Jump to content
  • Welcome to Recreational Flying!
    A compelling community experience for all aviators
    Intuitive, Social, Engaging...Registration is FREE.
    Register Log in
Sign in to follow this  
Soleair

Best seed for grass strip?

Recommended Posts

I am fortunate to be able to convert part of my land into a grass strip. In the next couple of weeks, I am getting a bobcat fitted with a soil conditioner (rotary harrow drum type thingy) to level the paddock for a 400m strip. I'm promised it leaves the surface level & prepped ready for seeding.

 

The soil is clay, with lots of basalt field stones lying around. Annual rainfall is allegedly approx 600mm in my part of northern Vic (Macedon Ranges/Mitchell shire), though I haven't seen much of this since I've been here :(

 

My question is, what type of grass should I plant for my strip? Should it include any clover? I have a bore, & a dam nearby, but will have to work out some method of watering, so any comments on this would be welcome.

 

I would greatly appreciate input from those who have done this - or know about grass, its care, etc. Please note, this thread is NOT about the legalities of setting up a strip, whether or no planning permission is required, etc. This has all been covered very fully in earlier threads.

 

TIA

 

Bruce

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd start out by seeing what is used on local sports ovals etc. Non clumping and an 'amenity' species.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In temperate climates between 15 & 25 deg, cool climate grasses like ryegrass, fescue and bentgrass (browntop) grow best and make a very good grass lawn. Mostly a blend of the 3 works best & some blends are more hard wearing than others. . Most seed producers sell blends for different requirements like football fields, cricket grounds and golf courses. I have never heard of an airstrip blend though. They're at their best during the spring and autumn periods, and are suited for the cooler climates, e.g. Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, ACT and some areas of New South Wales. It grows fast in Spring & Autumn so a fair bit of mowing is required & can brown right off in Summer in drought conditions. In winter it just stays green & doesn't grow much at all. These grasses are also non invasive unlike the warm climate grasses such as Kikuyu and Couch.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go to your nearest Golf course and ask the grounds person what they use on the fairways. Local knowledge is always the best!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QLD blue couch

Geez at $2000+/20kg and 10g/m2, you're looking at roughly $1/m2 for the surface you want to seed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went in to the local Landmark depot today. Had a long chat with the guy there. We looked at various grasses, best one looked to be described as 'oval mix' or something similar. Used on footy fields & at Lethbridge airfield. Mix of various different grasses. Looked ideal, until I worked out that for a 400m x 10m seeded strip, price of seed alone was around $1200! So I'll prolly just go with Vic rye, which browns off in summer but recovers with rain. Cost is less than 200 bucks.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only reason I suggested couch is, it runs along the ground and also its designed to be a lawn so doesn't grow very high, its not intended to be food for livestock.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I went in to the local Landmark depot today. Had a long chat with the guy there. We looked at various grasses, best one looked to be described as 'oval mix' or something similar. Used on footy fields & at Lethbridge airfield. Mix of various different grasses. Looked ideal, until I worked out that for a 400m x 10m seeded strip, price of seed alone was around $1200! So I'll prolly just go with Vic rye, which browns off in summer but recovers with rain. Cost is less than 200 bucks.

Just remember......you pay peanuts you get monkeys. taz.gif.490d45736e0c5b2b8aed4ec1b230ed8b.gif

 

Pay the money and have it for years!

 

Vic rye needs heaps of fertilizer ( $400.00 per ton ), will not stand heavy traffic and has a short growing season.

 

Do it once and do it properly.

 

But what would I know I'm only a farmer ?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also go for Qld Blue Couch - which apparently is not actually a couch, nor does it come from Qld, but whatever ... I like the low maintenance and the way it spreads to cover bald patches and is soft enough to have a low rolling resistance for a plane.

 

If you want to reduce the sowing cost for any grass type, as long as it is a variety that spreads readily and you're happy to be a little patient, I would avoid using seed altogether. As mentioned above, birds will probably eat 90% of the seed you sow, so that's a big cost in itself.

