detention basin in cincinnati


Old 10-02-11, 01:35 PM
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Lightbulb detention basin in cincinnati

I have a new-ish detention basin in my backyard. it holds water for about 24 hours, but as long as it doesn't continue to rain, it drains out. right now i have some ornamental grasses planted along the outside, just above the high water line, and have tall fescue in the the basin and a couple bog irises planted. the fescue is somewhat sparse, since it's only had one season to become established, but it's doing a lot better than the lot next door on the same basin. they mow theirs too much, i think. since this is 70% of my backyard, any input on making this area as enjoyable as possible? i am a gardener, so i don't mind putting effort into this area. should i be able to mow it all annually, like i did this year? should i stick with fescue? should i turn it into more of a rain garden? if so, what plants should i use? (i'm in cincinnati--border of ohio and kentucky) am i right to be leaning away from cattails? any input is appreciated. thanks.
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Old 10-04-11, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
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Hi neighbor. Fuscue is a good choice in our area. It will brown out in the dry weather but recovers quickly when it rains. As you know, we are on the way to a record rainfall year.

Last year we had a long dry spell, so don't count on a rain garden making it.

Don't cut it too short. it should be about 3 1/2 inches minimum. Cut it a bit shorter in late October or November, after we get a hard frost. That will prevent matting and diseases over the winter.

You can mow at any time or season, if it needs it and the ground is solid enough not to get your mower stuck.
Old 10-05-11, 10:58 AM
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Doesn't grow well here so I have no experience with tall fescue but I've heard it can look pretty good (though not manicured) if you don't cut it at all.
Old 10-05-11, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
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It's a good grass if you have a large yard. The blades are a bit course and urban lots look better with a finer blade. I cut about an acre and it works for me.

For more info, google Kentucky 31 Fescue.
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