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Mikegyver
10-19-2011, 01:27 PM
Well the title says it all pretty much. The yard only has a small patch of St aug in one corner of the front yard (side and back are fine). The yard is irrigated (though probably not enough) and just will not grow the grass. He put out seed and nothing came up. I gave him an estimate on sod and the price was astronomical. So I need an alternative. I was thinking of tilling in topsoil and drill seed but I have no idea if this would work and if it would how to do it.
Anyone have some ideas?
Mike

JDiepstra
10-19-2011, 02:10 PM
Maybe you need to have a soil sample analyzed. Is there a lot of shade? I don't know much about growing grass in Texas but I do know it has been very hot and dry this year. You can't just grow grass by throwing seed on top of dirt. The soil has to be broken up and the seed should ideally be raked into the soil a bit, and then it should be kept damp for weeks.

Mikegyver
10-19-2011, 02:53 PM
Exactly. I do not think the customer was watering enough. Either that or he was not watering long enough when he watered. It only gets like the midday shade (has tall trees to the east and west) so that may be part of it. But all the other grass around him (in his yard and the 100+ neighbors) is fine so I don't know what to do.
mike

StihlMechanic
10-19-2011, 05:21 PM
He sounds like some of my customers. The cities around me are on water restrictions. They are not adjusting the irrigation duration to compensate for the restrictions and the turf, especially SA is dieing. I wouldn't do any sod or seed for him unless the irrigation aspect was handled. I try to educate my customers.

Mikegyver
10-19-2011, 09:17 PM
He sounds like some of my customers. The cities around me are on water restrictions. They are not adjusting the irrigation duration to compensate for the restrictions and the turf, especially SA is dieing. I wouldn't do any sod or seed for him unless the irrigation aspect was handled. I try to educate my customers.
I try. And try. And try to educate customers. I cannot make them do anything!
Mike

StihlMechanic
10-19-2011, 10:04 PM
Its tough. These are the clients I will drop when the time is right.

Landscape Poet
10-19-2011, 10:09 PM
Well the title says it all pretty much. The yard only has a small patch of St aug in one corner of the front yard (side and back are fine). The yard is irrigated (though probably not enough) and just will not grow the grass. He put out seed and nothing came up. I gave him an estimate on sod and the price was astronomical. So I need an alternative. I was thinking of tilling in topsoil and drill seed but I have no idea if this would work and if it would how to do it.
Anyone have some ideas?
Mike

St. Augustine does not have a viable seed....so I am not sure what he was trying to grow but it was not it. SA is either through plugs, sprigs or sod...no other option that I am aware of.

If he did not disturb the soil - seed germination is not going to happen.

I cost is the only factor and the guy wants grass. Get common Bermuda seed.......lightly distrurb the soil in the spring....apply seed...water....and watch out. It should grow well assuming the location is a full sun area and the customer has not dumped something on the soil and contaminated the soil.

Good luck

Mikegyver
10-19-2011, 10:20 PM
What can i plant NOW so that its green through the winter? I was thinking rye would work.

@StihlMechanic....Please understand this is in one of the high-end neighborhoods in our city. Like i said he has at least 100 houses in his neighborhood if not 200. 95% have a lawn service. He is my first yard in that neighborhood...its a keeper for now.
mike

TNGrassCutter
10-19-2011, 11:59 PM
Some annual ryegrass will work, but will die when temps rise in the spring. But it will get the quickest cover through the winter but be ready to plant something else next spring.
Posted via Mobile Device

Mikegyver
10-20-2011, 12:15 AM
Gotcha. Should i till and all? What depth?
mike

StihlMechanic
10-20-2011, 01:11 AM
Just scalp and bag the lawn, then spread rye @ 5-10lbs per 1000 sq ft. Water water water.

Mikegyver
10-20-2011, 01:31 AM
Thanks. Glad there's not much lawn to mulch LOL. Can we do that NOW in texas? Its in the 40s here right now.

mike

StihlMechanic
10-20-2011, 02:18 AM
Your area is the same as my zone. They say your window is 9-15 til 10-31 but depending on the forecast for a freeze you could go into November. I have seeded as late as 11-10. Make one thing clear to the client, the soil bust stay moist until full germination, which is about 2-3 weeks. Then irrigate like any other turf, 1 inch per week. Personally I leave instructions on irrigation and NO WARRANTY. It is up to the client to irrigate. So far I have yet to have a problem, done about 10 this fall. One lady even emailed me pictures thanking me for such a good job. Just go buy a 50lb bag of gulf annual rye grass, its about 25 bucks. One bag will heavily seed a typical 1/5 acre lot. Good Luck.

TNGrassCutter
10-20-2011, 09:29 AM
I think you could probably throw annual rye on concrete in a rain shower and it would grow.
Posted via Mobile Device

StihlMechanic
10-20-2011, 04:20 PM
I think you could probably throw annual rye on concrete in a rain shower and it would grow.
Posted via Mobile Device

This is true. It will germinate anywhere it lands if kept moist.

Landscape Poet
10-20-2011, 10:09 PM
What can i plant NOW so that its green through the winter? I was thinking rye would work.

