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Squirter
03-04-2011, 09:38 AM
Greetings,

I live in central Indiana and I'm trying to come up with a fert/re-seed plan that makes some sense for me and my little 8,000 sq. ft' (established 4 yrs. ago) lawn. But first, please know I'm 'just a homeowner' who enjoys DIY when it comes to making my lawn look good. I guess it's a self-satisfaction thing. However, I need some advice.

While I know it's a bit early to judge, vast majority of my lawn (perennial rye / kbg) seems to have survived last summer's drought with minimal damage...thanks to my irrigation system and lesco fert plan/material. I do, however, have some relatively small spot repairing (re-seeding) to do where I don't think the grass survived...in part, due to fungus. Other than the isolated damaged areas, my lawn is quite thick with about 15% (spotty areas) needing to be thickened. Over the past 2-3 yrs, I have had very little broadleaf weed problems (spot treated w/speed zone) and zero crabgrass. So, I'm toying with the idea of skipping my spring pre-m ap's (2 ap's of 19-0-11 w/dimension) so I can grow some new grass this Spring.

Here's my dilemma. My neighbor's entire lawn (about 3,500 sq/ft. in the front only) is mostly trash. Weeds, crabgrass, and toasted due to neglect. Last summer's drought just smoked most of what little (15% ?) 'good grass'e grass they had and encouraged huge broadleaf growth. It really needs a complete kill and renovation/re-seeking and'm the lucky guy elected to fix it. While I know Fall is a better time to do it, I'd really like to do the front yard only THIS SPRING, otherwise, it's another 1/2 year of ugly-ness...weeds entering my nice lawn, etc. It's a total waste of time and material $$$ to apply fert/broadleaf/crabgrass control.

Here's my thought: Forget about the spring pre-m (dimension) on MY lawn so I can re-seed the areas (or even the entire lawn) needing thickened/repair. Somehow, I'll deal with any crabgrass that may find a place to grow. If I go forward with this approach, I would like your thoughts on a good fert/weed control plan in the absence of my spring pre-m/feedings AND given the new grass I'm trying to grow. As for my NEIGHBOR'S lawn, I'd like to kill it with something (round-up) and slice seed. However, given all the weeds (left-over from last year), I'm almost afraid I'll need to till it order to prepare a good 'seed bed'...but, there's no way I'll have the time/energy. I know I'll have a 'boat load' of weeds/crabgrass to deal with since they will have a perfect breeding ground...but I'm hopeful I'll produce a good stand of new grass along with it.

So, my question is, how/when/what is my best approach to getting this entire job done THIS SPRING? Timing? Materials?

Thanks for your help!!!

Smallaxe
03-04-2011, 10:32 AM
I never use pre-m personally... except on driveways and gardens... never turf...

I would not be afraid to overseed in the spring, just work your seed into the bare/thin areas with a rake or garden weasel, and soak it good with compost over the top of it...

It is generally best to fertilize after 2 or 3 mowings, as opposed to early spring. Grow your grass higher 3-4 inches, during the heat of summer and you shouldn't have a problem with CG...

BTW, you can continue to overseed yourself all summer long, unless the heat is just too much...

DIY lawns are much easier than what pros have to deal with, especially when we see them once a month or so... :)

Squirter
03-04-2011, 11:51 AM
thanks small. now i'm really confused. you say you never use pre-m on turf??? perhaps i've ignorantly used the "pre-m" term incorrectly? perhaps we're talking about two different things. when i used the term pre-m (correctly or not), what i'm referring to is pre-emergent for crabgrass control. i thought EVERYBODY used a pre-emergent in the spring (unless you're trying to seed)??? i've been doing it most of my life...and thought everybody else was too. now you're saying you don't use it on turf? ever? are we talking about the same thing?

in addition, what would you recommend i use to kill the neighbor's lawn (mostly weeds) in its entirity??? when should i use it? how soon, thereafter can i seed? what do the soil temps have to be for germination to occur for a perennial rye/kbg blend? is it possible i'm looking at re-seeding in may.....when the dandelions are in full bloom....or will i be able to do something sooner?

geez...i hope after killing the neighbor's lawn (weeds), i'll be able to prepare a proper seedbed by simply using a slice-seeder to cut through the dead weed/grass material. hmmmmmm

Smallaxe
03-04-2011, 12:13 PM
You are correct in your meaning of pre-m... You are also corect in that EVERYBODY uses it... The right question is:

"Is it necessary?"

Of course my answer is NO, but that is risky for some people...

What I find is that a strong stand of grass that is healthy and thick, not cut too short, will not let CG grow, Period...

