Need Help Identifying This Grass Problem

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by douglee25, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    I have a customer I visited over the weekend. He told me this appears to be spreading but he's not 100% sure. Anyway, check out these pictures.

    1. What caused this?
    2. What is it?
    3. What is your recommendation to fix it?

    Thanks again.

    Doug


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  2. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    Who cares what it is. I would sell him a new lawn so fast it would make your head spin!
     
  3. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    What would you recommend, sod or seed? Till everything up and then plant seed?

    In a perfect world it would be great to give him a new lawn. Unfortunately like many people today in this economy, they don't want to invest a ton of money. There are two areas that are approximately 10'x15'. I was hoping I could either kill or till up the area, throw down some top soil, and lay some seed.

    Thoughts?

    Doug
     
  4. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    First you will need to pull soil samples and get them off to the lab. Then you will have to wait until everything greens up like the tan patch of nimblewil or zoyzia in the pic plus whatever is growing and spreading. That way you can kill it thoroughly. Spray the entire front with Roundup wait a week to make sure you have it all then scalp it. Spread seed then aerify and repeat three times that day. Make sure you have put all your corrective inputs down from the soil test. Fertilize well and water heavy. Straw blanket if you like.

    If all that is showing in the pic is most of the front yard you can do everything including soil sample, roundup spray, fertilize, seed and aerate in less than 8 hours. If this lawn is less than 5 K I would charge 1000.00-1500.00. Pick the best Bluegrass with a little perennial rye and you will now have a great start for treating and maintaining if you mow.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Rye is junk grass .... bluegrass is inappropriate for this site and generally for the region given borderline transition zone & the apparent lack of irrigation. I do agree with the new lawn assessment, but the decision to till or not should be made based on soil test & physical conditions. Also, if the site does not have irrigation, then either get some or consider bailing on the lawn altogether and landscape it with regionally appropriate plants.
     
  6. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    I disagree about a ryegrass mix like double eagle being junk. Outstanding color and adding some endophyte and bio-diversity for patch diseases is a good idea. I will agree that if there won't be any irrigating during the heat I would recommend TTTF for drought resiliency but I would mix in about 15% Bluegrass for spread and fill.
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,449

    Are those lighter spots insect mounds? There is no saving that mess. Like previously stated, burn it all and fix the soil. Make the customer understand its almost impossible to have a nice yard without a real and efficient irrigation system.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Rye grass is junk in part because it is susceptible to a large variety of diseases, requiring more intensive management. The only time I might consider a rye is for winter color in a warm season grass. When it comes to cool season turf grasses, fescue wins hands down for being the most tolerant and problem free grass. In this case a mix of fine, red, and tall fescue would be my choice, with maybe a very small amount of blue.
     
  9. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    Kiril, you know I respect your thoughts always but putting fine fescues in full sun is a disaster up north for several months a year. I'll tell you why in a message if you like because I won't let that little secret out. It's huge problem and gives me a ton of renovation work each year.
     
  10. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    Thanks for the advice so far - A couple of points to ponder...

    1. Most lawns at this time of the year in the Northeast looks like complete crap. My yard looks like crap right now, but it looks beautiful during the year. It's hard for me to justify that to you when you see pictures like this though.

    2. The customer did mention that other than those two spots, the yard comes in fairly well.

    3. I do not have a pesticide license, so I can not spray round up or other chemicals on the lawn.

    Based on that, do you have any other recommendations?

    I suppose I decline on the grass scope of work and just bid on the rest.

    Doug
     

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