@StihlMechanic....Please understand this is in one of the high-end neighborhoods in our city. Like i said he has at least 100 houses in his neighborhood if not 200. 95% have a lawn service. He is my first yard in that neighborhood...its a keeper for now.
mike

Rye....with rye there is not a need to till just broadcast on top of the lawn and keep it moist for about 7 days....in about two weeks the grass will be growing like crazy and will die out in the early to late spring dependent on your temps.

Landscape Poet
10-20-2011, 10:38 PM
I think you could probably throw annual rye on concrete in a rain shower and it would grow.
Posted via Mobile Device

Had this happen when I overseeded last year and it got in the cracks of the sidewalk. 7 days later rye was growing in the seems where it overbroadcasted.

Mikegyver
10-31-2011, 10:19 AM
How much do you have to mow this stuff during the winter? Most of my customers do not want me to have to mow every other week the whole year!
Mike

RigglePLC
10-31-2011, 09:00 PM
Mac, you need to find the cause of the lack of grass--and why St Augustine survived in the one corner, and why it did fine in the side and back. Good comment Diepstra. This sounds like a shade problem--if not, then a soil test is in order. I am not from Texas, but are you aware of the main diseases and insects in your area? Chinch bugs? St Augustine Decline? Nematodes? Gray leaf spot? Does cus water the back and front the same? Tngrass is right, some annual rye would give you quick green. Loosen the soil if it is hard, but if not, you only need to loosen the top inch or two and try to bury the seed about a half-inch deep. Save a sample and plant it inside at your office so you can see what it would do if properly cared for. Help him set his irrigation timer. Read his water meter so you know how many gallons he used. Check his soil with a moisture meter about once per week--in front of homeowner--so they know you know. Use plenty of seed, about 8 pounds per thousand sqft. Under ideal conditions it will be an inch tall in 7 days.

Mikegyver
10-31-2011, 11:53 PM
I wanted to help him w/ his irrigation but he said he had it handled. Personally i feel like its a water issue but "all the heads are working fine". I told him to up the water a ton to see if that will help. I mean if the weeds will no grow then nothing will.

RAlmaroad
11-01-2011, 05:32 AM
Riggs may be right. Sounds a little suspicious that the St. Augustine would be OK in a corner. Check for clinchbugs, grubs, fungus and a host of other things. Was this a slow decline? Grey Leaf Spot will take out St. Augustine in a few weeks as well as clinch bugs. Do a soil test and go from there. On another type of grass--think about Bermuda or Zoysia. Both tolerate somewhat dryer conditions. Let us know what you find. Also a couple of photos would help. Otherwise, we are all just guessing.

Mikegyver
11-01-2011, 08:15 AM
I will get some pictures when I get over there...hopefully thursday. I don't really need something that will tolerate heat...this thing is fully irrigated!!!!!!

Mikegyver
11-02-2011, 09:40 AM
One thing i would like to add....I always get cent and st aug confused...this is Cent not st aug.
mike

RigglePLC
11-02-2011, 08:51 PM
Glad to hear its irrigated, the water issue is fine and all heads are working. OTOH...I hate to tell you this...but, sometimes customers can keep a real straight face and lie like a rug.

Has it been dry down there in Texas? Just how wide are the cracks in the soil? Do you have a moisture meter?
http://www.amazon.com/Luster-Leaf-1820-Rapitest-Moisture/dp/B001A5OR5I
Stick the probe in the soil and let him argue with the machine. This little device will save you many headaches.

Also try the screwdriver test.If you can shove it in up to the handle--that is wet. Three inches--moist. Two inches--inadequate. One inch or less--dry soil.

Mikegyver
11-03-2011, 09:29 AM
Yes. I will use the meter next time I am over there.
Mike

Kiril
11-03-2011, 09:55 AM
Glad to hear its irrigated, the water issue is fine and all heads are working. OTOH...I hate to tell you this...but, sometimes customers can keep a real straight face and lie like a rug.

Has it been dry down there in Texas? Just how wide are the cracks in the soil? Do you have a moisture meter?
http://www.amazon.com/Luster-Leaf-1820-Rapitest-Moisture/dp/B001A5OR5I
Stick the probe in the soil and let him argue with the machine. This little device will save you many headaches.

NONONONONONONONO! Those meters aren't anywhere close to accurate.

This is your best "cheap" meter option.

http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=3052


Also should note that just because the guy has irrigation doesn't mean it is effective. Get someone in there to do an audit of the system.

Mikegyver
11-04-2011, 10:13 AM
Get someone in there to do an audit of the system.
I was going to check the system for FREE! "No I have it handled"

Kiril
11-04-2011, 10:36 AM
I was going to check the system for FREE! "No I have it handled"

What do you mean by "check the system"?

Mikegyver
11-07-2011, 05:15 PM
Make sure its running correctly and everything gets watered. And resetting the timer so that everything gets watered the correct amount!
Mike

RAlmaroad
11-08-2011, 04:42 AM
Centipede instead of St. Augustine is a major difference. Get those photos and we'll go from there. The major cause of centipede decline is the wrong fertilize and soil pH. Too many variables to make a guess. Pull a soil test first.

Mikegyver
11-09-2011, 12:30 PM
Thanks. I'll see if I get back over there...read the Customer Issues thread in commercial and residential :rolleyes: