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T56 Impala
06-08-2010, 05:02 PM
Long story short.....

Hired Weed Man and a local "Yard guy" to maintain my front yard. Between it being cut too short and improperly, and Weed Man spreading weeds and killing LARGE areas of grass, I need some help. (Yes, both have been fired and I am once again doing it myself)

Everyone with some knowledge I have had look at the dead areas say the same thing. "It looks like someone sprayed Round Up on these areas." I also grow Roses and have tested the pH of of the soil in the front yard. Currently it is at 5.2. I have applied Gypsum to the yard in hopes of loosening up the compacted soil a bit. What else should I apply to the yard to get the Bermuda to run back into the bare areas? Pests do not seem to be an issue at this time.

Currently, we seem to be getting enough rain for the yard to thrive. If that changes, I do have an in ground system I can run 3 days a week. I have the timers set to provide the correct amount of water needed. I am not willing to re seed at this point since keeping the ground moist would prove impossible with our current watering restrictions. I would rather have the grass run naturally back into these areas. Sodding these areas might be a way to go only if I can not get results any other way.

Mostly what I need to know is what I need to apply to the bare and growing areas? How much? How often? What should the proper pH be for Bermuda and what should I use to get it there? How about for Zoysia? For reference, I have various sprayers and spreaders and am not against using liquids.

I am really disappointed in how bad my yard looks. I'm not looking for a quick fix, but a long term solution. It took me 6 years to get my last yard perfect, I fully expect it to take years here also.

My next challenge will be to restore grass to the area under my Bradford Pear! I'm having it limbed up next week.

T56 Impala
06-08-2010, 05:13 PM
Deleted. Wanted to start a different thread.

Think Green
06-08-2010, 08:40 PM
How short are we talking about here? Is this lawn hybrid Bermuda??
For my area, the pH is sufficient at 5.5 to 6.5 anything lower will result in iron deficiencies and other troubles.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/turf/publications/bermuda.html

Read this publication

wrager
06-08-2010, 09:02 PM
I would get a real soil test for the area. It will provide the pH but lots of other important information including:
-P,K, Ca, Mg, buffer pH and organic matter. It will tell you how many pounds of lime as well as the type and amount of fert to add. Turfgrasses grow best with a pH between 6-7, according to UMASS.

After the floods we had last fall, I had terrible errosion issues (very sloped yard). This left many bare spots. For the one large bare area, I replaced the sod. For the rest, I aerated, added calcitic lime and fert per the soil test. It's really improved dramatically.

T56 Impala
06-09-2010, 12:24 PM
Who would I get to do a test? I put the Gypsum down to help loosen the hard packed red clay we have here. Gypsum is one thing that really never hurts to add on any area that grows. The front yard is Hybrid Bermuda with one small area by the gate that is Emerald Zoysia. The back is Emerald Zoysia sodded last year. It has thin areas, but overall is in good shape. A little water logged, but doing okay!

wrager
06-09-2010, 03:52 PM
http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/services1.htm

Send samples off to these guys. Get OM also.

Toughweed
06-09-2010, 10:14 PM
Your spots sound like spring dead spot which is common and not the applicators fault. Ph at 6 would be best!

cgaengineer
06-10-2010, 12:15 AM
Here are a few suggestions T56

1) Reel mow, nothing is better for a hybrid bermuda lawn than a reel mower. I dont care what anyone says, you dont have the same quality stand of bermuda cut with a rotary as you do with a reel and its almost impossible to cut bermuda at recommended height with a rotary. I also suggest a sand topdressing to level the lawn to prevent scalping whether using a reel mower or a rotary. Apply a sand/compost mix, kill two birds with one stone.

2) Forget gypsum, core aerate and apply compost.

3) Get a soil test from John Deere Landscapes or any other place like Southern States.

4) Drive out to my house in Winder and I will show you what a top dressed and reel mowed lawn looks like...and one on a budget. I have so much lateral growth with my bermuda I could edge my driveway every 2 days and cut grass. I could cut a 6x6 inch patch of grass from my lawn and it would be filled in in 2 weeks.

5) The last poster mentioned Spring Dead Spot (SDS), when/if you visit my home I'll show you SDS. Come next year and I'll likely show it to you again.

6) I will show you a lawn that went from crap to wow in one season...6 years is too long, so is 2.

cgaengineer
06-10-2010, 12:22 AM
Send me a PM.

chaser2587
06-10-2010, 08:25 AM
4) Drive out to my house in Winder and I will show you what a top dressed and reel mowed lawn looks like...and one on a budget. I have so much lateral growth with my bermuda I could edge my driveway every 2 days and cut grass. I could cut a 6x6 inch patch of grass from my lawn and it would be filled in in 2 weeks.

T56,

He's not joking... I had to go out to Winder and see chris's (cgaengineer) yard myself. He didn't even tell me which house it was. He said... "You can tell by the lawn". And like I said before he's not joking... it would be worth it to go out and take a look for yourself, the pics do not do the best looking lawn in Winder justice!!!

T56 Impala
06-10-2010, 12:31 PM
Might have to take you up on the offer and get some advice.

I am planning on top dressing and am looking to buy a reel mower. Shouldn't the whole yard be growing before I dress it though? How deep do I need to go for a soil sample? 1", 3" or deeper?

