing weeds. But compared to other options on the market, it would be an excellent choice for such a site.

Q: What about if I wanted to give it “normal” maintenance, such as weekly mowing?
A: If you did, you would find it to be very similar to a conventional lawn grass, but one with much better turf quality.

Q: How is its spring greenup?
A: Compared to other bluegrasses, it is not the fastest to green up nor the slowest. It is intermediate.

Q: How about wear tolerance?
A: From what we have seen so far, My Holiday Lawn seems to be satisfactory for sports turf. More results will be shared as they come available.

Q: Is it more water thrifty than other grasses?
A: Research has shown that bluegrass is actually far more drought tolerant than people think. It would probably take a PhD thesis to answer this question of water use adequately. My guess is that it is perhaps 10 to 20% more water efficient due to the fact that it puts on less top growth than a conventional grass. But I’m just speculating.

Q: How does this grass do in terms of seed yield and seed pricing?
A: The Holiday Lawn varieties in general are more basal in their growth habit (less stemmy) and are somewhat shorter (though not dwarf). As a result they tend to have a less-than-normal seed yield compared to other bluegrasses. Seed pricing is determined by supply and demand. Right now supply of certified seed is good but running out fast due to popularity.

 

   

Email: art@artdrysdale.com
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