View Full Version : no spray?

09-04-2005, 01:15 AM
Now I should first inform you that I only have a fert license. I most always sub the pesticide out. I am in Iowa. The other day I picked up a house that a guy just bought. The lawn is under 5 years old and was close to 8 inches tall when I mowed it. It has crabgrass and foxtail scattered all over the little more than an acre, about half of which is pretty thin and thatchy. This was a horse pasture until about 5 years ago so there is also the stray clover and alfalfa. Also the rest of the area remains in horse pasture so there is plenty of source for weed seeds. Surprisingly, because the yard was pretty much neglected according to a neighbor who saw me working and came over to see what I was doing, the yard has no large areas that are weed infested. I saw clover, a couple of dandelions, one 3x3 area of plantain, and about every 15 to 20 feet there is a foxtail plant or crabgrass. Also a scattering of ground violets. I also saw a couple of weeds that I can't seem to identify. I will post them in the end. The lawn appears to be a landscapers mix and was seeded. That would be mostly fescue and rye grasses with 18 to 20% bluegrass. Maybe I should mention that this guy is moving here from Kentucky. We had a nice discussion about the differences in rye and fescues and his bluegrass. He asked me to come up with a plan to make his lawn the best in the neighborhood. A $300,000.00 property. This is a big oportunity for me. Whomever takes care of the surrounding properties mows way too close. They mow at 1.5 inches. The lawns look like crap and are way weedier than my clients yard.
After doing a bunch of research and a bit of experience, my thought is that this lawn could be turned around in one season by simply aerating, dethatching, fert., overseed or slit seed, and topdressed with a little mulch. If it thickens up enough this fall, is there a possibility that even crabgrass preventer would not be necessary? Before I really looked at the lawn, I asked if it needed aerated. He said he didn't want it done because the ground isn't very compacted. I don't think the previous owner did much outside. The ground is pretty loamy. Does this lawn still need aeration or can I skip this step as the homeowner asks?
Well, that's a lot of questions so I'll stop here for now. I have till Sept 12 to come up with a plan, which would be close to the limit on turning this lawn around.

Sorry about the quality of pic #2. Maybe someone will still recognize it.

09-04-2005, 01:53 AM
Here is a letter I drafted. Does it sound like a good plan? I really want this job because of the oportunity to get my foot in this neighborhood. The keighbor we talked to was very receptive and mentioned she may have some work.

09-04-2005, 02:18 AM
Oh, and in 15 1' x 1' plugs, only 1 grub. I really spent some time going over this yard. I just hope I've learned enough in the last couple of years, to be able to fix this yard.

09-06-2005, 05:12 PM
Thank you

09-06-2005, 06:47 PM
first I'd say aeration is a very beneficial service for any lawn....not just lawns with compacted soil, which is most lawns. So, yes, i would push the aeration.

I'd skip the "no need for pesticides", and definately apply a preemergent crabgrass control in the spring and treat broadleaf weeds as needed.