I would just run the slit seeder through the dead bodies of the weeds, b4 they they green up in the spring, and deal with broadleaf weeds once your grasses have established. Continue overseeding through out the summer until it gets too hot to do so... :)
You can always spend the money on Pre-m that doesn't hurt the good grasses, if you don't feel confident that your lawn can withstand CG...

ChiTownAmateur
03-04-2011, 06:20 PM
I have a neighbor who every year seems to fail at trying to grow something new...and once he gives up his plot becomes crabgrass heaven. I went over and wacked it down before the seedheads became ridiculous.

Bottom line imo is you cannot fight nature and you cannot fight what others do or it will drive you crazy. Suffer some weeds that blow into your yard for now and get your seed planted and established, later you can put down a broadleaf killer on YOUR yard and keep your plot nice. Short term you may have some weeds, long term you don't, but you have to protect your sanity and trying to control other people's yards is not an effort worth fighting as you cannot win unless you do all the work for them...don't do it!

tombo82685
03-04-2011, 09:04 PM
Greetings,

I live in central Indiana and I'm trying to come up with a fert/re-seed plan that makes some sense for me and my little 8,000 sq. ft' (established 4 yrs. ago) lawn. But first, please know I'm 'just a homeowner' who enjoys DIY when it comes to making my lawn look good. I guess it's a self-satisfaction thing. However, I need some advice.

While I know it's a bit early to judge, vast majority of my lawn (perennial rye / kbg) seems to have survived last summer's drought with minimal damage...thanks to my irrigation system and lesco fert plan/material. I do, however, have some relatively small spot repairing (re-seeding) to do where I don't think the grass survived...in part, due to fungus. Other than the isolated damaged areas, my lawn is quite thick with about 15% (spotty areas) needing to be thickened. Over the past 2-3 yrs, I have had very little broadleaf weed problems (spot treated w/speed zone) and zero crabgrass. So, I'm toying with the idea of skipping my spring pre-m ap's (2 ap's of 19-0-11 w/dimension) so I can grow some new grass this Spring.

Here's my dilemma. My neighbor's entire lawn (about 3,500 sq/ft. in the front only) is mostly trash. Weeds, crabgrass, and toasted due to neglect. Last summer's drought just smoked most of what little (15% ?) 'good grass'e grass they had and encouraged huge broadleaf growth. It really needs a complete kill and renovation/re-seeking and'm the lucky guy elected to fix it. While I know Fall is a better time to do it, I'd really like to do the front yard only THIS SPRING, otherwise, it's another 1/2 year of ugly-ness...weeds entering my nice lawn, etc. It's a total waste of time and material $$$ to apply fert/broadleaf/crabgrass control.

Here's my thought: Forget about the spring pre-m (dimension) on MY lawn so I can re-seed the areas (or even the entire lawn) needing thickened/repair. Somehow, I'll deal with any crabgrass that may find a place to grow. If I go forward with this approach, I would like your thoughts on a good fert/weed control plan in the absence of my spring pre-m/feedings AND given the new grass I'm trying to grow. As for my NEIGHBOR'S lawn, I'd like to kill it with something (round-up) and slice seed. However, given all the weeds (left-over from last year), I'm almost afraid I'll need to till it order to prepare a good 'seed bed'...but, there's no way I'll have the time/energy. I know I'll have a 'boat load' of weeds/crabgrass to deal with since they will have a perfect breeding ground...but I'm hopeful I'll produce a good stand of new grass along with it.

So, my question is, how/when/what is my best approach to getting this entire job done THIS SPRING? Timing? Materials?

Thanks for your help!!!

This is how i would tackle it if it was my lawn. First the way how pre emerge works is it creates a barrier on the soil surface. The crabgrass seedling actually germinates underground, but do to the chemical it can't penetrate the soil surface. They say for crabgrass seeds, they lay active in the soil for 7-10 years, once past that timeframe they damper out. So if a home owner applies pre emerge for 7-10 straight years i would say the following year maybe skip it, then hit it again the next year. Since you're only at yr 4 this doesn't apply to you.

This is what you can do though. Apply the pre emerge down to the whole yard. Then the areas that you would like to seed, break up the soil, thus break the pre emerge barrier which will allow your seed to grow, while the rest of your lawn is controlled.

I'm not really sure of your climate, but this is how i approach it from my area. I know your area is a little colder than mine so adjust the date ranges as needed.
In terms of a fert/weed program i would go like this

Dimension with potassium filler, analysis 0-0-7
come back in late april/ early may quick release fertilizer applying .5 or less lbs/1000
late may/early june another shot of fertilizer with atleast 30% percent of slow release in it and some potassium(unless you are going to spoon feed, then do another shot of quick release around .25 lbs/1000)

late august .75-1lb of nitrogen quick release
late sept .75-1 lb of nitrogen quick release
then after your first freeze/lawn stops growing, mow it one last time and apply .5-.75lbs of nitrogen with atleast 50 percent slow release and a good amount of potassium.

