Aeration, Power/Slit Seeding, and Weed Control...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by anon4once, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    phasthound is right in that adding the compost after plug aerating will begin the process of getting OM into the soil and that will help as a preventative for next year's possible fungal issues... 1/2 inch is a lot for 10k lawns, but at least do the most vulnerable areas now along with mulch mowing the entire 10k...
    His irrigation recommendations are also correct for cool-season grasses...
    We are too cold here for tall fescues so I don't know much about that...

    Is too much fertilizer one of the causes of Summer Patch???
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,785

    Sorry to not agree completely with others. If this lawn was not sod...it is probably perennial ryegrass with a small amount of bluegrass, (bluegrass establishes real slow). Most common disease on rye is red thread, but dollarspot and gray leaf spot are also common--in warm weather. The university disease "test" sometimes consists of a graduate student that looks at it and calls it from the symptoms. Plan to pay over a hundred dollars if you want the fungus cultured and examined microscopically. An experienced owner-operated firm has the best shot at a good diagnosis.
    http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scenefef5.html


    Now is probably the best time to seed--my suggestion for seed is when temps come down below 85 and it is 6 to 8 weeks before frost. You probably will have to wait with the Lockup weed control until about late October to allow the new grass to mature enough to withstand the chemical. Read the label. No need for additional fertilizer, at this point.

    Thin grass in the shade indicates there is not enough sunlight. Use a shade-type seed--but such seed is only slightly better than sunny seed. Its Ok to use a blue/rye mixture--if it is high quality and claims to be disease resistant. I agree with the comment that a ground cover is best in the shade. Myrtle, , ivy and pachysandra are the three best ones.
     
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    I disagree and think you should continue using gypsum. While your aeration holes are open would be a good time. You said you thought you noticed an improvement, right? It might be a good idea to get soil calcium level checked before using gypsum again, but I feel the practice fits your problem soil description.

    LESCO/JDL will have seed mixtures suitable for your area in 50# bags.

    I do believe it is better if you can get the holes grown shut or substantially grown shut before the dry winter winds arrive?. The shorter you maintain your grass the more important this is.

    The lime step kind of came out of nowhere. I would not do it unless you have had a soil test where it was recommended. If every one of your neighbors feels they need to lime year after year then maybe that would be enough of a sign to do it. Some fertilizers are incompatible with lime so pay attention to your timing of those two thing.

    No, I do not think there is a serious risk of over fertilizing - this year. Use something that is at least 50% slow release around the time you first mow the new grass and plan to hit it with a high potassium fertilizer sometimes in mid-to-late October.

    Weed killer: I assume we're talking about broadleaf weeds. LESCO/JDL will be able to make a good local recommendation. It's probably going to be something like their "Momentum," which is a good herbicide to start with. Applying herbicides (post emergent anyway) just does not get you very good coverage. You can buy a 3 or 4 gallon back pack sprayer for $80-$100, or you could pay someone about the same to come in and do an expert job later this Fall.

    If you topdress, I think I would use compost rather than sand in your case. 50-50 mix may be ok but no need for more sand than that IMHO.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Does gypsum really allow water to percolate through clay? I've never had any experience with the stuff and never see it for sale in bulk...
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Gypsum is primarily used to manage/reclaim sodic soils. Secondarily it can be used as a source of Ca in high pH soils and to adjust Ca:Mg. Like lime, you need a soil test to determine if gypsum is needed.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    So gypsum,,, to help clay percolate,,, may not be the most advantageous route to go???
     
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    Merit won't hurt anything. We applied it on lawns in late June thru July, and many homeowners don't water. Heaviest rain since then = 2/10 inch -- not enough to do any good. But we were finding active grubworms in mid November last fall, so late app's of Merit can be beneficial (even if applied late). Plus not all grubs hatch out the same day (lol), and we have three different grubs: Northern Mask Chafer, May/June beetle, and Jap beetle. Ohio State University also found that Merit can have some post emergence control >> I bet most folks here didn't know this.

    Please don't spend any more money of turf fungicides. Genetic engineering has evolved, providing turfgrasses that are way more resistant to diseases. I suggest 'turf-type tall fescues', and there are hundreds of good ones available now. Yet characteristics vary -- depending upon what you want. Iowa State University has over 100 different cultivars in test plots at their main research station.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Did I say that?
     
  9. anon4once

    anon4once LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I wanted to thank everyone for their time and information - I'm learning alot from you all and I know your time is valuable so I really can't thank everyone enough!!!

    I'm going to get get the aerating and seeding done in the next 2 weeks; using a good seed resistant to summer patch and other fungus, take care of the weeds later this fall once seed has grown, fertilize later (about 5-6 weeks from last application), and continue deep infrequent irrigation.. I also plan on testing the soil calcium and Ph levels.
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    That sounds like a good plan. One small thing I think we would all agree on is you should keep the new seed damp until well established, then return to deep infrequent watering. If you have automatic sprinklers, run the zones a couple short sets everyday for 3-4 weeks, reducing when you have rain. Good luck.
     

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