 

If you buy about 1% of the coverage you need in Qld Blue turf, you can break the turf apart and during the wet part of your year, plant small pieces at about 300mm grid spacing. Just spike a hole in wet ground, place a small clump of turf and press the soil back around it. In a month or so, the small pieces will have started to produce runners and in about twelve months the patches should be all closed up.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just remember......you pay peanuts you get monkeys. taz.gif.490d45736e0c5b2b8aed4ec1b230ed8b.gifPay the money and have it for years!

Vic rye needs heaps of fertilizer ( $400.00 per ton ), will not stand heavy traffic and has a short growing season.

 

Do it once and do it properly.

 

But what would I know I'm only a farmer ?

Butch, I suggested Demeter Fescue because the roots would stabilise the dirt and the stalks are thin, so much lower rolling resistance for take offs.

This strip is pretty much right in your local area, what are your thoughts on DF, and what would you recommend as a professional farmer used to acreage?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How to make an all weather stabilised grass runway!!! Just add plastic then seed.

 

Individual blocks have been tested to support

 

26 ton = 260 ton per sq mtr.

 

Tests done on empty cells.

 

Grass-Cel® can be sawn, filled, drilled or shaped with normal hand tools. If you like the idea of turf driveways that will stand up to the wear and tear, Grass-Cel® is for you. Grass-Cel® offers an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sensitive alternative to usual driveway and parking area materials, providing a secure foundation for cars and service vehicles. Grass-Cel® is very durable. It is resistant to rot and decay, vermin and insects, petroleum, oil and ordinary solvents, weather and temperature extremes, warping, chipping and water. Applications include:

 

  • Driveways
     
     
  • Parking areas
     
     
  • Soil stabilisation
     
     
  • Tree wells
     
     
  • Worn Postman tracks
     
     

 

 

 

 

  • Walkways
     
     
  • Overflow parking
     
     
  • Access roads
     
     
  • Golf car parks & buggy tracks
     
     
  • Air Strips / Runways
     
     

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not for the price! 037_yikes.gif.9a64ebbf1bd0ab78266ef9f42a443789.gif

 

Dimensions of block: 325mm x 323mm x 37mm

 

Pack of blocks (10): covers 0.95m²

 

Price: $33.25

 

500mx20m = 10,000m2 = $332,500.

 

Another brand "Turf cell" seems to be marginally cheaper, but still well over $30/m2

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucerne can end up a bit rough after a while.

 

I would suggest sticking with the grass mix and instead of doing the full 10metres to start with just do the centre five and let it creep out as time goes on. If you are planting varieties that creep then plant it thinner and let it fill in. It is a bit of a compromise though because if you don't get it thick enough quick enough you will end up with weeds.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Butch, I suggested Demeter Fescue because the roots would stabilise the dirt and the stalks are thin, so much lower rolling resistance for take offs.This strip is pretty much right in your local area, what are your thoughts on DF, and what would you recommend as a professional farmer used to acreage?

Turbo you are probably right for a cheap option !

Twitch grass (some kind of couch) is a real problem in Macedon Ranges as it grows and spreads like wildfire. Local farmers blame golf courses for it's appearance, they have to spray and cultivate to get it out of their pastures. That's why I suggested going to the local golf course to find out what its Official name is. Once it's established it near impossible to kill and like most couches it grows low to the ground with very little mowing needed.

 

Would a perennial such as lucerne do the trick? Once it has established a deep root system I think it might withstand being mown short.

Don't even think about it ! Lucerne mown low and often won't last. It is designed to be in a rotation so it can recuperate and needs to be let grow out (30cm high) quite often or it will die out.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QLD blue couch

- couch is hardy, but make sure nobody in your family is allergic to its pollen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue couch is good if it will grow at Macedon, which I doubt. It is not without problems, I have it on my property naturally, but it has tended to die out and be replaced by a red runner grass, which is rubbish. I will have to dig up some that I took to the strip and bring it back home as suggested by head in the clouds.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should let mother nature set it's course. To water and maintain a 400m strip is going to mean lots of work. What I do at home with my lawn is mow it if it rains and if doesn't rain forget about it because I don't have enough water for it.And to irrigate a 400m strip is going to need a lot of water and infrastructure to do it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later for your post to be seen If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...