swimming pool effect?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Big Bad Bob, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    I have a property that is puzzling me. As the pics show, it is a shady area and the grass is thin to nonexistent. She said that 2 years ago the grass grew very well there. I had the soil tested through the Dept of Ag and all was good except the nitrogen was just adequate. I brought in some compost, and some high nitrogen starter fert and seeded it with some annual rye, perennial Rye and tall fecue. About half of the area germinated very well and after 6 weeks is filling in nicely. The other half, as you can see, the seed is mostly just lying there. She seems to think it has something to do with the fact that for the last 2 years the neighbor has had a 2000 gallon swimming pool right next to this area and has dumped some of the water from the pool into this area. This year they ran it over to the other side of their property and into their own garden. Should I have a mineral test done and if I do, what should I be looking for?

    I have also noticed, in the last 2 weeks, a bit of moss beginning to grow in the bare areas but the ph is fine.



  2. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    of course i have limited info, but i am going to guess in two years also the trees have probably put out much more branches and leaves to further shade the area. You would be suprised how much fill out a tree can do in only one season, yeat alone two.

    it looks way too shaded to grow any substantial amount of grass from the pics.
  3. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    Bumpity, bump, bump, bump.
  4. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    looks like a shade issue. get a good quality shade mix and maby prune the trees a little or make that area part of a flower bed
  5. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    This one is a little difficult. The customer doesn't want the trees pruned and I've used a shade mix and rye and tall fescue, which usually does very well in the shade. The weird thing is that the area to the rear of the pic looked just like this 3 months ago and is actually shadier than said area and the fescue and rye are coming in very thick.
    Also, I suggested sod and I suggested a shade plant bed. She doesn't want either. Not sure where to go from here. I had a master gardener suggest iron in this area. But without a mineral test, I'm not sure.
  6. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 809

    Tell them if they don't want to prune they won't have any grass, it is that simple. They probably would not even be able to tell when it was done. I would not be using rye and tall fescue either, creeping red fescue is the best for dense shade like that. I have grown that stuff in darn near complete darkness with hardly any sun.

    If all else fails dig up the soil in the areas that wont grow about a 6-8 inch deep and replace it all with new dirt.

    Or, dig out a mulch bed under the tree canopy like there should be anyway. There looks like some semblance of a tiny one already with those rocks around the base, but for that size tree it is not even close to the right diameter. Problem solved. If the customer does not want that either tell them you don't know what else to tell them and move on, they seem to be a bit difficult to deal with. There should also be a mulch bed around those little trees down the side too.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  7. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    I'm sorry. I meant creeping red Fescue.I guess I wroteTall Fescue. Her big thing is that the grass grew there before and is growing in another area close by that is even more shady. I guess she wants to wait till spring to make a decision on a mulch and shade plant bed. That seems to me to be the best route.
    And it isn't her. It's her son, who lives 1000 miles away who insists that grass should grow there. I guess his word is more important than mine but we'll see in the spring.
    And she doesn't want us to discontinue service and she pays well and on time and has lots of side work that she is very happy with us about. It's just the one bare area issue. One of her neighbors sent his hack LCO over to looks at it and he assured her he could get grass to grow there but she said if I couldn't get it to grow then how could he. At least the trust is still there.
    Thanks for the advice so far.

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