Help! What to do with this lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by POPO4995, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. POPO4995

    POPO4995 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    I got a call yesterday to look at a yard. The entire front yard is brown, if you take a leaf rake you can peel the grass (or whats left of it) down to bare dirt, no root system what so ever. He said it died off last year during the drought, but had started before that. He had soil samples done a few years ago, and they said that he had some type of disease (he's going to find the paperwork to tell me), and that only low nitrogen products should be used. Well, he hired someone to fertilize and they didnt listen...wondering what we need to do to get this yard looking good again. It use to be a great looking yard.

    lawn1.jpg
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    My guess it was just thatch that got diseased and peeled up like a carpet... possibly fungal disease helped it along... full sun and was probably mowed short as the ground baked between the grass plants, with no ability to hold adequate water on the slope...
    I bet he over waters, over ferts, and puts down lots of 'cides as well... What kind of soil does he have under the dead carpet???(other than barren) :)
     
  3. POPO4995

    POPO4995 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    Soil looks very good, called today and said that the previous owner had the lawn hydroseeded last March then we didnt get enough rain obviously. He bought the house in June of last year and now has this. Think time for a new lawn install?
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    Hydroseeded...probably mostly ryegrass, and it probably had brown patch or gray leaf spot...and perennial rye is just not so great when it gets hot. Irrigation is really what it needs. And a better quality of grass. Consider tall fescue sod. Accept the check right away as he probably won't water again this year.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Riggle followed an unirrigated, hydroseeded lawn last year and we all got to see it turn to CG by Fall... w/out irrigation I would not spend a lot of money on it this time of year... run over with a slit-seeder with a mix of grass seed containing 10-15% annual ryegrass to keep the dirt covered for the season,,, and do a real renovation this Fall... :)
     
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    My self I would go in there till it all of it up start over Re grade it Make sure till in what soil test shows .
    I would use turf fescue
    If your area lets you blow straw I would do that.
    Around here rye, bluegrass are worst thing to have. They are high maintained lawns and they get fungus and sod webworms and are first lawn to go brown.
    That's what I recommend to all my customers. I even give a 1 year warranty if they go with turf fescue and this on non irrigated lawns.
    I have 5 so far to re do the lawns once it dries out.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    This far north, we use a blend of KBG, P. Rye, and Red Creeping Fescue... NW IL may need to consider what the local climate does w/out irrigation,,, B4,,, costing the client too much money...

    Its called: "Throwing Good Money After Bad"... :)
     
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    Don't worry about poor rooting. It just means that the grass was neglected last year. Looks like a high percentage could be fine fescue...inexpensive seed...if its one of the generic-quality varieties.

    I just looked at some seed while shopping at Home Depot. I looked at some Vigro "Contactors Mixture". It was 62 percent as costly as the Scotts "Turf Builder" seed. 20 pounds claimed to cover 9000 sqft. It contained a hefty percentage of annual rye. Under weeds, it listed 27 annual bluegrass seeds per pound.

    It cost $40 for 20 pounds.
     
  9. POPO4995

    POPO4995 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    Im thinking about completely tilling the entire yard, re-grading, and seeding with kentucky blue/seasonal rye mix. All the lawns here are bright green now and this yard is completely brown and I took a leaf rake to the lawn and pulled basically a carpet of old thatch up right down to bare dirt. The lawn was hydroseeded in the fall of 2011 to fill in some bare spots and never took. They had soil tests done the previous year and came back recommending aeration, reseed, and decrease the spring Nitrogen app. Well after the hydroseed in 2011, some company threw a high nitrogen fertilizer on in Spring 2012 and then came our drought. The homeowner im dealing with now bought the house in June 2012. Now he's screwed. The soil test was done by University of Illinois, and the actual diagnosis was an inknown Abiotic disorder
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    An unknown abiotic disorder??? what kind of soil is it for the first 6"(clay/sand/loam)???
    Adding compost may make this tilling worth while but otherwise,,, what is your reason for tilling???

    How do you fix an unknown???
     

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