Need help with my lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lambdin, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. lambdin

    lambdin LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 94

    I live in Southern Indiana, my yard is mostley tall fescue, chickweed, clover, dandelions and crabgrass, the soil is pretty good but shallow in places maybe 3.5-4" of soil in places because of large limestone under the turf ( this I cant fix because of the cost to bulldoze) I 've tryed scotts turfbuilder with halts for the last 2 years with little results, I would like to thicken the grass and make it healthier, do I need to over-seed? if so please explain how, the yard has full sun exposure with good drainage, size is 1.5 acres, please help, thanks
     
  2. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    The side of my yard is the same way, your first step would be to take some soil samples to a place near you and see if the pH balance is right and they should be able to tell you what the soil needs.

    Then, as I just did myself with the area I have which sounds pretty much the same as yours (minus the weeds) overseed the area and top dress with compost.

    One extra thing you will need to do is kill the weeds off first, round-up if its bad.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    What kind of soil is this? Limestone underneath, may indicate high ph so it may be worth a look. You are sure about the drainage. Limestone underground could easily be holding water in the root zone. Can you till an area and get deeper than 3.5"-4"?
     
  4. lambdin

    lambdin LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 94

    The land is sloped pretty well, I nver have a problem with standing water od wet area's I'm located 20 miles south of the bedford, limestone capital of the world, had the soil tested before and it was ok, some area's you can till several feet while other only about 4" here's a recent pic of the side yard
    DSC01649.jpg

    DSC01649.jpg
     
  5. cudaclan

    cudaclan LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 152

    You must have runoff from that bridge and sloping landscape. Any standing water in the low spots? Timing of pre-emergent application is crucial (certain weeds). When did you apply it?

    "Limestone capital..." As in calcite, high PH. Certain weeds thrive in high PH. It can also "block" certain nutrient uptake (iron).


    http://www.yardorganics.com/indicator.html
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The slope is probably your biggest limitting factor. If the ph is fine then I would look at water penetration. Have you opened up the soil after watering to see how it soaked in - or not soaked in? Perhaps aeration will help if there is a problem there.

    It doesn't really look too bad from a distance. Can you just spray the weeds with broadleaf killer? Then over seed? If so I would cover the seed with compost and be sure to follow the directions for germinating grass seed.
     
  7. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    Your lawn doesn't look to bad, how old again is the turf? How bad the weeds are will tell you if you should just spot spray or get more agressive. I would just take care of the weed problem and then aerate heavily in several directions, overseed well, and starter fert. 1 good aeration and overseeding at the right time can totally turn a yard around if the weather is good, gets sufficient water, etc.
     
  8. lambdin

    lambdin LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 94

    the chickweed and clover are the big problems, probally a 50' x100' area, its taking over!, clover is all over the yard, this is an old homested the area in the pic used to be a unmowed field/ with orchard trees and chickens running about, the garage in the background was acually a 46' x24' chicken coup, should I try to spot kill or use somekind of weed killer, also when should I airate and how do you overseed?
     
  9. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    You might want to look into getting a fert. company to come out and spray your weeds and then you can stay on top of them. Now is the time to aerate and overseed in the midwest. Aeration for a lawn your size you would want to rent a pull behind aerator or have a quite few long hours of using the walk behind. Overseeding is simply using a broadcast spreader and spreading seed. When you aerate and overseed, go 2 directions and then all the seed you put down falls into the holes. After rain and whatever, the plugs that you pulled with aerator will break down making a perfect seedbed. Then spread starter fertilizer. Hope thats not too confusing, its really a simple 3 step process that can give you great results if you pull alot of plugs and apply good products. Aerate in at least 2 directions, spread seed, and add starter fert. then water.
     
  10. lambdin

    lambdin LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 94

    Would it be ok to areate and over seed without spraying the weeds first or should I first spray and wait awhile, also no one rents pull behinds around here, will a sears unit work? spike or plug type?
     

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