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ps6fsu
03-01-2011, 02:06 PM
Hey all,

I am a newbie to this site as well as the business. I have already learned alot from reading through the forums but I was a bit unsure of what to do with a specific customer and was wondering what all of you might say. I have attached some pictures of the lawn. Keep in mind we just had alot of snow melt and recent rain so the lawn is saturated. In our area (DE/NJ) it is currently between 40-50 degrees daily but we do occasionally get a 60 degree day here and there.

Here is the situation... This customer wants his lawn to look as good as possible this summer b/c he has a few things going on (graduation parties, bbq's, whatever...). He has alot of bare spots as well as a decent amount of weeds. Im usually applying the normal weed preventative now (next couple of weeks) and then continuing with regular weed and feed treatments. Then in the fall I would dethatch, aerate, overseed. However, under these circumstances, should I dethatch and seed now (skipping the pre-emergent) and then try to control the weeds after they emerge? I don't think I have enough time to allow for both pre-emergent and seeding. Is there a pre-emergent that will not effect the seeds?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
03-01-2011, 04:29 PM
Definite snow mold - is the damage in that first picture due to snow mold?

Does the property have dogs rooting it up? If this is some kind of pet damage, your whole discussion is moot and the homeowners will just have to live with a mediocre lawn.

ps6fsu
03-01-2011, 04:34 PM
It does look like snow mold to me. The back doesnt get nearly as much sun as the front of the house so while the front has mostly dried up the back yard is still a mud pit. We just had about 20 inches of snow melt in past couple of weeks combined with an entire day of rain yesterday. Soil here is mostly clay so water doesnt drain too well. Not sure about pets. I will find out.

RigglePLC
03-01-2011, 04:35 PM
It is a mess. Looks like clumps of tall fescue between patches of bare dirt in the back yard. Looks a little better in the shade--I suspect heat burnout from last year. Which means he didn't water enough--could happen again. Is there any sign of dead crabgrass or did they tell you of any crabgrass last year? If so, you canot risk omitting crabgrass control. Tupersan can be used for crabgrass control in new seed, but its really expensive and not long lasting. I am thinking a high-quality disease-resistant rye like Silver Dollar might work if you sowed it early, almost like a dormant seeding. Cold temps would cause slow germination. With luck it would be strong enough to withstand crabgrass control in 6 weeks. Very tight schedule--if conditions are perfect--it should work. If not, you will be applying quinclorac for crab control--repeatedly. Not sure if pre-germinated seed would help or not (see other info on this site). At least you could pre soak the seed inside at warm temps, 80 degree water would hurry things along. Plan on plenty of fertilizer, and at least two weed control treatments in the first 2 months. A battery-operated sprinkler timer would be worth its weight in gold to keep it well-watered, especially as new seed arises.

ps6fsu
03-01-2011, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the respons Riggleplc. There are definite signs of burnup from last summer especially in the middle of the lawn where it got the most sun. Of course all of the bare areas became overgrown with crabgrass. Thats why I wasn't sure what to do. It really needs seed but also needs pre-emergent. Im not sure I can wait 6 weeks to put down crabgrass products. It was 70 degrees this weekend and will be in the 60's again by the end of this week.

Maybe I could use Tupersan with seed and then re-apply a cheaper & longer lasting pre-emergent in 6 weeks. It obviously would be more expensive but it seems like the best option. The whole lawn is only about 6k square ft so 1 15lb bag should do the trick. What do u think?

tombo82685
03-01-2011, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the respons Riggleplc. There are definite signs of burnup from last summer especially in the middle of the lawn where it got the most sun. Of course all of the bare areas became overgrown with crabgrass. Thats why I wasn't sure what to do. It really needs seed but also needs pre-emergent. Im not sure I can wait 6 weeks to put down crabgrass products. It was 70 degrees this weekend and will be in the 60's again by the end of this week.

Maybe I could use Tupersan with seed and then re-apply a cheaper & longer lasting pre-emergent in 6 weeks. It obviously would be more expensive but it seems like the best option. The whole lawn is only about 6k square ft so 1 15lb bag should do the trick. What do u think?

Just my two cents... I dont really sense the urgency in putting down seed and what not right now. Research it more. Just because we are getting some 70s and 60s doesnt mean much. Grass growth is dependent on soil temperature. Even though the air temperature is in the 60 or 70s a couple days the soil temp is still in the low 40s, which is still to cold for anything to get going besides poa annua and winter annuals.