In terms of weeds/insects

merit around late june

2 shots of post emerge weed killer one shot in early june the other shot in late aug/early september

Smallaxe
03-05-2011, 04:08 PM
This is how i would tackle it if it was my lawn. First the way how pre emerge works is it creates a barrier on the soil surface. The crabgrass seedling actually germinates underground, but do to the chemical it can't penetrate the soil surface. ...

Baloney... this description is why no one seems to understand what pre-m actuall is...

Pre-m is a ROOT INHIBITOR... Plain and Simple...

It is a chemical that must be dispersed across the surface of the ground so that every... Every root in that soil ingests...

Ingests the chemical, the AI of your Pre-M.. and is affectected by it...

Let's Review... The AI of your Pre-m must be ... ??

Ingested... Period...

Now can anyone explain WHY, they analogy of "BARRIER" would be used by SCOTT'S and Others to describe what is ACTUALLY happening when you dump this stuff on the surface???

tombo82685
03-05-2011, 05:03 PM
Baloney... this description is why no one seems to understand what pre-m actuall is...

Pre-m is a ROOT INHIBITOR... Plain and Simple...

It is a chemical that must be dispersed across the surface of the ground so that every... Every root in that soil ingests...

Ingests the chemical, the AI of your Pre-M.. and is affectected by it...

Let's Review... The AI of your Pre-m must be ... ??

Ingested... Period...

Now can anyone explain WHY, they analogy of "BARRIER" would be used by SCOTT'S and Others to describe what is ACTUALLY happening when you dump this stuff on the surface???

Ummm what is baloney about the statement? For it to be a root inhibitor it has to form roots, which means it has to germinate. As soon as it pops the radicle out it doesn't jue die right away it has to translocate throughout. In this process it does form the plumule that grows upward towards the soil surface but once the chemical fully takes over it's done.

I believe my statement was the seed actually germinates, which it does...and tries to grow towards the surface but can't, do to the absorption of the chemical through its roots. Its the samething you said just worded different.

RigglePLC
03-06-2011, 03:28 PM
Tombo suggested a good plan. Except for one thing. Convince your neighbor to get professional care--it will save you both a lot of problems. A small local company can give him the best quality. They will probably add crabgrass control now --kill the weeds a couple times during the summer. Slit seed in late August.

For your own lawn, be sure to include about half top-quality Kentucky bluegrass seed, as it withstands heat better and it can creep to fill in thin spots. Perennial rye cannot creep--and it is disease prone particularly if temps exceed 90 and humidity is high. Be sure any perennial rye you plant is resistant to red thread, rust, dollar spot, brown patch, and gray leaf spot. If it says disease-resistant on the package that means resistant to one of the above--you want all five. Scotts Silver Dollar is a good start--you want something as good, or better.

Smallaxe
03-07-2011, 12:49 PM
Ummm what is baloney about the statement? For it to be a root inhibitor it has to form roots, which means it has to germinate. As soon as it pops the radicle out it doesn't jue die right away it has to translocate throughout. In this process it does form the plumule that grows upward towards the soil surface but once the chemical fully takes over it's done.

I believe my statement was the seed actually germinates, which it does...and tries to grow towards the surface but can't, do to the absorption of the chemical through its roots. Its the samething you said just worded different.

We can agree on the idea that the chemical is in the soil, and if it is absorbed by the plant, it stifles the root which in turns kills the babies...
What makes no sense with that idea in mind was your explanation as to how breaking up the "Barrier" will allowyou to plant seed:
To quote your post,
"This is what you can do though. Apply the pre emerge down to the whole yard. Then the areas that you would like to seed, break up the soil, thus break the pre emerge barrier which will allow your seed to grow, while the rest of your lawn is controlled."

So the question is : How does breaking up the soil, get rid of the chemical? Isn't the chemical still there, only restirred in the same soil?

Also pre-m can still kill seedlings even after theyv'e produced leaves above ground. That is why you need to allow your good seed to mature enough to withstand the pre-m b4 applying for CG...

