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Cornfed
08-15-2010, 11:55 PM
Hi, everyone. New homeowner who knows next to nothing about lawn care.

I did buy a Scott's book and am starting to learn, but am currently pretty clueless.

We didn't water our front lawn this summer and had maybe 1 rain in about a 1 month stretch and had a string of 90+ degree days. The result is the awful, terrible lawn you'll see at the link below.

I have no idea what I'm doing, but my limited research tells me I should be dethatching (maybe), aerating, and overseeding in Sept then watering like mad.

Or should I start all over? Or at least kill the weeds first?

I would GREATLY appreciate ANY help. And please let me know if this is the wrong place for this post.

Is there anything I can do now before September? I want to start on the fix as soon as possible, but am trying to at least make a smart next move....

http://www.davidpace.net/lawn

Kiril
08-16-2010, 12:14 AM
Kill it all and start over. Find a good source of compost. A location would help. Lose the grass in the mow strip and plant something else that is more drought tolerant.

Cornfed
08-16-2010, 12:51 AM
Kill it all and start over. Find a good source of compost. A location would help. Lose the grass in the mow strip and plant something else that is more drought tolerant.

Thanks. Were any of my guesses right? Is that "tall fescue?" And what's the bright green tall ones? I guess I can't just pull those (though I know that would take forever since there are so many of them)?

Should I kill it now (I guess next weekend) and then hope it's ready to start over sometime in Sept?

I really appreciate the advice. Our lawn stinks, and we want to start taking some positive steps...

Will P.C.
08-16-2010, 01:07 AM
Where are you located

Cornfed
08-16-2010, 07:58 AM
Located in NJ

RigglePLC
08-16-2010, 09:42 AM
Correct the problem that caused the problem, first. If you don't have underground irrigation--now is the time to install. Then slit seed with a top quality tall fescue mix with about 10 percent Kentucky bluegrass to give it more potential for recovery and better ability to creep. Bluegrass has rhizomes--fescue does not.

The light green nutsedge will disappear when weather cools off. A good lawn service will be able to kill it when it reappears next June.

Cornfed
08-16-2010, 10:08 AM
Correct the problem that caused the problem, first. If you don't have underground irrigation--now is the time to install. Then slit seed with a top quality tall fescue mix with about 10 percent Kentucky bluegrass to give it more potential for recovery and better ability to creep. Bluegrass has rhizomes--fescue does not.

The light green nutsedge will disappear when weather cools off. A good lawn service will be able to kill it when it reappears next June.

Thank you so much. We are thinking of installing a proper sprinkler system, and you're right that now seems to be the right time.

So we shouldn't worry too much about the nutsedge? That will go away by itself in the fall then we treat next June?

How about the thick dark green stuff? Again, I know next to nothing. Is that just tall fescue dominating the other grass since it's more robust and resistant to stress than the other dormant grass?

Should that work itself out as we slit seed (overseed?)?

Or should I be pulling/treating that now?

Lastly, should I just mow this stuff the next couple of weeks then start in September (maybe dethatching, definitely aerating, and definitely slit seeding)?

Kiril
08-16-2010, 10:34 AM
Yes, if you want lawn, then install some irrigation if it is in the budget.

Just kill everything now, there is nothing in that "lawn" worth saving.

Get your soil tested and make sure you include CEC and Organic matter in the test. This is the time to amend you soils, not after you install the lawn. If you try to rush though this you will regret it. Make sure you test for compaction.

Seed will work if done properly, but I would be give some serious consideration to sod instead given the weeds.

Cornfed
08-16-2010, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate the feedback.

So there's one vote to kill and start over and one vote to address the sprinklers and slit seed.

Any other opinions? Should I be getting some pros in to take a look and recommend next steps? I was hoping to get some of that here, but I understand the limitations of not actually being physically there to take a real look.

Thanks again.

cgaengineer
08-16-2010, 01:06 PM
Slice seeding or not, kill the existing lawn/weeds. Grab a soil test and follow what the other posters suggest.

Cornfed
08-16-2010, 02:27 PM
Slice seeding or not, kill the existing lawn/weeds. Grab a soil test and follow what the other posters suggest.

Thanks....if I'm killing the whole thing, I'm wondering if I should get someone over to guide me through it. I actually want to really learn this stuff and am willing to commit time and money to this, but if I need to act quickly over the next couple of weeks, I don't want to mess up.

Given the obvious lack of experience I'm displaying to the Internet at large, is that the obvious next step for me? Get Save a Lawn or someone else over to take a look? Or I can certainly follow the guide from the Scott's literature with some spot help from a friend who's a lawn fanatic and some advice here plus maybe some Home Depot chatter. Is that insane?

Thanks again, all!

RigglePLC
08-16-2010, 04:04 PM
Yes, that is probably some tall fescue that survived the summer so far. Actually it looks to be under a lot of stress right now. Your choice--save it or replace with a better quality tall fescue. Like Titanium LS.

Nutsedge should disappear (except for the roots and nuts) when temps hit about 65 during the day.

EastCoast
08-16-2010, 04:29 PM
I wouldn't kill your lawn, this is treatable, but most important would give you a better idea on how to grow/maintain a lawn.

First off, you need a irrigation system.

By the second week of September I would perform the following:

Aerate your lawn
Thatch lawn and slit seed with quality seed
Top dress with compost/top soil
Fertilize (Starter Fertilizer)
Water.... Keep soil moist (water 3 times a day) for 3-4 weeks


Follow these step will give you amazing results BUT the key is keeping the soil moist. If you cannot keep the soil moist during germination the seed will just die.

bigslick7878
08-16-2010, 05:18 PM
Cornfed, check your visitor messages in your profile. I posted something there since you have your PM's turned off or don't have access yet to that feature.

Kiril
08-17-2010, 09:15 AM
Thanks....if I'm killing the whole thing, I'm wondering if I should get someone over to guide me through it. I actually want to really learn this stuff and am willing to commit time and money to this, but if I need to act quickly over the next couple of weeks, I don't want to mess up.

Given the obvious lack of experience I'm displaying to the Internet at large, is that the obvious next step for me? Get Save a Lawn or someone else over to take a look? Or I can certainly follow the guide from the Scott's literature with some spot help from a friend who's a lawn fanatic and some advice here plus maybe some Home Depot chatter. Is that insane?

Thanks again, all!

Personally I would burn the Scott's book, and forget about Home Depot. You should find a good irrigation guy to design and install something if you want to get this done this year.

If you want to do this right, then there is a good chance that tilling is going to be something you need to do. The soil and compaction tests will give you a better idea on this.

Cornfed
08-17-2010, 05:53 PM
Thanks again, everyone!

I will reach out shortly, bigslick.

Also, whichever route I take, I am sure I will have many additional questions, and I look very forward to participating here. Maybe in a year or two I can be giving advice to others while lounging out on a beautiful green lawn....