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View Full Version : Renovating Lawn ?'s


zeiram
09-23-2005, 06:41 PM
Looking to renovate my lawn.. PH is good, fertilized a bit during the summer.. it's a third of an acre. The grass is patchy and in rough shape..

Was looking to use a sod cutter on it, till it, use some starter fertlizer and then seed with kentucky bluegrass..

any suggestions/recommendations?

thanks!

Mower For Less
09-23-2005, 09:02 PM
Looking to renovate my lawn.. PH is good, fertilized a bit during the summer.. it's a third of an acre. The grass is patchy and in rough shape..

Was looking to use a sod cutter on it, till it, use some starter fertlizer and then seed with kentucky bluegrass..

any suggestions/recommendations?

thanks!

Why sod cut and till??? Usually if you sod cut you will want to re-lay new sod, otherwise the height of the grade will be off. You could use Round-Up to kill off the existing, and then overseed. Tilling is nice if you can do it, but it is alot more labor intensive and you will have to regrade it after tilling. Also, straight KB is nice, but will take a month to germinate and may get infested with weeds in that time. I would throw some annual rye in their too to speed things along and help the KB out.

Kevin

zeiram
09-23-2005, 09:14 PM
Why sod cut and till??? Usually if you sod cut you will want to re-lay new sod, otherwise the height of the grade will be off. You could use Round-Up to kill off the existing, and then overseed. Tilling is nice if you can do it, but it is alot more labor intensive and you will have to regrade it after tilling. Also, straight KB is nice, but will take a month to germinate and may get infested with weeds in that time. I would throw some annual rye in their too to speed things along and help the KB out.

Kevin


Thanks for the quick response Kevin - Can I get away with tilling the existing grass under, or am I just churning some of the weeds back into the soil? I don't mind doing a little tilling and grading, if it'll help to aerate the soil and promote stronger growth.. Also, if I use a universal herbicide like Round-Up, how long should I wait before tilling and reseeding? I planned on hitting the local Agway/Home Depot and picking up as good quality seed as I can find.. I'll look for the KB/Rye combo with as little weed content as possible... Also, I have a shaded area in my back yard (pretty much the back 25% is under two trees...) Is it worth trying to buy a shade-tolerant grass seed and trying to get it to grow? I had someone else recommend a core-aerator over roto-tilling... any thoughts?

zeiram
09-23-2005, 09:31 PM
Hmm. Done some serious thinking. I live in CT and it's almost Oct. I think I might change my approach.. lemme know what you think:

1. (This weekend) Hit the lawn with a non-selective herbicide... Buy a pair of aerating shoes and walk around the yard to try and uncompact the soil.

2. Wait until early spring.. Walk around the yard with the aerating shoes and then hit the lawn again with the non-selective herbicide. Wait 10 days.

3. Rent a slit-seeder, seed, apply starter fertilizer and water like mad.

Better plan?

turfsurfer
09-23-2005, 09:54 PM
The aerating shoes actually compact the soil more since they don't actually remove any plugs, thsy just push the soil aside to make the hole. Use a real aerator.

Mower For Less
09-24-2005, 01:19 AM
4. Hit the yard with roundup THIS weekend (use the pro stuff with 24 hour results).
Next Weekend Friday & Saturday: Water Really Good then Core Aerate (rent one if you have to instead of buying those silly shoes) the entire yard. Go over it two or three passes to really pull alot of cores. Do this on Saturday while the soil is still moist from the watering.
Sunday: Rent a slit seeder and overseed the entire lawn.

Water 2-3 times per day for the next month.

You should have a nice lawn just in time for winter.

Kevin

zeiram
09-24-2005, 02:00 PM
Pics of my lawn - How do I deal with the shaded areas?