Not trying to be a pain, but the mythology of the barrier thing just makes it almost impossible to speak logically about spring seeding... :)

Squirter
03-07-2011, 01:27 PM
riggle / tombo...

i have to confess, i was a bit aprehensive about tombo's suggestion to apply pre-m to the entire lawn....and then scratch up the area(s) that need seed. however, riggle...you seem to support his approach so i'm opening up to the idea. my initial thought is if i apply a pre-m to the entire lawn and then prep the areas needing seed, a good rain (or several) would cause the pre-m to wash or leech into my new seed thereby preventing germination. if i was just seeding one concentrated area needing repair, i could see trying to isolate/eliminate that area from my pre-m application so i wouldn't worry about rain washing over and contaminating the seeded area. however, the repairs that are needed seem to be scattered throughout and not easily isolated or confined.

wouldn't this be reason enough to forego the pre-m 'this spring' and simply concentrate on seeding early spring or even later should i need a 're-do'. i think i could take my chances with some crabgrass infestation in my 'unprotected lawn' because it's already pretty thick. as i said, i do have an irrigation system so heat/drought conditions isn't a big concern for new seedlings. ultimately, i totally agree with the idea that a thick lawn provides little room for weeds/crabgrass. at least this is my goal.

as for my neighbor's (a relative) lawn, i can completely agree with all the suggestions that have been thrown out in previous replies. the plan is starting to become clear.

on the topic of using good 'disease resistant' seed with a good blend of kbg, i think my original stand of grass was 'premium atheletic' from lesco....which i thought was a pretty good blend. however, FOR ME, it hasn't been terribly resistant from the 5 fungus types mentioned as i have battled with some or all each of the 4 years since it's start. i'm sure, part of the problem is with the idiot who maintain's it (tee-hee).

this season, for my lawn, i'm going to try several new strategies such as: (a) 'spoon feed' fert schedule because my WALKER GHS is robbing me of important nutrient$ - clipping$, (b) mowing a little shorter than my usual 3 1/2" - 4" length during the hot and very humid months so the lawn won't maintain high moisture and breed fungus (c) apply fungicide at the proper rate/intervals and quit worrying about the cost, (d) incorporate a better, more disease resistant seed. i think i've already developed good watering/irrigation practices so that shouldn't be an issue. it's a bear trying for the perfect lawn!!!

tombo82685
03-07-2011, 04:55 PM
We can agree on the idea that the chemical is in the soil, and if it is absorbed by the plant, it stifles the root which in turns kills the babies...
What makes no sense with that idea in mind was your explanation as to how breaking up the "Barrier" will allowyou to plant seed:
To quote your post,
"This is what you can do though. Apply the pre emerge down to the whole yard. Then the areas that you would like to seed, break up the soil, thus break the pre emerge barrier which will allow your seed to grow, while the rest of your lawn is controlled."

So the question is : How does breaking up the soil, get rid of the chemical? Isn't the chemical still there, only restirred in the same soil?

Also pre-m can still kill seedlings even after theyv'e produced leaves above ground. That is why you need to allow your good seed to mature enough to withstand the pre-m b4 applying for CG...

Not trying to be a pain, but the mythology of the barrier thing just makes it almost impossible to speak logically about spring seeding... :)

Lol its fine, i like a good discussion, i learn things just like other people do as well.

Imho its called a barrier because if you take core out of the soil and drop a seed in it will seed, thus that barrier was broken there. Just like on a damn, you punch a hole through the damn water is going to pour through that area.

In terms of the barrier, Breaking up the soil doesn't get rid of the chemical, it just exposes new soil that hasn't been influenced by the chemical and mitigates the overall coverage and exposure to the seed. The question here is how far does the chemical wash down into the soil profile? Is it just the surface to about a half inch or inch? Is it three inches? Obviously the shallower it is the easier it is to be dispersed and get rid of.

Also, something to ponder over . If the product is in the soil and you aerate, wouldn't you think it would restrict seed from germinating to? Granted you're removing the product in the soil when you core which would allows it to germinate. But say a person drag mats the cores back into the hole or you get a heavy rain the washes the soil into the hole wouldn't you think it would restrict the growth since the product is still within that soil?

RigglePLC
03-07-2011, 09:48 PM
Squirter--your plan sounds good. Most preemergent products bind to the upper layers of the soil. They are not water soluble so they don't move much from where they were applied. In theory, rain shoud not cause them to move to where your new seed is being sown.

I thought Lesco Premium Athletic Blend was good--I am surprized.

Squirter
03-08-2011, 07:24 AM
i'm not saying others will have the same results (fungus) with lesco's premium athletic. i'm simply saying i've had difficulty...but it could easily be me, the homeowner, who is more experimental than scientific when it comes to lawncare. i'd like to blame the weather here in central indiana as a reson for some of my struggles...but

the rest of my story is after establishing my lawn 4-5 years ago with premium athletic, i have since slice/overseeded and spot seeded using lesco's 'best' 100% kbg. i have done this 2 out of the past 3 years (in the fall) with a goal of thickening my existing lawn, and trying to incorporate more kbg to address the fungus problems i have had. well, sadly to say, i haven't been terribly successful as my germination results haven't been great (timing? weather? temps? etc?). what i HAVE been successful doing is making polka-dots throughout my lawn as the 100% kbg, particularly the areas spot-seeded, have been drastically different in color when compared to the original stand of premium athletic. therefore, i've strongly considered destroying my entire lawn and starting over...even though my lawn is annually the talk (or envy) of the neighborhood. i'm just not satisfied!!! i want perfection!!!


recently, i've been looking at what i think are called 'elite' cultivars of kbg such as midnight, boutique, bewitched...and coming up with a blend of each. if i were to use these 'elite's', would i have to KILL my existing lawn and start from scratch, or could i just slice them into my existing turf? this would likely be a FALL project!

