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MudslinginFX4
08-23-2005, 05:24 PM
Hey guys, I've been working with some customers quite some time now in this particular neighborhood. Chemlawn installed and services all of the lawns in this upscale neighborhood for 1 year prior to the original install (I know, I know!). All we do is mow.

The yards have continued to deteriorate more and more throughout the year. Iíve talked with the customers and have finally convinced them this week to FIRE Chemlawn and go with me for the applications, aerating, and seeding. I am going to totally redo these lawns here in a couple of weeks.

My question to you is what would you do to these fescue (well really weedy) lawns to prep them for the seeding (slit seeding, aerating, etc.) in a couple of weeks? Should I apply a weed killer and kill off the whole lawn? Power rake it etc..? All I want for these lawns is a lush green lawn for next year, I donít care what it takes getting them to be like that. What are your suggestions? I pretty much know what Iím going to do but I wanted other opinions. Pictures of both lawns are below.

One other thing... parts of these yards do have brown patch, but for the most part that is not the problem. Almost ALL of the yards in the neighborhood look like this or worse! These are houses from the $400,000-$2,000,000+. These customers just want it done right!

MudslinginFX4
08-23-2005, 05:30 PM
Here are some more pictures. BTW... the worse of the two yards was sod installed back in May. Water was not an issue, they watered with their irrigation system as advised.

Envy Lawn Service
08-23-2005, 05:52 PM
That hurts my eyes... didn't know Chemlawn had a presence in NC.
But after seeing that... it really doesn't matter either way.

Personally, if it were me, I would worry very little about what is present. Weeds or grass, there is not much there either way. I would have to see them better to be sure, but I don't think I'd bother with anything more that spot spraying the worst things before renovating.

If it were me, I would be more focused on preparation. Those lawns need opening up where they can breath and also get a good cycle going for the seed. I would probably tine rake them out and core aerate, then rake to bust the cores, then apply the soil ammendments needed per the soil tests and then overseed with quality turf type tall fescue at a high rate. Maybe even as high as 10 lbs per thousand...

Either that or I would tine rake and slit seed.

MudslinginFX4
08-23-2005, 06:14 PM
That hurts my eyes... didn't know Chemlawn had a presence in NC.
But after seeing that... it really doesn't matter either way.

Personally, if it were me, I would worry very little about what is present. Weeds or grass, there is not much there either way. I would have to see them better to be sure, but I don't think I'd bother with anything more that spot spraying the worst things before renovating.

If it were me, I would be more focused on preparation. Those lawns need opening up where they can breath and also get a good cycle going for the seed. I would probably tine rake them out and core aerate, then rake to bust the cores, then apply the soil ammendments needed per the soil tests and then overseed with quality turf type tall fescue at a high rate. Maybe even as high as 10 lbs per thousand...

Either that or I would tine rake and slit seed.

Thanks Envy for responding so fast. I agree with you 100%. I could care less what the grass looks like right now, I think it will all fall on how I prep the yards for the big overseeding. I was thinking a long the same lines as you, raking, aerating, applying soil ammendments and seeding.

Does anyone else have other opinions?

Envy Lawn Service
08-23-2005, 06:28 PM
Thanks Envy for responding so fast. I agree with you 100%. I could care less what the grass looks like right now, I think it will all fall on how I prep the yards for the big overseeding. I was thinking a long the same lines as you, raking, aerating, applying soil ammendments and seeding.

Yeah, that's right. What is there and living will just be to help hold the soil for establishment of a real lawn. The raking would be to correct some of those areas that look all matted. The spring tine so called dethatchers are great for this. They will fluff this up and break it up. Plus with a little weight, the do a good job of scarifiying the soil if it's not hard as a brick. I get real good seed to soil contact from spring tine raking, core aerating and spring tine raking again before overseeding.

SodKing
08-23-2005, 07:03 PM
If they had been watering enough as you said they had then we have to investigate why the lawns died. My prognosis would be that the CL-TG high nitrogen applications have increased fungal activity and led to the decline in the lawn. Treat with Lesco Spectator for Dollar spot and Leaf spot and then this September Aerate, dethatch, then either slice seed or hydroseed the lawn...presto! new lawn.

kootoomootoo
08-23-2005, 07:10 PM
If they had been watering enough as you said they had then we have to investigate why the lawns died. My prognosis would be that the CL-TG high nitrogen applications have increased fungal activity and led to the decline in the lawn. Treat with Lesco Spectator for Dollar spot and Leaf spot and then this September Aerate, dethatch, then either slice seed or hydroseed the lawn...presto! new lawn.

BINGO

Had a customer with fairy ring all over a little while back....upon further investigation it turns out they were watering at 2am every morning 7 days a week. Lawn was never bagged and was getting thatchy. Watering and mowing practices aren't trugreens fault. The old trugreen "killed" my lawn is getting old.

jeffex
08-23-2005, 07:20 PM
1. spray for weeds
2. dethatch and use grass catcher on mower to collect thatch [rent dethatcher with seed box] leave the rake on the truck
3. rent aerator too and aerate lawn making two passes
4. apply 4 50lb bags of lime
5. apply starter fertilizer.
6. use spreader to overseed 25 lbs of seed that works well in your area.
7. apply another 50 lbs of seed with the dethatcher and seed box. make two passes in a X pattern for full coverage
8. fill out bill for $750.00 and tell them to water regularly
don't waste time starting over use the grass that is already there

Mope Head
08-23-2005, 08:02 PM
If they had been watering enough as you said they had then we have to investigate why the lawns died. My prognosis would be that the CL-TG high nitrogen applications have increased fungal activity and led to the decline in the lawn. Treat with Lesco Spectator for Dollar spot and Leaf spot and then this September Aerate, dethatch, then either slice seed or hydroseed the lawn...presto! new lawn.

Ditto that. Add up the May sodding, heavy fert, increased fungal activity...weak going into summer and probably never got a good root system going to make it through the heat. Looks like full sun too.

nobagger
08-23-2005, 09:19 PM
We don't fert. at all but all I can say is YIKES!!!!!!!!!! Did they get a refund?

ThreeWide
08-23-2005, 09:43 PM
It is very difficult to establish fescue sod in late Spring unless someone is REALLY on top of the situation.

Short of applying a good amount of phosphorous, root stimulants and fungicides, it is really a challenge even with adequate water. One would assume that CL applied their usual dosage of liquid urea and the new Fescue never had a chance.

Definitely do a soil test and correct any issues with pH and macros before seeding. Now is the time to start testing. Don't be surprised if you find the new construction lawns lacking in phosphorous.

You also should remove any current weeds with a selective herbicide to reduce competition when your new seed is down. This should be done a couple of weeks before seeding depending on the product you choose.

MudslinginFX4
08-23-2005, 10:03 PM
Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions! I will post results later in a month or two after the yards are complete.

Ketron'sLawnService
08-23-2005, 10:12 PM
There we have it kids, don't use drugs! Smoking grass will cost you in the long run. haha Dang, that yard looks horrible. I once mowed a chemlawn victim. The grass did really great for the first month or so, then thinned out, and DIED! But i still see the Chemlanw truck almost daily.....