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Help with grass seed mix - have I got the wrong one?

NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
edited October 2018 in Plants
I know nothing about grass seed and the more I read the more bamboozled I get! I explained to the shop that the ‘lawn’ area in question is an alkaline clay, stony base with rough, patchy grass (not helped by excavations for a septic tank last year) that I plan to improve before sowing by rotavating and adding a load of topsoil. I requested something reasonably drought proof and said I didn’t need a fine lawn but this is what I was sold:



I think this might be too rough even for my conditions, isnt the festuca really clumpy and hard to mow? Cynodon Dactilon appears to be couch grass which I can see I invading the adjacent border! Can anyone recommend a more suitable mix or do you think this will be ok?
Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,596
    No idea, but Trifolium repens is clover, sorry did you know or ask for it?
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,483
    I know you are in Spain, but this might be of some use
    https://lawnuk.com/content/getting-to-know-the-fescues/
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,948

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,465
    Cynodon Dactilon is apparently called Bermuda grass. It looks fairly coarse but apparently likes hot dry climates, so might be good where you are.  Lolium perenne is perennial rye grass, a standard component of seed mix for hard-wearing laws (at least in the UK). The clover might stay green when the grass doesn't.
    I don't think you'll get a fine lawn that can be mown really short with that mixture, but you might get something that stays green in what sounds like a difficult spot for a lawn.


    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Thanks so much for your thoughts on my grass conundrum and the helpful links. My mountainous area of Catalunya is more a transition zone between the arid south/coastal zones, which most Spanish online info and seed is geared toward, and the UK, whose mixes would cope with my low winter temps and heavy rainfall but probably not my summer heat.

    I’m happy with the last two ingredients, the rye grass and clover - the latter I have in abundance in another area and it does make a lovely all-year evergreen cover, but according to your very helpful link, AnniD, those two fescues are rough, clumping field grasses and I think I need a turf-type tall fescue or red fescue instead. As for the Bermuda/couch grass types used in the south (ironically called grama catalunya!) I am scared they would romp away and invade my perennial beds.

    Maybe A UK ‘drought tolerant’ mix would be a suitable happy medium between rough clumpy field and fine lawn?

    Who knew there was so much to learn about grass!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,483
    Glad it was of some use @Nollie :) OH is a bit of a lawn geek, so l have heard more about fescues than l really want to !
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Ooh, a lawn geek is just what I need, @AnniD !! I am struggling to translate into meaningful Spanish Turf Type Tall Fescue (no spanish word for turf or indeed lawn, it’s all just ‘grass’). Sorry to prolong the fescue fatigue, but could you bear to ask OH if they know what the species name/a suitable cultivar would be so I can ask for the right thing?
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,465
    edited October 2018
    I just checked the box of B&Q "shady lawn seed" in my shed, which claims to have high drought tolerance.  The ingredients (with translations according this site and google, in brackets) are:
    Festuca trachyphylla Dumas1: 5% (hard fescue)
    Festuca rubra Maxima1: 75% (strong creeping red fescue)
    Festuca rubra Calliope: 20% (Chewing's fescue)
    Being from B&Q it's probably cheapo varieties so there could be better choices out there, and it's too soon to say whether it's any good in the long term - I sowed some 6 weeks or so to fill in bare patches.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,483
    Fescue fatigue!  I like it ! I have asked the slightly distracted Oracle, who has pointed me in this direction
    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/specific/red-fescue-grass/red-fescue-planting.htm
    I must be honest and say that l haven't read it myself  B), but he says it may help. Let me know how you get on. I'm afraid the only Spanish l know is Si and Por favour .......
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,465
    Una verra de vino tinto, por favor! (or failing that, una cerveza will do fine)

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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