Advice on this lawn.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ps6fsu, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. ps6fsu

    ps6fsu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    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/
     
  2. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    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.
     
  3. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    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.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    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... :)
     
  5. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    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.
     
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,788

    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  7. ps6fsu

    ps6fsu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    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?
     
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,788

    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  9. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

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

Share This Page