Problem yard... I need advice

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by KstateCutter, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. KstateCutter

    KstateCutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    A neighbor of one of my accounts approached me yesterday asking if I would diagnose the problem with her grass/ yard. I don't have any pics, sorry. Her yard is a mess, it has numerous dead spots but the largest problem I'm stumped on is that there are multiple varieties of grass and clover growing all mixed together. Quite a bit of zoysia has spread from another neighbor and is in large patches. How do I get rid of all the different grass and get her lawn back to a desirable grass? I know there is a thatch problem as I took multiple plugs out and saw up to 3/4" thatch primarily under the zoysia from it's roots. I doubt there has been professional maintenance in quite some time.

    I am thinking about starting with sending a soil sample to the extension office to check the pH, dethatching, aerating... and then I get stuck. I can get rid of the clover by applying a broadleaf herbicide but how do I get rid of the zoysia?

    Please help... I'm desperate and open to all ideas
  2. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I'll try to help you,First of all, the different types of grass are most likely from the homeowner trying to fix the lawn themselves, to no avail. Now lets bring in the pros.

    Your right to do a soil test, clover, I believe thrives on low nitrogen, and it is best to treat it in the fall,however, a broadleaf herbicide couldnt hurt now, unless your going to seed, but I would just kill the entire lawn, mow low, dethatch to take up as much dead grass as you can, aerate, mabye topdress, and seed. From your description of your accounts maint. habits, instruct them how to care for the new lawn your installing such as watering and mowing. Good luck.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    You aren't going to get rid of the zoysia. The stuff is unstopable, unless you excavate 6"s of soil and cart it off. The refill with sterilized soil and reseed. It's spread can be stopped.... install a 6" plastic "garden border", buried to the level of the top soil. I did this on one property, and so far it has worked. Zoysia is not a seed prolific grass. Get a soil barrier in there, one the zoysia runners can't get through, and it can be held back.

    Forgeting the zoysia for the moment, I would dethatch, aerate, and slit seed. Use a Tupersan starter (siduron) and follow up with another crabbgrass pre-M in 6 weeks. Top dress the whole thing after seeding with peat, 1/4" thick, then put down the starter with Tupersan.

    Repeat in the fall. Problem is, this isn't cheap. People want something for nothing, and when they hear it will be $100+ per K of turf for a renovation like this, they gag. Then tell them that sod is over $200 per 600 sq. foot.... and that is cost.... no soil prep or install labor....let em sit on that info like they are incubating an egg.
  4. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Wow, never knew zoysia was so tough, not much my way, the soil barrier is some good info though. Your dead on with the $$$ issue and customers everybody wants something for next to nothing. Used to take next to nothing, not anymore!
  5. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    yup. zoysia is tough, i usually kill in three apps of round up and mowing shorter in between each app. process takes about a month and a half to include re entry for seed. is a pita but what has to be done to solve the problem

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