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Squirter
02-19-2009, 12:20 PM
i live in central indiana and have a lawn (approx 10,000 sq.ft.) of mostly kentucky bluegrass with a bit of perennial rye. i also have an in-ground irrigation system. i am also a homeowner "do-it yourselfer" when it comes to lawn treatment. i gain a great deal of satisfaction from making my lawn look its best. over the last few years, i haven't been real satisfied my results and have often wondered if Scott's was really the way to go.

right or wrong, i've decided to try john deere landscapes and their lesco products. since it's getting about that time of year when i need to begin lawn treatments, i was hopeful you "pro's" could recommend a lawn care program using lesco stuff. please be specific.

also, what products could i buy that will be most effective in preventing weeds from growing in my mulch beds (around the foundation). you know...kinda like Preen, only better. how/when do i use/apply it? i'm tired of bending down to pull weeds around my shrubs/perennials.

p.s. i do have a 4 gal. backpack sprayer (SP) that i could use for liquid products. however, i prefer using my rotary spreader for granular products to cover the 10,000 sq/ft of turf grass.

thanks for your ideas.

LawnTamer
02-19-2009, 12:32 PM
Fertilizers will be area specific, I imagine you will get some answers from people in the mid-west, as for your beds, I recommend Snapshot. Lesco carries it. It is a good pre-emergent for beds.

You can also use your backpack sprayer with some round-up to keep weeds out of your bed, just go out on a calm day, or even make a cone for your wand tip, it is very easy. Take a clear 2 ltr pop bottle, cut the top 5-6" off, place the opening over your wand tip, and tape in place. Now, you can target specific plants, (weeds) even in windy conditions. just place the bottle top over the weed, and squeeze the trigger.

LushGreenLawn
02-19-2009, 01:37 PM
The best thing for you to do is ask you local lesco rep. They will already have a program designed for your area.

If your comfortable with calibration for liquids, you would be better off spraying liquid post emergent weed control on your turf, rather then relying on granular post emergentweed control products.

I would suspect that your past issues are from using granular weed control. There is a reason that no reputable companies use granular weed control for broadleaf weeds, it simply does not work well. Granuler Fertilizer and Pre-emergent weed control products, however, do work well.

mrkosar
02-19-2009, 06:05 PM
lush hit most of the important things. i would take it a step further if you are really into your lawn. get a soil test and bring it to lesco. have them give you a program based on that.

aerate in the spring. aerate and overseed thin or bare spots in the fall. if you really want to get crazy, then topdress the lawn after the aeration with compost.

use granular ferts and spot treat weeds with something like Red Zone when they pop up. no need to spray the entire lawn.

or just call a local company so you have more time to watch the baseball game and drink a cold one.

oh yeah...i almost forgot the most important thing. maybe more important than your fert program. mow and water properly. mow the grass at 3 inches, don't collect the clippings, make sure the mower's blade is sharp, change directions, don't mow when it is wet...water deeply and infrequently (1-2 inches a week in summer) and water in the morning.

good luck.

Hissing Cobra
02-19-2009, 09:47 PM
I'm not too sure if this program or the dates will work in your area, but this is the program that I give out to homeowners in the Northeast.

April 15th = 19-0-6 Fertilizer + Dimension (provides 90 days of Crabgrass Pre-emergent control, wearing off around July 15th or so)

May 27th* = 19-0-6 Fertilizer + Dimension (provides an additional 90 days of Crabgrass Pre-emergent control, wearing off around August 27th or so. MORE IMPORTANTLY, it doubles the Crabgrass protection from May 27th until July 15th.

*If you get weeds in the springtime, spot treat them with either Eliminate-D or Speedzone Southern herbicides and try to spray early in the morning, before the sun gets hot.

July 8th = 24-0-5 Fertilizer + Merit (provides approximately 97% grub control for remainder of season)

August 19th = 28-5-12 Fertilizer + 3% Iron

September 30th = 21-3-21 + 2% Iron. Also, you should apply a full rate of lime according to your soil test. In my area, I recommend 50 lbs. per 1,000 sq. feet (10 bags = 10,000 sq. ft.)

These products are going to be a bit expensive but you'll see excellent results, especially with the Iron based fertilizers. If your lawn gets disease problems such as Red Thread, use granular Bayleton as soon as it first appears and follow that up 30 days later with another application. Remember, water deeply but infrequently! Watering everyday will accelerate disease pressure.

