View Full Version : Advice on "Renovation"

03-31-2012, 08:31 AM
I have a customer whose winter home is here in town. The lawn is NOTHING special at all. She just has me keep it knocked down in the summer (on my list of a day of bi-weekly lawns I have).

Last week, she told me she wanted to spend a lot of time here this summer....and wanted the lawn to look better than it does.

She really needs a load of topsoil brought in. But, I personally don't know if it's not better to wait until the fall or not. I don't know. I went ahead and did a lime and fert. application (it's red clay soil) in prep. for the fall (when "I" think the time to do the work is).

I'm not even thinking I'll spray out her pests.....until it's time to re-do things. At least what's there will be green...lol.

What would you do? Wait....or (_________)?

03-31-2012, 10:15 AM
Up here I would go ahead with ARyegrass to get through the summer... Topdress with compost/sandy loam to cover the seed, but add more ammendments to break up the clay when I tilled in the Fall...

Does AR grow OK in NC???

03-31-2012, 10:52 AM
It grows great..................until it gets hot!....lol

I could do it in the back (shady) yard, though.

03-31-2012, 11:10 AM
What kind of grass is the current lawn? Do you have a heat loving grass that propagates quickly by Rhisomes? Do you plan to till in ammendments in the Fall?

03-31-2012, 11:23 AM
It's got some bermuda.....some tall fescue.....and some doll-haired patches I "assume" are a type of fescue.

And, it's got about every winter annual known to these parts in the front. It needs topsoil badly, but I hesitate at this stage to do anything except get the soil ready to over-seed in the fall.

Like I said, I took a soil sample....added lime and fert....and I'm "here".

03-31-2012, 11:24 AM
She wants you to do the work right away, and may lose interest by fall. I am assuming the lawn is tall fescue. No reason to bring in (topsoil and the weeds contained in topsoil), as long as you can get the seed dragged in.
Would it work to double aerate, double rate seed (quality TTTF), fert and lime, drag it in. Kill weeds and crab as they come up starting about 6 weeks after seeding. Explain that if any drought injury occurs, thinness develops or soil becomes visible, you must also seed in the fall when conditions are more favorable. Try to get her to pay for the extra seed. Show her the seed brochure, try to get her to select and pay for a premium disease-resistant type.

Aerate, seed, drag. Could be done by noon.

03-31-2012, 03:04 PM
She's a really good customer who isn't looking for a miracle. She'll ride this out, IF (hence my question, here) I tell her that's the best thing to do (wait 'til fall).

The bare(r) spots are just red clay. It's ugly. I'm not sure I could get anything to grow in it. It's also hard-packed.

Like I said...it's a good situation with my customer. She's just looking to make it "better".

04-01-2012, 10:47 AM
I would fill in the ugly red clay spots, for sure... I do that automatically in the Spring after winter kill... If they are to large then you may want to use a Mantis tiller, but many times a pail full of compost and a Garden Weasel will get the seed planted w/out too much time and effort...
I imagine your running out of time down there for Spring seeding... good luck... :)

04-01-2012, 12:11 PM
Red clay gets slippery when wet and hard when dry. However...if you can grow weeds you can grow grass. Top quality will take some real talent, though. Seed, water and fert are the three legs of the grass stool.

04-02-2012, 06:16 AM
Thanks guys. I probably painted too bleak a picture. The bare spots are just the voids between clumps. From a short distance, the yard looks pretty full.

Thanks for all of your great advice.