If that was my yard and i was dealing with parties and wanted the best overall appearance. I would put down the pre emerge, then go back to the bare spots and really tear them up and break the barrier created by the pre emerge. Once this barrier is broken you will be able to grow the seed. But only do this to area that are bare or very sparse. Then seed it, put down some starter fert. After that has taken see if you get any infestation of crabgrass or what not. If you're a license applicator go back and hit it with acclaim or drive try and get it in the early tiller stage. When you fertilize the entire lawn in spring, don't put more than a half pound of nitrogen down.

RigglePLC
03-01-2011, 08:52 PM
Ps6,
I think you are on the right track. Seed and Tupersan (siduron) now. You are on the border of 50 to 55 degrees soil temp. Season coming fast.
http://www.greencastonline.com/SoilTempMaps.aspx

Suppose the Tupersan fades out after 30 to 45 days. There is no way to know if it is gone, but possibly you could then sock on Dimension about early May. This assumes the rye is mowable and the crab is small or not visible. You want to have your heavy -duty crabgrass control applied by early May. Your average weather data shows this is possible.
http://www.wunderground.com/NORMS/DisplayNORMS.asp?AirportCode=KILG&SafeCityName=New_Castle&StateCode=DE&Units=none&IATA=ILG
In fact, it may be wise to seed first and then wait and apply the Tupersan about a week before crabgrass germination is expected (when temp hits about 75 for 2 or 3 days). Expect crabgrass to appear when air temp hits about 80.

Or better yet--kill it and resod--less risk for you--better results, instant green, happy customer.

tombo82685
03-01-2011, 10:31 PM
Ps6,
I think you are on the right track. Seed and Tupersan (siduron) now. You are on the border of 50 to 55 degrees soil temp. Season coming fast.
http://www.greencastonline.com/SoilTempMaps.aspx

Suppose the Tupersan fades out after 30 to 45 days. There is no way to know if it is gone, but possibly you could then sock on Dimension about early May. This assumes the rye is mowable and the crab is small or not visible. You want to have your heavy -duty crabgrass control applied by early May. Your average weather data shows this is possible.
http://www.wunderground.com/NORMS/DisplayNORMS.asp?AirportCode=KILG&SafeCityName=New_Castle&StateCode=DE&Units=none&IATA=ILG
In fact, it may be wise to seed first and then wait and apply the Tupersan about a week before crabgrass germination is expected (when temp hits about 75 for 2 or 3 days). Expect crabgrass to appear when air temp hits about 80.

Or better yet--kill it and resod--less risk for you--better results, instant green, happy customer.

I dont want to start a battle or challenge your expertise, but i totally disagree with the seed now option.

tombo82685
03-01-2011, 10:53 PM
I dont want to start a battle or challenge your expertise, but i totally disagree with the seed now option.

I live the county north of him in pa, there is no way you are getting any seed growing. The only grass growing right now is poa annua. Sure you can put it down but you would have double your rate do to mortality and it getting eaten by animals only to see it germinate in april. I was just out doing soil samples for the golf course and the ground still has some permafrost in it. I would throw the seed down in early april, when you get sustained soil temps of 50 degrees or higher, not just for a day or two.

ps6fsu
03-01-2011, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. Im not sure which route to go because I agree with both of you. I really wanted to get some seed down but Tombo is right... it is a bit early. The high today was just above freezing. I was shooting more towards the end of the month for seed. So basically my 2 options are...

1) Put seed down in 2-4 weeks with tupersan and possibly re-apply in 4-6 weeks which would be expensive. I dont think I would be abe to safely use a product like dimension or barricade until mid to late may which may be too late.

2) Skip the seed and apply dimension in next couple of weeks ad just seed in fall. I know Tombo suggested being able to seed the bare spots after agitating but that would be alot of elbow grease that im not sure I am willing to do by hand. Currently, there are alot of bare spots.

My one question (regardless of which route I take) is should i still run the power rake over it? It has not been dethatched in years and I was thinking it would help remove some of the dead weeds also. Obviously I would need to do this before I apply pre-emergent.

ps6fsu
03-02-2011, 12:14 AM
Found this website for up to date soil temperatures. Closest one to me was Powder Mill, MD (about 90 miles SW of me). According to the NRCS the soil temp there on 2/28 was 48@1" deep, 44.2@4" deep, and 43.7@8" deep.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/scan/

tombo82685
03-02-2011, 07:47 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. Im not sure which route to go because I agree with both of you. I really wanted to get some seed down but Tombo is right... it is a bit early. The high today was just above freezing. I was shooting more towards the end of the month for seed. So basically my 2 options are...