You should also start the season off with a soil test and when you're applying the fertilizers, apply them so that you're getting 1lb. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. As for the beds, use Treflan in April and again in July and you should see a dramatic reduction in weeds. For any that may pop through, use Round Up Quik Pro to eliminate them.

Again, ask your John Deere Landscapes reps as I'm sure your area is different than mine.

turf&tree
02-19-2009, 10:44 PM
I am sorry, did he say he was a do it yourselfer??? I had to take state tests to put this stuff down. I have to be insured to put this stuff down. For years I have been opposed to places like Lesco selling to homeowners. All the States are worried about LCO'S poisoning the soil, they should see what the homeowners do to it. Go to Home Depot for your products!!

Fert33
02-19-2009, 11:13 PM
I am sorry, did he say he was a do it yourselfer??? I had to take state tests to put this stuff down. I have to be insured to put this stuff down. For years I have been opposed to places like Lesco selling to homeowners. All the States are worried about LCO'S poisoning the soil, they should see what the homeowners do to it. Go to Home Depot for your products!!

I agree with what you say about homeowners possibly screwing up the soil. The guy is at least on a site filled with professionals that should be able to point him in the right direction so he does not mess it up. So use this chance to help the guy, not bash him. As long as he is only doing his property he can do that without a license. It is not up to jdl to sell or not sell. Only if the label is restricted are they unable to sell to homeowners or unlicensed applicators. Your complaint should be to all the companies that make the product or the State in which you reside.

Hissing Cobra
02-20-2009, 12:22 AM
I agree.

Turf&tree, not all homeowners pollute the environment! What I find is that the hardest part for homeowners is that they do not know when to do each application and in what order they need to be applied. Once that's out of the way, they seem to do well.

YOU have to be licensed and insured because you apply these products for profit. Homeowners do not! There's a big difference between you servicing 500 lawns and a homeowner servicing 1 lawn.

Like anything in life, there's plenty of good and bad on both sides of the argument. There's plenty of homeowners AND plenty of professionals that pollute the environment. There's also plenty of both who do not.

Education is the key and this guy came to the right place. Sending him to John Deere Landscapes is also the right place, as the Managers and Assistant Managers know their stuff and can educate him as he goes. Sending him to one of the big box stores is not the right place because the people who sell the products at those locations usually don't have a clue.

PSUTURFGEEK
02-20-2009, 12:46 AM
I agree, with the last two posts but two shots of 19-0-6 in the spring is a little much in almost any area, maybe a 13-0-5 double app. all that N in the spring isn't really needed.

Squirter
02-20-2009, 08:05 AM
I appreciate the information/suggestions given by those willing to help. Thanks!!! I am not offended by the remark about homeowners polluting the environment as I completely understand the concern. I am not purchasing mass quantities of "bad stuff" from jdl unless 1 gal. of RedZone qualifies me as a polluter.

As for some of the other replies, I am looking forward to bringing a soil sample to jdl prior to or in conjunction with beginning my 2009 fert program. Hopefully the results will steer me in a direction that produces a better looking lawn than the guess work or cookie cutter (Scotts) approach I've taken in the past.

Also, I have aerated (annually) and over-seeded (occasionally) but have never applied a top-dressing...much to my disappointment. I just don't know how to prepare/purchase a proper mixture nor have I determined a good way to apply that won't cause me to "over work". Believe me, I've wanted to top-dress as I believe it would take my lawn to higher level.

Watering has not been a problem since I have the irrigation system. I always water in the early morning (5:15 a.m.) and do so about twice/week. (I love my MP Rotator nozzles for uniform distribution) As for "problems" with my lawn that I mentioned above, last year it seemed I was battling a rust fungus along with red thread and some brown patch but eventually it was controlled. I don't know if it fixed itself through mother nature (temps/humidity) or whether I brought it to health by following the recommendations of jdl (more nitrogen so the grass would "grow itself healthy"). In any event, I was trying lots of stuff. I also keep my lawn cut on the highest mower setting possible and have NOT collected the clippings....BUT, I think that is about to change (to some extent) this Spring when I buy a new Walker mower with the Grass Handling System. I guess I don't see this as a problem but I suppose this is a topic of much debate.

