Please help! My lawn is a mess! SE Wisconsin. PICS

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by sethhobrin, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. sethhobrin

    sethhobrin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    My wife and I moved in to our first house last late fall. My lawn is a mess. And it REALLY stands out because most of the neighbors down the entire block have perfect lawns. I am located in SE Wisconsin.

    I put down some Menards brand weed and feed in April. Then in June I used Scotts Turfbuilder. I've also applied a single applications of ortho weed be gone to kill a lot of weeds that popped up earlier.

    I haven't really watered at all. It's been very hot and humid. We've also had more rain and crazy storms than usual.

    My lawn is very brown and spotty. There is also some weeds that keep returning or can't get rid of.

    What is the best course of action to get me on the road to recovery and what can I do to keep it in good shape?

    These links are all thumbnails. I have a strip of grass in front of my yard along the street as well as a side hard on the left hand side facing the house that is just as bad.




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  2. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    You have a lot of reading to do first. Start in the renovation forum and read on posts similar to yours. Your questions will all be answered shortly.
     
  3. sethhobrin

    sethhobrin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    I've been reading all day. Reading still. Reading about aeration, topdressing, overseeding etc.... Just wondering what people thing about a gereral plan of attack. It's all kind over overwhelming :) And maybe what I'm doing wrong and what I should be doing? My goal is to have a better lawn than my neighbors and I hope I can get some tips here to do that! Can't afford to just dish out lots of $$$ to pay someone else to do it so I gotta get my hands dirty. I understand this could take several seasons of hard work.

    Thanks in advance guys!
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Probably be a good idea to see what kind of soil you have. If it is heavy, the rains this year are going to create difficulty. Have you had puddles, or excessively soggy ground for extended periods?

    Do you mulch mow? Do you have thatch? (Dead grass clippings, do not make thatch) Too much N and too much water, makes a variety of problems in a variety of lawns.

    Simplest thing to do is aerate, overseed, and rake in compost, once the weather cools down a bit. It is a great catchall strategy, that is always worth the time and money, because every lawn can benefit, that looks like that. Besides, it may very well be your solution... :)
     
  5. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    In early september, rent an aerator and do a double pass over your lawn. If they have a power slit seeder, that would be an ideal way to overseed also in the fall. A balanced slow release fall fertilizer will also help ease you into next spring. Watch your product labels as you may have to wait 2-4 weeks after you fertilize (if it includes an herbicide) before you can overseed.

    Topdressing will really help too this year if you can, next year for sure. Check your county extension office and see if they have a soil testing lab. You will learn a lot about your soil and what it lacks through that process. It sounds like you are willing to do the work so that's a great start. Great lawns take a lot of elbow grease and some time. Don't expect overnight results, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised even by late fall if you follow the above and other suggestions posted.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Topdressing, with compost, will be the single most important thing you can do, right now. Problems, begin in the soil and compost will cover a multitude of sins, as it were.

    Aeration and seeding, does little, even in the short run, if your soil structure/texture/CEC is screwed up. Begin correcting the problem, and stop making it an, "if you can" measure. You will easily lose an entire season, by simply, treating the symptoms. Go for the cause, and if that doesn't work, then get yourself a county agent.
     
  7. sethhobrin

    sethhobrin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    I do mulch mow. I don't have standing water in the front yard.

    how much compost do you think I need for the yard in that picture? How deep to topdress with a wheelbarrel and large rake? I started looking for a place that sells compost and I can't seem to find one. most are mulch and landscaping places. Are these the type of places I should be looking? Is there a certain type of compost I should be asking for? I'm assuming I need well broken up comost and not something clumpy.

    I'm guessing I should aerate first, then topdress, then overseed/possibly slitseed?

    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys!
     
  8. sethhobrin

    sethhobrin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    Also here are my rental choices it looks like:

    Aerator: $75/day
    Billy Goat / AE400H
    Bluebird / H424

    Overseeder: $55/day
    Yardmarv / SMRHON
    Bluebird / PR18H5FA

    Are these good choices?
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I just lost my statement, for some reason, just like last nite, so I will make this quick intead,
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Compost may be found at a construction site that sells topsoil. Often they mix their own blend.
     

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