Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Runway grass...

  1. #1
    Clyde and Susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    603
    Post Thanks / Like

    Runway grass...

    Here at Willits,California O28, we are just finishing up the installation of new runway lights and some logging near the runway. The FAA said that the trees had to go. They have made a muddy mess of the grass landing area beside the paved runway. We want to plant grass seed now hoping we get some more rain. The question is, what is the best variety of grass to sow? ...Clyde Davis

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Clyde and Susan:

    Runway grass is VERY regionally specific. I'm going through this just now, after some re-grading in our desert environment. What works here probably won't work where you folks are.

    A good start would be to contact your local Farm Extension Agent. These folks tend to be very smart, practical, and dialed in to local conditions. Some of the best money our tax dollars buy, in my warped opinion. A local farm seed dealer might be another good place to discuss your needs.

    What grasses are native in YOUR area? What is most durable? For example, some of the grasses tuned for kids' soccer fields are quite durable, but water-thirsty. These would be effective, but expensive and exotic for most aerodromes.

    The correct grass mix might need to be professionally drilled in, appropriately fertilised, and irrigated at the right times.

    Good luck, and let us all know how this turns out. I LOVE landing on nice grass.

    Thanks. cubscout

  3. #3
    CloudDancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    L. Ronstadt - J. Ingram Duet
    Posts
    1,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    I know it's no news to you supercub folk...it's a regular occurrence and daily joy. :P

    But for some of the folks my age and older who were able to start their flying lives off grass....DAMN....I sure MISS it.

    The tracks in the wet early moring dew covered grass ....the fragrance of the air as you side-slip in for a landing in a straight J-3 with the door pinned open and that ...card "shuffling" sound the old wooden propellor would make barely tickng over at idle.

    I hope...some day....SOME way....to make my ONLY flying in life that PURE and simple again for at least a WHILE before I die.

    CloudDancer

  4. #4
    polarpete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like
    Like was mentioned earlier, check with a local farm or university co-operative extentions for the climate conditions you have. You want a grass that doesn't grow very tall but holds up good to your climate.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    western Washington
    Posts
    531
    Post Thanks / Like
    I seeded the yard at my new home (14 years ago) with "pasture mix" from the local farm store. Would this sort of grass seed be packaged and distributed to be market-specific-- in other words, would there be one pasture mix for western washington and another for eastern washngton? Or (like I suspect) is it just a bunch of left overs of various specific grass seeds?

    Rooster

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    0
    Post Thanks / Like
    I am a farmer and have a grass strip in Illinois. Like Polar Pete said get a grass that is short, it will help on the amount of mowings needed. I would stay away from the mixes, with them you will probably get some stuff you do not want. You do need grass for your specific area. Good comments on the farm advisor in your county, they may be listed under your county name + Farm Extension Services or call the US Department of Soil Conservation Service in your area and they may help or at least direct you to someone that will have the answer. Good luck. Steve

  7. #7
    On Patrol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Wentworth NH" The WAD" NH96
    Posts
    3,346
    Post Thanks / Like
    Clyde,
    We were faced with the same situation at the WAD last year and after talking with several people we ended up at the local farm seed supplier.
    Tim Allen form the Org. was advising what is generally known as a Conservation Mix. On a local level these mixes are customized to promote growth and also have at least one grass seed that has a tendency to root sideways. We ended up with a mix of clover,rye, red fescue and white fescue along with others I can not remember. Tim advised we double the advice of the seed store at 100 lbs. per acre and move up to 200 lbs. This promoted fast growth and immediate good coverage. We were extremely pleased with the results. I found the clover to be a little thick for the mower at times when we allowed the grass to root wit a height up to 6".
    Good Luck
    John

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Coastal Bermuda is you best bet on runway grass.

  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    12,352
    Post Thanks / Like
    Talk to your local agricultural extension office, of which there WILL be one very near Willits.

    Be very careful with regional mixtures. One thing you don't want is any of the grass varieties that bunch up. As in bunch grasses. These will make for a rough surface, although they are really durable. So durable, they're nearly impossible to get rid of.

    That's what the Ag Extension folks are there for. Give em a call.

    MTV

  10. #10
    CPT. BLY
    Guest
    Hi Susan and Clyde
    Are you still paying $4.30 a gallon. I would work on that problem first. I always liked that Panama Red.