Smallaxe
03-08-2011, 09:30 AM
Lol its fine, i like a good discussion, i learn things just like other people do as well.

Imho its called a barrier because if you take core out of the soil and drop a seed in it will seed, thus that barrier was broken there. Just like on a damn, you punch a hole through the damn water is going to pour through that area.

In terms of the barrier, Breaking up the soil doesn't get rid of the chemical, it just exposes new soil that hasn't been influenced by the chemical and mitigates the overall coverage and exposure to the seed. The question here is how far does the chemical wash down into the soil profile? Is it just the surface to about a half inch or inch? Is it three inches? Obviously the shallower it is the easier it is to be dispersed and get rid of.

Also, something to ponder over . If the product is in the soil and you aerate, wouldn't you think it would restrict seed from germinating to? Granted you're removing the product in the soil when you core which would allows it to germinate. But say a person drag mats the cores back into the hole or you get a heavy rain the washes the soil into the hole wouldn't you think it would restrict the growth since the product is still within that soil?

I think the chemical binds to the surface of the soil as it dissolves and dispersses from it granule form. This gives it an even coverage that should poison every root under its given area... Roughing up an area and moving the soil around may open up spots where the chemical is no longer 'complete' but as the soil dispersses over the area again, how do you know whether it is soil that has AI attached to it or not?

That also raises a couple of questions:

How deep into the soil does it go?
Does it penetrate the 'thatch' layer?

I use pre-m primarily on rotten granite and apply it in liquid form. Driving on rotten granite continually rearranges the pebbles at the surface. Pushing some down, which forces others up. Yet this seems to be no real problem for the stuff. Our real failure occured last year when we recieved a couple inches of rain per month and the weeds suddenly took off about mid summer...
So I think it washes away moreso than we may think... It was supposed to last at least 3 months, and it usually does, however in our rainy summer it did not...

tombo82685
03-08-2011, 10:03 AM
I think the chemical binds to the surface of the soil as it dissolves and dispersses from it granule form. This gives it an even coverage that should poison every root under its given area... Roughing up an area and moving the soil around may open up spots where the chemical is no longer 'complete' but as the soil dispersses over the area again, how do you know whether it is soil that has AI attached to it or not?

That also raises a couple of questions:

How deep into the soil does it go?
Does it penetrate the 'thatch' layer?

I use pre-m primarily on rotten granite and apply it in liquid form. Driving on rotten granite continually rearranges the pebbles at the surface. Pushing some down, which forces others up. Yet this seems to be no real problem for the stuff. Our real failure occured last year when we recieved a couple inches of rain per month and the weeds suddenly took off about mid summer...
So I think it washes away moreso than we may think... It was supposed to last at least 3 months, and it usually does, however in our rainy summer it did not...

Never heard of that. Is it broken down granite thats mixed into your soil? Is it a location thing?

RigglePLC
03-08-2011, 10:16 AM
Squirter, I can tell you are as obsessed with perfect grass, like me, and our other regulars, around here. Do you mean that the bluegrass you added caused green spots, because it was a darker green color than the Premium Athletic Blend? So may I suggest if you plan a "do over", you should plan to kill the ryegrass-heavy Lesco Premium Athletic blend. Then lay a premium sod. (Try to find whatever is used at Wrigley Field).
If no sod, then a premium disease resistant elite Kentucky bluegrass from year 2005 or later, such as Blue Velvet.
http://www.pickseed.com/usa/Products/PDF/blue_velvet_ts.pdf
or similar. Remember that bluegrass is very slow to germinate and very slow in the first two months to fill-in. Best seeding date is when temps come down to about 85, say about Aug 28 in your area. Let us know what happens.

Smallaxe
03-08-2011, 10:43 AM
Never heard of that. Is it broken down granite thats mixed into your soil? Is it a location thing?

Rotten granite is a gravelly substance that is typically broken down to particle size of 1/4" and less. It has the nice color of the parent rock that breaks into these particles like a smashed windshield... We use it as a surface for driveways, parking lots or even walking paths...

Fairly common material around here...