Front Yard Left Side:

http://members.cox.net/zeiram/DSCF0043.JPG

Front Yard Right Side:

http://members.cox.net/zeiram/DSCF0054.JPG

Close up of grass in front yard:

http://members.cox.net/zeiram/DSCF0045.JPG

Back Yard: (note line of shade toward back) (and yes, that's a cemetary.. please no "guess you don't any fertilizer" jokes :D

http://members.cox.net/zeiram/DSCF0049.JPG

ProMo
09-24-2005, 02:23 PM
:laugh: [QUOTE=zeiram Buy a pair of aerating shoes and walk around the yard to try and uncompact the soil.[/QUOTE
now that is funny
I would add a good organic topsoil and till it.

timturf
09-26-2005, 01:06 PM
Looks like maybe you have some k-31 in yard!

I would get a soil test from a & L labs, the s-2 test, correct the chemistry this fall and winter, apply some QUALITY FERTILIZER, no mop, get on a quality fertilizer and weed control program next year, then I would evaluate the need to overseed or re-establish the lawn, but start much sooner, I believe it's too late now, and you need to evaluate why yoiu turf density is so poor

nate1422
09-26-2005, 01:53 PM
In regards to the post about using quality fertilizer, what are some brands of fertilizer that everyone recommends. I just used Lebanon Seaboards Greenskeeper on my yard, first time using there product, spreads like a charm. Lesco seams to be a popular choice from what I have seen in other posts but I think that is somewhat due to availability.

timturf
09-26-2005, 01:58 PM
Lebanon makes many grades of fertilizer, including proscapes, and have blend an organic fert also using nature safe product. Greenskeeper is a low qaulity fert they produce, but still better than alot of material! Look for slow release n, SOP, AND avoid nutrients in bag that have high salt index

GreenUtah
09-26-2005, 02:48 PM
I think the problems there extend well beyond soil fertility. Is there an irrigation method for this property or just rainfall? I would bet that soil is as hard as cement and will definitely need to be opened and have organic material added. The TF clumps are an indication of compaction, low mowings and improper waterings. I personally would kill everything there, aerate or till, while adding a layer of fine grade mulch or compost then reseed and make sure you address the cultural (watering/mowing) conditions. What you apply, as far as a brand goes, is less important than how much of what and when.

zeiram
09-26-2005, 08:44 PM
Thanks all for the great advice. Well... Story tyme - on Saturday I did a little raking to clear the area and a bit and unknowingly disturbed a yellowjacket nest in the ground toward the back part of the property. After being stung once, and given the motivation to run, I was stung again as I ran toward the front of the house. Niiice. I went inside, waited a few minutes to make sure I didn't go into anaphylactic shock (haven't been stung by a bee in 17 years) and then went out to get back to work - i.e fill my atomizing sprayer with water and concentrated round-up for grass killing. Mind you, this is at least 50 yards away from where I was raking, and in addition, a good hour later.. Just standing there, minding my own biz, filling the sprayer I got stung again in the stomach! Needless to say I was done with yardwork for the day.

zeiram
09-26-2005, 08:54 PM
Anyhoo. Went out on Sunday (avoiding the bee's nest, as it's in an area with very little vegetation anyway) and sprayed the round-up on the lawn...

It was concentrate.. Glyphosate and inactive ingredients. I'm really not sure how long it's going to take to do it's work... Haven't noticed any difference in the past 24 hours.. As an aside: I did stumble over some mole tunnels in the backyard.. I had trapped/killed one earlier in the year and they had dispersed for most of the summer, apparently one or two are back with a vengence.

Any recommendations on what to do next? I was planning on watering the soil on friday a bit to prep for core aerating, subsequently renting a core aerator and aerating on saturday and then renting a slit-seeder for sunday. Am I rushing things too much? Should I till instead of aerate?

Note: The areas in the backyard where you see big open patches of dirt are because the last owner draped 'astroturf' in the area and fenced it in to keep an eye on his kids.