  11. #11
    Jon B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Willmar, MN (KBDH)
    Posts
    712
    Post Thanks / Like
    Clyde & Susan:

    Beware of some "pasture" mix seeds. Many have alfalfa seed, which is fine for cows but not so fine for runways. Alfalfa has a tremendous root sysytem but it's very attractive to pocket gophers and other ground-dwelling rodents. You may end up with holes and mounds on your strip.

    Jon B.

  12. #12
    scout88305's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    1,842
    Post Thanks / Like
    I 2nd pasture mix. Here is some in its early stages. Cover crop of Rye just got cut down the centerline. True what John says but none of them critters are ever around long enough to set up shop.


    “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

  13. #13
    spinner2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,925
    Post Thanks / Like
    I used crested wheat grass for our conditions in Montana.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Talkeetna Alaska
    Posts
    314
    Post Thanks / Like
    I bet the local golf course people will have a lot to say about this subject....

  15. #15
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    920
    Post Thanks / Like
    When I put my runway in, I consulted the Montana Aeronautics Comission, and found out what they used on all the back country strips in the state. It's called Sodar Streambank Wheatgrass, and it's the only thing they recommended. It grows short, and puts down about 18" of root, and is a nice bluegrass color. The best thing about it, is that the animals don't really like the taste...so you'll see them come out on the runway and take a bite, then walk off, to get some good tasting stuff somewhere else! It's downside is that it's really tough, so you need to have a good sharp blade when mowing. It's extremely drought resistant and grows fairly fast. It was pretty expensive, (can't remember exactly how much anymore, and that was 10+ years ago) but well worth it in my opinion. It wont clump, and seems to spread and even out pretty nice. They said it's specially "bred" to need very little care.
    JH

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    western Washington
    Posts
    531
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by cubscout
    .....................
    A good start would be to contact your local Farm Extension Agent. These folks tend to be very smart, practical, and dialed in to local conditions. Some of the best money our tax dollars buy, in my warped opinion.
    ..............
    When I read this, an image of the county agent from the old Green Acres TV show popped into my head.........

  17. #17
    Snert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,763
    Post Thanks / Like
    You mean Hank Kimball

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like
    The grass Hardtailjohn suggests sounds pretty ideal if it will work in your climate.

    I'll second that suggestion on golf courses. Find two or three courses in your area and ask to speak to the golf course superintendent at each course. He's paid to keep his grass alive and should know which varieties would work best based on your area's rainfall and temperature range.

    He should also know the best variety vs. your intended mowing height, mowing frequency, and traffic and will know good sources for seed.

    Again, get at least two or three opinions, and ask how long they have been growing grass in this area.

    JonC

  19. #19
    Clyde and Susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    603
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks you-all,
    Lots of good advice here. We don't have the water to irrigate so the grass has to go dormant during 3 to 4 months in the summer when we don't get rain. We get enough rain in winter for it to stay green the rest of the time. The wild grass that's here now only needs mowing about twice in the spring. We only have about 4 or five planes here that use the grass so it doesn't get excessive traffic. I'll let you know what we decide to plant.

    I flew around in our Cub today to see how the new PAPI looks from the air. I never make an approach that low in the Cub. I am not sure that it is set up right. I am keeping it turned off until it is calibrated. The new runway lights sure look nice. The edge lights are white to the halfway point and then amber for the rest of the runway. That's all for the pavement of course. Thanks again for the advice. ...Clyde Davis [O28]

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    26
    Post Thanks / Like
    In North Dakota we use Fairway Crested Wheat Grass. This is recommended by our Ag dept and the golf courses because it is a sodding grass and not a clumping grass.

    A sodding grass will do just that, sod, which can be nice and smooth. It also heals itself if you happen to lay on the breaks or do your run up in the same place every time. Vary where you do your run up.

    Clumping grasses clump and your landing gear will thump without bushwheels.

    Stay away from mixes. They can be like sausage, you don't know what someone may be hiding in there.

    Definately contact your Ag dept or local golf course.

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

Similar Threads

  1. How Do You Mow Your Runway?
    By Patrol Guy in forum Tips and Tricks
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 04-27-2010, 09:36 PM
  2. Landing on flooded grass runway
    By teeweed in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-27-2005, 04:48 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •