Bluegrass (Thermal Blue) – Homeowner Comments

When turf companies market a brand new grass without submitting it to long-term University trials in Georgia, I’m at a loss to know whether to recommend their grass for use by homeowners.

In the summer of 2005 I asked for radio listeners’ experiences with several new grasses.

It is important to note that this was not a scientific survey and the comments listed here may not reflect reality. It is not my intent to disparage a grass…only to present the comments of real-life users.

See this homeowner’s good experiences.

Below are the comments I received on ‘ThermalBlue’ bluegrass.
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A few months ago I emailed you regarding my Thermal Blue lawn here in Woodstock GA. You asked for an update from time to time.

So far, my lawn looks great, though I did have a couple of patches that died and I had to replace them with new sod. I found Thermal Blue seed, just in case I need to re-seed some areas down the road.

I have a sloped front lawn and I noticed that as the lawn settled, some of it shifted and separated a slight bit. I filled in with new sod and that seems to be doing well, too.

I know it is still early in the season, my main concern is how will the lawn do in August, when it gets hot and more humid. I will keep a watering schedule and of course pray for rain from time to time.

Right now we are keeping the lawn 2-3″ when it is cut, as per Scott’s recommendations. The lawn is full and soft, which my son loves to play on. As I load up some pictures, I will send it to you soon.

Chris A.
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I operate a turf management company, and ran across my first installation of Thermal Blue this past week.

Here is all I know about it thus far:

Residence is in Cherokee County, where about 2,000 sq ft of sod was installed in a backyard setting. It appears to be a partial shade location, but surely not full sun. I thought bluegrass needed full sun, but that is just something from reference material.

The sod was installed in May 2005. The homeowner said it had received plenty of water. Despite that, the sod looked horrible. It appeared to have suffered from heat stress, rhizoctonia, or a combination of both. It basically looked like an area of Fescue that had been through a drought. More than 50% of the turf was cooked. I think he picked a poor time to install the sod, as it had little chance to establish a root system in the Summer temperatures.

I would have loved the chance to get involved a few months ago. With Phosphorous, fungicides, and biostimulants, the turf might have had a chance to survive the Summer.
Jason B.
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We built a new home in Hoschton 3 1/2 years ago and have been trying to grow grass ever since! The builder left us without topsoil as far as we can tell so it has been a huge struggle. Tried seeding our lovely red clay with tall fescue but this was less than satisfactory. Heard about Thermal Blue and decided to give it a try last fall. Seeded (over the existing grass) later than we should have – some came up and this spring we re-seeded. While the yard isn’t completely grassed over yet, I believe that our choice of the Thermal Blue will ultimately prove successful. (If we had quality soil I feel confident that we would already have a yard worthy of envy!) I would definitely recommend this grass.
Donna H.
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I am writing you to tell you of my experience with the above seed.
I planted it in late march to early April.
I busted the ground up 2-3 inches as directed.
Spread the seed with the recommended Scott’s hand held spreader.
Tossed in recommended starter fertilizer and watered daily.
This was an already established side yard that gets mostly sun.
With all that said, I was not impressed.
It took more like 6-8 weeks to germinate and did not show very good signs of growth.
I have one more large bag that I may try this fall.
Just my 2 cents.
Ray F.
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My landscape company laid sod a lawn in the Buckhead area in late April. It was about 6,000 square foot, and unfortunately it was my first and last experience with Thermal Blue. We brought new organic soil in and did everything the right way. I quarantined the grass the entire time I took care of it. A couple weeks after we laid it, some spots developed in the turf that were damping off. I thought it was a disease so I sprayed fungicides over the summer for both for brown patch and pythium. It turns out that there was no and the grass became stringy and extremely thatchy.

Walter, I have no idea what went wrong. I have never lost any turf that I have laid or maintained. Especially Fescue! I know it is not the heat because, this problem started in June before the heat really hit us hard.

I have fertilized and limed the base before I laid the sod. I also put down a pre-emergence 0-0-7.
Once the sod was established, I implemented grub control and did not lay anymore fertilizer during the hot months. There were some spots remaining, but they resembled dog urine.

I have talked with the sod company which sold me the sod, to my surprise they admitted to having problems with grass from quite a few people in GA. The grass is 10% Thermal and 90% fescue. The only part dieing off is the actual Blue part of it. The Tall Fescue is fine. Our motto is nothing less than a entire lush lawn is unsatisfactory. I am looking forward to hearing from others about their results of the grass.

David T.
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Residence in East Cobb w/ heavy clay. Over seeded in early October 04. Germination was slow and patchy had to overseed twice more and finally got a full yard( approximately 3500 sq ft). Started getting Brown Spots by mid April, applied Scotts anti-fungus granules with little success. I can not see any advantage to using Thermal Blue Grass.
Mike P.
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First, let me say that we are actually just south of Nashville, Tennessee, not in Georgia. However, I love your newsletter and website so I thought I’d drop a line with my two cents.

Our new home was completed in March of 2005 and our builder had graciously provided a “lawn” consisting of some “contractor grade” fescue seed on top of the equal mixture of dirt, gravel and trash left behind in our yard. Needless to say, even with 1+inches of water a week and a small fortune spent on weedkillers and fertilizers, by mid-July we had learned to cherish the massive clusters of crabgrass in our front yard since that was the only thing remotely close to green.

In late August we began ‘gutting’ the thing and after 4000 lbs of composted cow manure, etc. we put down Thermal
Bluegrass. It does take a little longer to germinate and grow than the
others of course, but a 5% annual rye addition helped that some. We
fertilized according to our local suppliers recommendations and now even in the last week in December, when temps here have dropped below freezing on numerous occasions, and even into the teens a couple of times, our lawn
is gorgeous! I mean, emerald green and lush.

There is no lawn in the neighborhood that comes close. People stop and comment all the time. Now, who’s to say what might happen over the long-term, but from what we’ve seen so far we’re pretty confident that with a little pre-emergent and fertilizer in the spring and adequate water in the summer months, we’ve definitely found a winner.
Brad V.
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Several years ago, we researched through your website about the best bluegrass for Atlanta and you recommended Thermal Blue. We have found it to be the best substitute for fescue we have ever tried and we have tried them all. It has been very thick and lush over the last few years and we love the fact that is spreads if a bare spot occurs. Jean K., Lilburn

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