Hopefully, this year my lawn will be even better since I overseeded last Fall using 100% kentucky bluegrass which is suppose to be a bit more disease proof than the established perennial rye. Sorry if I gave the impression I was relying solely on granular post emerg weed control. The only granular weed control I used last year was Scott's (step 2)...and when that didn't work so well, I treated broadleafs with liquid Post emerg Red Zone and was quite impressed with the results.

Again, the reason for my post was to get some tips from y'all on a good jdl fert program (granular!!!!!!!!). i also appreciate tips on products I could buy to control weeds (pre-emerg) and crabgrass. I really was interested in how I could keep the darn weeds out of my mulch bed(s) using some kind of pre-emerg.

Thanks again for your help!!!!! Yours truly "the do-it-yourselfer"....just trying to do his best through gaining knowledge from others.

turf&tree
02-20-2009, 03:29 PM
Sorry if I came off as a jerk, but I can't understand why homeowners want to spend there time or money doing it themselves when a lawncare company can offer the service for alot less. We already have the overpriced equipment, have gone to the universities to study this and get degrees and most of us have dedicated our lives to this profession. Would you attempt to build an airplane without the proper knowledge or tools? I hope not. My second point is I spend upwards of $100,000 a year with JDL and am still stuck on saturday mornings behind the guy at JDL who wants 1 bag of fertilizer and has to call his wife to get the credit card number because he forgot his wallet when i am trying to pick up 2 pallets of fert. Sorry if that makes me what I am, but there is a home depot right down the street for that guy. Also the ones by us sell lesco products. So if they have the time to DIY they can go stand behind the guy that forgot his credit card at home depot.
Enough said, I actually found a supplier of a superior fertilizer( non sulphur coated) at a company called Turfgrass Inc. They do not sell to homeowners and have far better quality products. I will find another thread, Sorry

JWTurfguy
02-20-2009, 04:09 PM
Sounds like Turf&Tree is having a bad day.....

Kudos to the homeowner that wants a little info so he can do the job right.

Obviously, this is an industry-related thread, but why bash the guy? Just because you choose to build your own deck instead of paying a contractor to do it, does that make you reckless and irresponsible? Not if you do it intelligently and work safely. Why should it be any different for a homeowner who wants to maintain his own green grass?

As far as bashing supply-houses that choose to sell certain non-restricted chemicals to homeowners is concerned, how would you feel if you went to Home Depot to buy a light switch, just to have a gang of electricians start bashing you and calling you irresponsible? After all, if you don't know what you're doing, you could burn down your house. You wouldn't appreciate the unnecessary grief, and neither should homeowners who choose to work on their own lawns. That being said, I used to work for Lesco, and would sell to homeowners all the time, with the rule that contractors always had the right-of-way. In other words, as long as no one else is waiting in line, help the guy. As soon as a real contractor walks in, most homeowners are considerate enough to realize they need to step aside for a minute.

RigglePLC
02-20-2009, 05:04 PM
Squirter,
You cannot exceed the genetic potential of the grass mixture itself. For the best lawn in the city--you should rip it out and lay "Yankee Stadium quality" sod. Ordinary sod scores second place. Or 100 percent Kentucky bluegrass, like "Quantum Leap" or "Compact America". Add the same care as Yankee Stadium. There is a good chance you have a higher percentage of perennial rye than you want--it is prone to rust and red thread, (except for the newest and best types like "Amazing" and "Derby X-treme").

Squirter
02-22-2009, 01:48 PM
I maintain my lawn because I really enjoy it. It gives me great satisfaction seeing the benefits of my work and challenges me when I don't get it right. Secondly, I realize there are inconsiderate people/homeowners/diy's shopping at JDL and I expect many interrupt the flow of help given lawn care professionals. Mindful of this, I always shop (credit card in hand) at JDL during "off-peak" days/times and step aside for the pros. My JDL associate understands who pays his bills and would NOT hesitate to cater their needs as a matter of priority. No problems there!

As for starting an "industry related" thread, it was not my intent for it to take this unfortunate direction. Rather, I asked for some suggestions on a good fert program and recommendations on keeping weeds out of the foundation beds.

Lastly, I thank those who provided useful tips/thoughts. I have generally found this site to be very helpful and I try to respect the legit professionals. Have a great day and a successful/prosperous season ahead.