1) Put seed down in 2-4 weeks with tupersan and possibly re-apply in 4-6 weeks which would be expensive. I dont think I would be abe to safely use a product like dimension or barricade until mid to late may which may be too late.

2) Skip the seed and apply dimension in next couple of weeks ad just seed in fall. I know Tombo suggested being able to seed the bare spots after agitating but that would be alot of elbow grease that im not sure I am willing to do by hand. Currently, there are alot of bare spots.

My one question (regardless of which route I take) is should i still run the power rake over it? It has not been dethatched in years and I was thinking it would help remove some of the dead weeds also. Obviously I would need to do this before I apply pre-emergent.

I would suggest double coring, go one way one time and another way the other time. Coring may be less abrasive to the lawn (do this before the pre emerge). Unless your lawn is solid creeping red fescue or poa, i doubt it has to much thatch, but aerating doesn't hurt for other reasons. Also, if you can, drag-mat the aerated area to fill the holes back in.

Here is what i would do next i believe riggle gave this option, pick the ugliest areas and maybe sod those areas so you have instant green. Then try the tuperspan and seed the rest of the areas. Then after a mowing or two of the new seed, put down dimension or barricade, because that tuperspan is going to have a short holding back period. A shot of nitrogen, less than a half pound will help in late april or may then come back in late may with another shot of slow release nitrogen around a half pound or less.

tombo82685
03-02-2011, 07:54 AM
Found this website for up to date soil temperatures. Closest one to me was Powder Mill, MD (about 90 miles SW of me). According to the NRCS the soil temp there on 2/28 was 48@1" deep, 44.2@4" deep, and 43.7@8" deep.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/scan/

I wouldn't go by that. Just look at this winter we went through. Dc had maybe 6 inches of snow while our areas had 30-45 inches of snow. I have a soil thermometer here at work i will measure it at 1 inch, 3 inches and 5 inches to get the readings and i will tell you what i come up with. Also the links riggle posted with the soil maps. That can be a little deceiving. The areas where it was 50-55 soil temp is down in lower del and another warmer tongue into south jerz. Those areas have a lot sand in there soil profile. Sand fluctuates a lot more from temperature do to its coarser pore space which allows more oxygen flow. While clay, which we has sand.

Smallaxe
03-02-2011, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. Im not sure which route to go because I agree with both of you. I really wanted to get some seed down but Tombo is right... it is a bit early. The high today was just above freezing. I was shooting more towards the end of the month for seed. So basically my 2 options are...

1) Put seed down in 2-4 weeks with tupersan and possibly re-apply in 4-6 weeks which would be expensive. I dont think I would be abe to safely use a product like dimension or barricade until mid to late may which may be too late.

2) Skip the seed and apply dimension in next couple of weeks ad just seed in fall. I know Tombo suggested being able to seed the bare spots after agitating but that would be alot of elbow grease that im not sure I am willing to do by hand. Currently, there are alot of bare spots.

My one question (regardless of which route I take) is should i still run the power rake over it? It has not been dethatched in years and I was thinking it would help remove some of the dead weeds also. Obviously I would need to do this before I apply pre-emergent.

It is not a decision you should make for your client, IMO... He is the one wanting to do various garden parties throughout the season... He is the one that has to deal with barespots and mud for his outdoor activities, if you make the decision 'for him' that one can only reseed in the fall...

I would talk with him, tell him that he SHOULD get some decent germination, perhaps excellent gemination, if we covered with compost...

He MAY have some CG in the lawn at the time of his parties, but - "Is that a better option than mud and dirt?"
LET him decide...

Your area shouldn't have much in the way of noticeable CG for graduation parties anyway... :)

tombo82685
03-02-2011, 01:07 PM
It is not a decision you should make for your client, IMO... He is the one wanting to do various garden parties throughout the season... He is the one that has to deal with barespots and mud for his outdoor activities, if you make the decision 'for him' that one can only reseed in the fall...

I would talk with him, tell him that he SHOULD get some decent germination, perhaps excellent gemination, if we covered with compost...

He MAY have some CG in the lawn at the time of his parties, but - "Is that a better option than mud and dirt?"
LET him decide...

Your area shouldn't have much in the way of noticeable CG for graduation parties anyway... :)

Good post i agree. It also would help to know when the graduation party is. If its a college graduation, the parties are usually in mid to late may, you could get away with virtually no or very few CG infestation if you seed. If its an 8th grade or high school graduation they are usually in mid to late june and you may run into some issues there, but you could always just treat those areas with a post emerge.