Limestone with fines is also used but those particle sizes are actually up to 3/4", you must be familiar with that stuff?

tombo82685
03-08-2011, 04:13 PM
Rotten granite is a gravelly substance that is typically broken down to particle size of 1/4" and less. It has the nice color of the parent rock that breaks into these particles like a smashed windshield... We use it as a surface for driveways, parking lots or even walking paths...

Fairly common material around here...

Limestone with fines is also used but those particle sizes are actually up to 3/4", you must be familiar with that stuff?

Thats mixed into your soil correct? If so, what type of soil do you have? With that material in your soil i would imagine you have some decent infiltration, cause, im not sure of this but i don't think you guys have clay soils up there or do you?

Squirter
03-08-2011, 04:17 PM
riggle,

you're right. the kbg i added to the 'bare spots' does not match the prem. athletic original stand. this is just one of my reasons for a full renovation. in truth, since the original establishment of my lawn, i've probably used 3 different types of seed. stupid me. but i continue to have too many bare areas, and thanks to last summer's drought, i've got some additional repair work to be done. hence the thought of a complete renovation. mind you, it's just a thought at this point.....a tempting one at that. NOW....you just had to mention sod. hmmmmmmm, sounds like cheating. don't we get more self-satisfaction making it from scratch???

Smallaxe
03-08-2011, 06:17 PM
Thats mixed into your soil correct? If so, what type of soil do you have? With that material in your soil i would imagine you have some decent infiltration, cause, im not sure of this but i don't think you guys have clay soils up there or do you?

No this isn't naturally occuring in the soil, it is actually mined from rock quarries. We have a wide range of soils, even on the farms. It appears to have been hydro-sorted from the melting glaciers so clay was floating at the top and the sand is everywhere underneath it. When the clay washed away it left many sandy locations evespecially around the lakes...

We have fairly heavy clay around the area so that the local construction company has all materials necessary to mix up a nice blend of topsoil...

Most of my lawns have soil brought in at several inches deep... Which of course they over water and turn it greasy under the turf... :)

ChiTownAmateur
03-08-2011, 06:45 PM
KISS principle here imo...the disease is most likely due to your springtime efforts to grow new grass...lots of watering, fertilizer sets it up for disease potential

IMO you need to quickly get new grass up, and then follow best practices so you are not watering or fertilizing any more than necessary

I think shopping for different cultivars is more work than necessary -- simply get a very high quality blend and get it down. What is in it matters...but what will thrive on your property will naturally select itself by being successful on its own and outgrowing the other types

The process should get easier every single year. You should have less and less work and renovation to do as the quality goes up. Don't start over! Simply get the seed down and let nature do the work (with your assistance watering). Do it once, do it right, and let it spread on it's own all spring summer and fall. It can be a multi-year process but don't keep starting over.

ChiTownAmateur
03-08-2011, 06:48 PM
riggle / tombo...

i have to confess, i was a bit aprehensive about tombo's suggestion to apply pre-m to the entire lawn....and then scratch up the area(s) that need seed. however, riggle...you seem to support his approach so i'm opening up to the idea. my initial thought is if i apply a pre-m to the entire lawn and then prep the areas needing seed, a good rain (or several) would cause the pre-m to wash or leech into my new seed thereby preventing germination. if i was just seeding one concentrated area needing repair, i could see trying to isolate/eliminate that area from my pre-m application so i wouldn't worry about rain washing over and contaminating the seeded area. however, the repairs that are needed seem to be scattered throughout and not easily isolated or confined.

wouldn't this be reason enough to forego the pre-m 'this spring' and simply concentrate on seeding early spring or even later should i need a 're-do'. i think i could take my chances with some crabgrass infestation in my 'unprotected lawn' because it's already pretty thick. as i said, i do have an irrigation system so heat/drought conditions isn't a big concern for new seedlings. ultimately, i totally agree with the idea that a thick lawn provides little room for weeds/crabgrass. at least this is my goal.

as for my neighbor's (a relative) lawn, i can completely agree with all the suggestions that have been thrown out in previous replies. the plan is starting to become clear.

on the topic of using good 'disease resistant' seed with a good blend of kbg, i think my original stand of grass was 'premium atheletic' from lesco....which i thought was a pretty good blend. however, FOR ME, it hasn't been terribly resistant from the 5 fungus types mentioned as i have battled with some or all each of the 4 years since it's start. i'm sure, part of the problem is with the idiot who maintain's it (tee-hee).

this season, for my lawn, i'm going to try several new strategies such as: (a) 'spoon feed' fert schedule because my WALKER GHS is robbing me of important nutrient$ - clipping$, (b) mowing a little shorter than my usual 3 1/2" - 4" length during the hot and very humid months so the lawn won't maintain high moisture and breed fungus (c) apply fungicide at the proper rate/intervals and quit worrying about the cost, (d) incorporate a better, more disease resistant seed. i think i've already developed good watering/irrigation practices so that shouldn't be an issue. it's a bear trying for the perfect lawn!!!

