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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by OrganicsMaine, May 12, 2011.

  1. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Hi everyone,

    So I picked up a lawn that was being treated synthetically by a not so good company, and on top of that, it was being watered every day for 10 minutes/day last year. Mowed 2-2.5" all season as well.

    So, the result is 2"+ of thatch and a struggling lawn.

    Now for the remedy....

    Aerated, triple. Dethatched....the best that I could. Over seeded the areas that were completely dead and topdressed w/compost.

    I am going to aerate again in June....I know, not the typical approach, but I want to keep breaking this thatch up. If there wasn't irrigation, I wouldn't be doing it in June. As far as fert, I used a 19-19-19...yes, synthetic....at the .5 rate, and will do so again in June after I aerate again. I may try a bit of ICT in mid July to keep the process going. September will be another aeration, and over seeding. I am also going to try and sell them on a full topdressing then as well.

    Oh yeah, the soil test.....pH was a bit low, 5.8, so I limed it with a dolomitic lime...the mg was low. SOM was about 5.2% so a little low for my likings. Will have them mulch mowing all summer to help a bit with that. Once I get this thing going, I will be switching to NP, but possibly not until next year.

    So, have at it, let me know what you all think.
  2. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    Dont you lime when the acid is HIGH????? i dont do lime so i am going off what i think i heard .
  3. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    XLS....a low pH means that the soil is acidic.
  4. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    ok thanks for that. my bad
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    What are you thinking??? Triple 19 already??? How often have you mowed?? We still have lawns that are only now waking up...
    You do know what causes thatch, correct?


    And Phosphorus... why P??
  6. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    This lawn will be mowed for the second time this weekend. The whole thing was seeded with a number of areas that were completely bare. Also, it was heavily aerated and verti-cut, and with all of those roots tied up in the thatch, it could use the help. The bulk of the reason for the thatch, I believe, was the watering schedule and the mowing. Also, I put it down at the half rate, so not a heavy hit of N.

    What are your thoughts of the aeration next month?
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Post the soil sample if you can. There are older varieties of KBG that are extremely thatchy...so I'm kinda curious how this all works out...even though you are doing too much to really know what the main culprit is.
  8. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Soil Test:

    pH: 5.6
    P: 54
    K: 102
    Ca: 783
    Mg: 86

    CEC: 11.6
    OM: 5.4%

    What do you mean that I am doing too much to know what the main culprit is?
  9. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    I just mean that you are doing everything at once..which is good for the customer and likely the way your business should handle it, but will be not so easy to determine which treatment had the most effect to reduce thatch. I don't think I've ever seen bad thatch that was the direct result of mowing technique....and I've delt with thousands of lawns.
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    MDLWN brings up a good point about the variety of, and I assume it is KBG, KBG

    I think I would have used the NP before the chem fert

    you really have no choice to do what you did, you have to get all of the thatch out of there to begin with, what you need now is worm and microbe food. The soil is going to be pretty dead from being covered for so long. think soil food instead of plant food, molasses, kelp, humate. I would start with molasses and move to humate later in the season, you have to get the bacteria going first before the fungi can start to grow

    I agree with changing the watering schedule, probably one of the best changes at the site

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