RigglePLC
03-02-2011, 10:21 PM
I think you could skip the power rake. No need to remove last year's crabgrass and dead weeds. I looked at soil temperature maps again; color is a pale blue or maybe aqua green. Now, it looks like your soil temp is 40 to 45. But a soil thermometer should answer this question for your local conditions. Cheap at any auto parts store. Seeding now is essentially dormant seeding. Tombo knows his stuff. And he is a lot closer to you. Myself, I don't think you would lose much due to seed mortality or birds. The seed absorbs water and waits for 50 degrees soil temp--then sprouts. No need to apply Tupersan until just before the date of expected crabgrass germination. Tombo can advise you on that date, for you area. ( My guess is when air temp hits about 80).

I am not sure if indoor pre-germination would speed up the overall germination progress--see my other thread.

Actually power raking is good way to prepare soil t recive seed. Assures good seed to soil contact.

ps6fsu
03-02-2011, 11:22 PM
Thanks so much for all of your help guys. At the very least I have much more knowledge about all of this stuff. Im gonna go pick up a soil thermometer this weekend. At what depth should I test?

RigglePLC
03-03-2011, 10:41 AM
I would say put the thermometer at about a 2 inch depth. Crabgrass and grass seed begins life almost at the surface.
I notice in one of the above articles the ryegrass seedling grows a lot faster at 30 degrees Celsius. That is about 86 degrees.
This is one of the advantages of seeding in late summer when soil temps are high--very rapid germination and early growth. (provided you can keep it wet--naturally evaporation is fast at high temps). And of course the chance for fungus like pythium is higher.

tombo82685
03-03-2011, 04:53 PM
I think you could skip the power rake. No need to remove last year's crabgrass and dead weeds. I looked at soil temperature maps again; color is a pale blue or maybe aqua green. Now, it looks like your soil temp is 40 to 45. But a soil thermometer should answer this question for your local conditions. Cheap at any auto parts store. Seeding now is essentially dormant seeding. Tombo knows his stuff. And he is a lot closer to you. Myself, I don't think you would lose much due to seed mortality or birds. The seed absorbs water and waits for 50 degrees soil temp--then sprouts. No need to apply Tupersan until just before the date of expected crabgrass germination. Tombo can advise you on that date, for you area. ( My guess is when air temp hits about 80).

I am not sure if indoor pre-germination would speed up the overall germination progress--see my other thread.

Actually power raking is good way to prepare soil t recive seed. Assures good seed to soil contact.

The grass usually starts going in early to mid april. You need a constant 50 degree soil temp for 3 days for crabgrass to germinate and other seeds. Ideal soil temperature for cool season grass is 60-75.
That soil map is basically dead on. I stuck the thermometer in yesterday afternoon around 1pm and got a reading of 45 around 2-3 inches into the profile. After last night and today with temps in the upper teens for lows and mid 30s for highs that has been knocked back.

Here on the golf course we go every other year for pre emerge. They say crabgrass seedlings are active for growth for 7-10 years, after that they shut down.

Smallaxe
03-05-2011, 09:14 AM
The grass usually starts going in early to mid april. You need a constant 50 degree soil temp for 3 days for crabgrass to germinate and other seeds. Ideal soil temperature for cool season grass is 60-75.
That soil map is basically dead on. I stuck the thermometer in yesterday afternoon around 1pm and got a reading of 45 around 2-3 inches into the profile. After last night and today with temps in the upper teens for lows and mid 30s for highs that has been knocked back.

Here on the golf course we go every other year for pre emerge. They say crabgrass seedlings are active for growth for 7-10 years, after that they shut down.

With that logic, one would tend to think CG can come along quicker than cool season grasses... :)

tombo82685
03-05-2011, 09:33 AM
With that logic, one would tend to think CG can come along quicker than cool season grasses... :)

Cool season grass will grow at temps cooler than that, thats just the range where its ideal growth. Right now, poa annua is growing on the fairways here.

Smallaxe
03-05-2011, 09:44 AM
Cool season grass will grow at temps cooler than that, thats just the range where its ideal growth. Right now, poa annua is growing on the fairways here.

We always hear about the "Minimum" temp in which CG may germinate... You happen to know what the 'ideal' for CG is, or how long the soil must maintain that 55 deg. mark before the is any real movement of the CG seed?

tombo82685
03-05-2011, 05:42 PM
We always hear about the "Minimum" temp in which CG may germinate... You happen to know what the 'ideal' for CG is, or how long the soil must maintain that 55 deg. mark before the is any real movement of the CG seed?

This is just a guess, but i would say 60-65 of constant soil temp or higher