Here is where you need to think it through...the reason for the disease is very unlikely to be due to your mowing height, which is in the ideal range according to most of the pros here. It is the amount of water and fert being applied that is your issue. Often the fungus begins before you see it and that is in mid-spring as you are growing the new grass. If anything, one good app in late spring should cover your bases for disease. After that, plan on NOT needing any unless you have drainage or sun issues. If you are watering more than 1 or 2x a week in summer, that is too much even for newer grass.

RigglePLC
03-08-2011, 08:05 PM
Can be tough. Warm humid nights really promote fungus, especially a warm drizzly rain--when nightime temps exceed 70 degrees. It was hot last year in your area, right? It is important to avoid watering at night--nothing after 5 pm. Also, my opinion, sometimes you can reduce disease by trying to water 3 times per week more deeply--thereby reducing the average humidity, and making the turf wet only 3 times per week instead of 7 times. Gray leaf spot is real serious on ryegrass, and brown patch, also (not to mention red thread). I would like to know what exact diseases were a problem. Slow release fertilizer is better, fertilizer in cool weather is better than in hot weather. Red thread is worse if nitrogen is lacking.

Squirter
03-09-2011, 07:59 AM
yes riggle, it was hot and humid in my area (cent. ind.) last summer. perfect conditions for fungus. as for the types, i didn't bring an expert to my home to diagnose the fungus(s), but, i'm not a total idiot and from my experience and research, i'd bet most of the farm i had some rust, brown patch, and necrotic.

i don't want to get in trouble turning this thread into something more appropriate for another topic on lawnsite but i will say this: i'm having somewhat of an internal struggle with the amount of fert i'm using. i know i'm using slow release (lesco). my struggle is that i'm using a walker mower with the ghs so i'm collecting my clippings. this tends to make me think i should use 'more' fert to make up for the nutrients/fert i'm sucking up and throwing away. however, the reality could be quite different. so perhaps i'm applying more fert than my lawn can take, hence, the thought of a 'spoon feed' approach for this year. i was going to try cutting back on the amount but increase the frequency of my aps. i know, i know, GET SOIL SAMPLES!!! but, after doing it myself for so many years, i'm starting to see what works and what doesn't through trial and error. so, hopefully this year, i'll start getting it more 'right than wrong'. as for my watering habits (yes, i have an irrigation system), trust me, i'm doing things 'by the book'.

at the end of the day (as they say), i'm still stuck with a 'hodge-podge' lawn made up of several blends of kbg...that have been added to the initial stand of premium athletic, both through slice/overseeding the entire turf AND through 'spot treating' (which has resulted in the polka-dot look of mis-coloration). in addition, i'm looking at a lawn that has some drought damaged areas left over from last year (my watering was briefly interrupted by a failure in my irrigation system) along with several thin areas needing to be thickened. so......there you have it. the real kicker is MY lawn gets the most compliments of any in the entire neighborhood. go figure!

tombo82685
03-09-2011, 05:48 PM
yes riggle, it was hot and humid in my area (cent. ind.) last summer. perfect conditions for fungus. as for the types, i didn't bring an expert to my home to diagnose the fungus(s), but, i'm not a total idiot and from my experience and research, i'd bet most of the farm i had some rust, brown patch, and necrotic.

i don't want to get in trouble turning this thread into something more appropriate for another topic on lawnsite but i will say this: i'm having somewhat of an internal struggle with the amount of fert i'm using. i know i'm using slow release (lesco). my struggle is that i'm using a walker mower with the ghs so i'm collecting my clippings. this tends to make me think i should use 'more' fert to make up for the nutrients/fert i'm sucking up and throwing away. however, the reality could be quite different. so perhaps i'm applying more fert than my lawn can take, hence, the thought of a 'spoon feed' approach for this year. i was going to try cutting back on the amount but increase the frequency of my aps. i know, i know, GET SOIL SAMPLES!!! but, after doing it myself for so many years, i'm starting to see what works and what doesn't through trial and error. so, hopefully this year, i'll start getting it more 'right than wrong'. as for my watering habits (yes, i have an irrigation system), trust me, i'm doing things 'by the book'.

at the end of the day (as they say), i'm still stuck with a 'hodge-podge' lawn made up of several blends of kbg...that have been added to the initial stand of premium athletic, both through slice/overseeding the entire turf AND through 'spot treating' (which has resulted in the polka-dot look of mis-coloration). in addition, i'm looking at a lawn that has some drought damaged areas left over from last year (my watering was briefly interrupted by a failure in my irrigation system) along with several thin areas needing to be thickened. so......there you have it. the real kicker is MY lawn gets the most compliments of any in the entire neighborhood. go figure!