Thanks for the offer and advice too!

cgaengineer
06-10-2010, 01:09 PM
3-4" is good for soil sample. When you start cutting with a reel at 1/2" - 3/4" it will start growing...you will need a reel to topdress properly.
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
06-10-2010, 01:56 PM
You will want the grass as low as you can get it when you topdress. It will make it much easier to spread your material over the lawn.

brucec32
06-25-2010, 08:53 PM
1. The odds that you hired two companies doing different things and they both simultaneously botched it to the point of killing the lawn is unlikely. Bermuda is tough stuff.

2. Soil ph tests have to be done properly and it is more than sticking a probe in the ground or even taking a sample at one spot. That said, 5.2 would be LOW for lawn turf , and so you need LIME to get it up in the zone where the plants can take in the fertilizer properly. (6.5-7.2?) Odds are your lawn, like most, has different ph in different areas, anyway.

3. Also low soil ph is probably extremely rare in Roswell, where clay soil and acidic soil is the norm by far. So have a pro test it or retest following the county extension sites' instructions. I was born there and have seen a lot of lawns with problems. Prior year neglect is probably the biggest cause.

4. You practically CANNOT mow Bermuda "too low". That tells me right there you may have blamed the lawn guy unfairly. This stuff is designed to be cut at levels below what most rotary mowers can even cut. He may have used improper techniques or machines and scalped it to the dirt in spots if he used too big of a deck, but mowing "too low" wasn't the problem. And even that won't leave dead spots if the lawn is otherwise healthy. It will grow right back from the underground rizomes which are still there. I scalp em all to the dirt in the springtime and they look fantastic now if irrigated at all.

5. The "roundup sprayed" spots are indeed likely spring dead patch. It's fairly common here and it will not just go away on its own. Unfortunately I think the treatment for it needs to be done in the fall, but I don't do apps. I get asked frequently about this and the customers (I only mow) always ask me if their applicator killed it. The answer is "probably not".

6. If your lawn is like 95% of Bermuda lawns here, meaning sodded hybrid tifway 419, you can't "reseed" it anyway, as it was sodded and grown from sterile plants with seeds that won't grow. There is no seed that matches exactly, and the stuff that almost does is about $35/lb. At least not if you want it to look like the rest of the bermuda lawn and match its texture and growth rate so it always looks uniform. The proper fix is to cut out the dead area (including soil probably due to the sdp) and patch it with sod or topdress with a river sand/compost mix and let it spread back in. It will not spread back well w/o that.

7. Your lawn likely needs core aeration to allow oxygen in, and if it's been kept mowed tall by a homeowner it may also need to be dethatched. You should have only a thin layer of thatch.

8. Your bradford pear will continue to anhilate zoysia or bermuda under it for years to come, as neither likes shade, and it has plenty, no matter how well pruned. Converting the area to a planting bed with mulch instead of fighting nature would be easier and more attractive over time.

This example is why I quit doing applications about 15 years go. Because so many liars are out there homeowners assume you may be one too if they have problems and you can't fix them with a bag of fertilizer. The minute the lawn has a problem it became "my problem" , even though most of the time it was due to improper installation or other factors beyond my control and was really "their problem" to fix in other ways. Customers seem to jump on the lawn guy as the problem when often it's other factors becasue that's who they see on the lawn and that's who they're paying. 95% of new home landscapes in this area are not either planned well (bermuda laid in the shade, small trees planted that will soon be big ones and shade out the turf, etc) or installed well (sod laid on hardpan clay, no prep work, bad grading, bad drainage, etc). They are works in progress at best. A home could be 20 years old and if it wasn't done well to begin with it won't be any better unless someone fixed it along the way.

Pictures would provide more diagnostic aid. But you could owe someone an apology.




Long story short.....

Hired Weed Man and a local "Yard guy" to maintain my front yard. Between it being cut too short and improperly, and Weed Man spreading weeds and killing LARGE areas of grass, I need some help. (Yes, both have been fired and I am once again doing it myself)

Everyone with some knowledge I have had look at the dead areas say the same thing. "It looks like someone sprayed Round Up on these areas." I also grow Roses and have tested the pH of of the soil in the front yard. Currently it is at 5.2. I have applied Gypsum to the yard in hopes of loosening up the compacted soil a bit. What else should I apply to the yard to get the Bermuda to run back into the bare areas? Pests do not seem to be an issue at this time.

Currently, we seem to be getting enough rain for the yard to thrive. If that changes, I do have an in ground system I can run 3 days a week. I have the timers set to provide the correct amount of water needed. I am not willing to re seed at this point since keeping the ground moist would prove impossible with our current watering restrictions. I would rather have the grass run naturally back into these areas. Sodding these areas might be a way to go only if I can not get results any other way.

Mostly what I need to know is what I need to apply to the bare and growing areas? How much? How often? What should the proper pH be for Bermuda and what should I use to get it there? How about for Zoysia? For reference, I have various sprayers and spreaders and am not against using liquids.

I am really disappointed in how bad my yard looks. I'm not looking for a quick fix, but a long term solution. It took me 6 years to get my last yard perfect, I fully expect it to take years here also.

My next challenge will be to restore grass to the area under my Bradford Pear! I'm having it limbed up next week.