Lastly, I tested the ph of the soil and it seemed ok.. tested in the front yard, and a few places in the backyard. A tiny bit acidic, but pretty much ok.

timturf
09-26-2005, 09:29 PM
get a proper soil testfrom a lab that will give you base saturations! one lab would be A & L labs, 519 457 2575 or 804 743 9401 request a s-2 test the lab will give % om, ern, p, k, mg cA, SODIUM, PH, BUFFER INDEX H, C.E.C. BASE SATURATIONS OF K,MG, CA,NA,H, MICRO AVAILABLE ALSO, also get soluble salts

thois is a must, get soil chemistry correct!

zeiram
09-26-2005, 09:35 PM
http://members.cox.net/zeiram/soiltest.JPG

S2M?

fall46
09-27-2005, 03:13 PM
Go to this website

http://www.allabs.com/analytical_services/analytical_turf.htm

click on prices and services


S2-M is a specific type of test

that will give your soil anaylsis,


from that you cater your fert application around

timturf
09-28-2005, 09:46 AM
Each lab ( A & L) is independently own, and have different prices, and pachages.

I get a basic package which includes om, enr,p, k, ca, mag, h, soil and buffer ph,cec, and % base saturation of cation elements. I then add soluble salts and sodium. To get this from A & L Eastern labs in Richmond, va, you need to ask for S2 test with recommendations, costing $11.00, I always tell them it's for a lawn I'm establishing instead of existing lawn, that way I get the recommendations to correct the soil chemistry immediately, even though I realize it may take several applications to do so! Other wise their recommendations are assuming you will apply for several years at their recommendations, then retesting in 3 years.

Don't forget to idetify type of grass!

turfcobob
09-29-2005, 03:14 PM
Want a new lawn...Don't sod cut it....Don't till it...You do not even have to go in and kill the stuff that is there. We did a lawn here a few years back for an ETV half hour show..Video was titled "How to grow a Living Carpet". Here is what we did..

1. Core Aerate (Aeration shoes are only good for ice fishing) the devil out of the lawn try to get it so you have 14 or ore holes per sq. ft. One every 2 to 3 inches.

2. Let the cores dry then go in and overseed with a slit type seeder. One that will actually cut slices into the ground up to 3/8 inch deep. the closer the slits the better. Especially if you plan to put down some Fescue as it will not creep over time. Blue will.. The overseeder should have fixed knife blades, not flail. Flail blades will not do a good cutting job. Lesco and Turfco both have good seeders for this job. Rental units are usually flail and you will not get a good job out of one.

3. Overseed the lawn twice in two directions so you get a good cover on the seed. Cross cut in a diamond pattern as it covers better. Also this allows you to get a good even job all across the lawn...why? Since you will be going over the lawn twice cut your seed applicaion rate to 50% and go over the first pass. Measure you seed and adjust the seeder accordingly for the second pass. Seeders and seeding is not an accurate game. By measuring your seed you will know if you used half more or less on the first pass and then adjust.
4. We then did the aftercare right to the numbers. Light watering daily till the grass was up. when it was up water heavy every other day to drive the roots down. After first mowing water heavier every third day to drive the roots better to more depth.
5. Next spring hit it with some weed prevention and preemerge and walla a beautiful "LIVING CARPET"

We used a blend of Rye, fescue and blue for the best of all worlds. Now 20 years later it is still a beautiful lawn...

zeiram
04-01-2006, 08:31 PM
Greetings again..

Part (2) of my old thread:

Current situation:

Yard is pretty barren, thanks to my non-selective herbicide last fall - I had a soil test about a week ago and aside from a little bit acidity (6.1 ph) everything looks good to go.

Here's my plan (tell me what you think)

1. Next weekend (4/8) apply approximately 650 lbs of ground limestone to soil and till entire 13k sq feet with rented tiller.

2. Weekend of 4/15 or 4/22, use drop spreader to distribute kentucky bluegrass on light shaded areas, and scott's shady mixed on heavier shaded areas. Follow by spreading Scotts starter fertilizer and then when finished, drop spread mulch over seeds.

3. Water a lot.



Any thoughts? Sound like a sound plan?

Also, what do I do about weeds taking over with a new seeded lawn? and should I put down grub-ex in early May like I was planning, or will it be detrimental to the new lawn?

Thanks for any insight!