How much are you putting down when you spoon feed? It should be under .25lbs per thousand when you do this.

In terms of the fertilizer being loss do to collecting the clippings, don't compensate for that by applying more fertilizer. Granted you are losing some nitrogen but its not a ton, just go with a more slow release fert. like you are. For fertilizing you should not be applying more than 5lbs of nitrogen to a lawn in the year, the recommended amount is 3-5lbs. Once outside this, you run into troubles.

Squirter
03-10-2011, 07:02 AM
I haven't been 'spoon feeding' YET. That's my plan/strategy for THIS season. As for my past approach for knowing 'how much' fert to apply, this is how it goes:

"Hey Mr. Lesco Rep., gimme the best you have for this time of the season that will cover approx. 8,500 sq./ft. Ahhh, that's a pretty big bag, how much of it will I need to use? Ok thanks, see you next time."

Then I go home, dump the recommended amount into the hopper of my Lesco broadcast spreader, turn the dial to the 'recommended setting' (as guesstimated by Mr. Lesco), make a pass through the yard and adjust (fine-tune) the spreader setting/walking speed to a point where I don't run out of material until I've covered the entire lawn.

How's that for being BRUTALLY honest????? NOW, go ahead and blast away at the 'dumb ole homeowner'. But you know what??? After doing this for several years, reading about lawncare, watching some pro's, and judging my results, I've actually become 'quite good' at what I do....and according to my easily satisfied neighbors who compliment my lawn, I must be doing something right. I'm just not satisfied because I know my lawn and it's far from perfect. Heck, most any dummy with some fert, irrigation system, and a little luck from mother nature, can grow decent looking grass.

Smallaxe
03-10-2011, 08:44 AM
Th problem with spoon feeding is the constant creation of 'real thatch'. The matted impervious layer of living and dead roots and stems above the soil line... That is always going to keep you from having a perfect lawn...

RigglePLC
03-10-2011, 08:30 PM
I think Lesco 24-0-11 will work for you. I think it comes in two versions. Nitrogen at 25 percent slow release, or 50 percent slow release. Use the 50 percent slow. A full bag covers 12,000 sqft. Try using half a bag. As Tombo and Small suggest omit fert in hot humid (disease prone) weather. Try to apply it only when temps as expected to be below 85 for a few days. And this year--try to find out what diseases you have. And make sure no insects or grubs are involved.

Squirter
03-11-2011, 08:49 AM
24-0-11 has been my choice of fert for the last several years. i don't know whether it's been the 25 or 50% slow but i'll pursue your suggestion. you seem to be placing emphasis on the timing of my aps in relation to temp. not completely sure i'm getting the concept. as a reminder, i have an irrigation system...and also, i'm using a WALKER mower with the GHS which I believe is sucking up fert and other important nutrients, even tho i try to put off mowing for several days after applying the fert. i try to apply water FIRST or wait on mother nature as the case may be. regardless. the ghs is a sucking machine.

fyi. my spring ap's (2) have been 19-0-6 w/dimension and in the late fall, it's been 35-3-5 (i think). although this spring, i'm thinking of going 'unprotected' when it comes to using a pre-m so i can potentially do a complete reno this fall. i'll try to identify EXACTLY what types (if any this season) of fungus i am encountering. however, i can quit thinking about frying my lawn and starting over this fall in the ongoing quest for perfection.

RigglePLC
03-11-2011, 11:49 AM
Don't skip the crabgrass control. It should be dissipated enough as to not interfere with seeding in late summer or fall. (When temps fall below 85.) And be sure to research the top quality most disease resistant types of grass you can find. Silver Dollar Perennial rye is my current favorite.
I feel that as long as you water-in your fert--the suction bagging system should not remove much of the applied fert.
Good luck and let us know what happens.

Like Tombo, I am thinking that high nitrogen, during hot humid weather might stimulate disease. This is particularly a problem with brown patch on tall fescue in the upper south.

ChiTownAmateur
03-11-2011, 05:48 PM
Once you decide upon the grass you like best, if you overseed it each Fall after dethatching and aerating you will soon have a lawn that is consistent without the mottled look.

For fert, a few tips you may already know:
1) The 50/50 rule...go N/S across the entire lawn with half the fert, then go E/W with the other half
2) For bigger lawns some people split it into say 4 quarters, and do one at a time. If you follow the 50/50 rule with quarters, you'll know quickly if the setting is right...if it isn't since you only used half of what you need, you can quickly adjust. By the 2nd or 3rd quarter, it will be perfect, and all future apps will already have the perfect setting in place