Thatch and Grub Problem

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by aporzondek, May 12, 2005.

  1. aporzondek

    aporzondek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I bought a house last year that is on 1.5 acres. The property is in a very nice subdivision full of beautifully manicured lawns. My lawn needs some work however. I know very little about lawns. I bought a 52' Exmark ZTR thinking that would solve all my problems ;) The mower does a wonderful job but who cares when your lawn has patchy yellow spots and loose turf? A friend of mine says I have Thatch and grubs.

    Anyways? I need some advice. I'm pretty sure I'm going to rent a Power Dethatcher and give that a whirl. I've read up on it quite a bit and understand what it will do to my lawn. What I'm missing however is the order in which to take do what needs to be done. I know I need to Dethatch, get rid of the grubs...re-seed and fertilize to regain my lawn after the de-thatch.

    Is this the proper order? Also, one thing to note, before I planned any of the above, I applied Lesco Weed'n Feed 2 weeks ago. 5 Bags over my 1.5 acres.

    1) Cut my lawn short
    2) Dethatch it
    3) Rake up the thatch
    4) Water it
    5) Spread Grub-Ex
    6) Spread Seed
    7) Spread Fertilizer
    8) Water, Water, Water

    Please, poke holes if I'm going about this wrong. Can I do 5,6, and 7 all at once?

    Thanks!

    Aaron
     
  2. aporzondek

    aporzondek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I should also add that I have a core (plug) Aerator at my disposal as well. Where in the mix do I use that? I assume I need to aerate even before I de-thatch and then clean up both the plugs and the thatch before seeding, de-grubbing and fertilizing?

    :dizzy:
     
  3. slow release

    slow release LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    Grub Ex will not kill the grubs you have in your lawn right now. It should be applied in July as a preventative for the fall batch of grubs. What you need to apply now is a curative insecticide like Dylox or Proxol. It is questional wether even that will work as grubs are very hard to kill this time of year. Also, it needs to be watered into the soil within 24 hours or it will break down with sunlight.
    The rest of your plan sounds good. As far as the aerator, plan on plugging in the fall and EVERY fall. Annual core aeration will keep thatch levels in check.
    Good Luck! :waving:
     
  4. aporzondek

    aporzondek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Where are you going to put 1+ acre of the crap you pull up with the dethatcher? That is going to be ALOT of stuff! I would do as stated above. If you can aerate for free, do it twice a year. Overseed each time and deal with crabgrass as it appears (no Pre M for a year). Make sure the loose turf is grubs (they dont do much damage this time of year, they did that last Fall). With the granular weed and feed, apply after a rain or dew to help the herbicide stick to the weeds. Apply granular Merit (July 1st) from Lesco and water in good as stated above to get the chemical into the soil. Do some comparisons on Fert costs from lesco. (19-2-3 compared to 32-3-4) and look at the 50 - 75% SCU to extend length of coverage.

    I would: Soil test, aerate, overseed a small area to start (hard to handle an acre in the summer) Mow at 3" minimum (leave clippings after July till August), Merit in July, Aerate 10 weeks before end of season and overseed.
     
  6. aporzondek

    aporzondek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thanks Marko!!! The more I've researched, the more leery I've become of using a power dethatcher. I don't like the idea of completely trashing my whole yard if it's really not required. I like the idea of giving Aerating and Overseeding a try. Also, I did some more digging for grubs, I haven't really found any and although I have yellow spots, the turf is solid and doesn't come up easy. I think my lawn just needs some solid care.

    A couple of questions, again I'm a major newbie to all of this...

    - You mentioned "deal with crabgras as it appears (no Pre M for a year)." What is pre M and how best should I deal with crabgrass.

    - I did a little hunting on Merit. It looks likes it's an insecticide that will prevent future Grub infestations? Is that correct. Is July 1st the best time to apply it?

    - How best do I go about testing my soil?

    - Finally, you recommended overseeding a small area first because an acre is too much to handle this time of year. Do you therefore recommend that I wait to overseed my whole yard towards the end of the season? That sounds fine to me. I would hate to invest in the overseeding project now if it's not the best time.

    - Also, I use my brother-in-laws 80lb Lesco Drop Spreader as my fertilizer device. Is this a good enough device for overseeding? Or do I need to use a seeder that actually pushes the seed into the soil.

    Thanks so much!

    Aaron
     
  7. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    - You mentioned "deal with crabgras as it appears (no Pre M for a year)." What is pre M and how best should I deal with crabgrass. Pre Emergent is a herbicide (Lesco has Dimension) usually put down and watered in when soil temps are consistantly 50 degrees. It prevents many seeds (crabgrass) from germinating. Unfortunatly It prevents turf varieties from germinating too. Next year, put in down before the Forsythia blooms fall and it will prevent crabgrass from germinating according to the label rates.

    - I did a little hunting on Merit. It looks likes it's an insecticide that will prevent future Grub infestations? Is that correct. Is July 1st the best time to apply it? I like Merit. This will be the first year I use granular. It needs to go down in early July, watered in w/ at least 1/2" water within 24 hrs, and when you mow dont catch the clippings for a month. Here is a link on Grubs. http://entomology.unl.edu/turfent/documnts/wgbmgmt.htm

    - How best do I go about testing my soil? Search "soil test" in google and look for info near you. Might also check with your county extension office. Make sure they give you the values as well as how much/what is needed to bring the soil up to snuff.

    - Finally, you recommended overseeding a small area first because an acre is too much to handle this time of year. Do you therefore recommend that I wait to overseed my whole yard toward the end of the season? That sounds fine to me. I would hate to invest in the overseeding project now if it's not the best time. I would knock out what you can now. An acre is a lot to cover period. Once the seed germinates, it will need to be kept moist which will entail several light waterings throughout the day. Start decreasing the number of times and prolong the duration until you are watering 1/2 to 1 " per week. Never water in the evening if you can help it. That promotes fungus.

    - Also, I use my brother-in-laws 80lb Lesco Drop Spreader as my fertilizer device. Is this a good enough device for overseeding? Or do I need to use a seeder that actually pushes the seed into the soil. A slit seeder will have better results, but if you aerate good, you will have good luck with the spreader. I would use Lesco's Park and Sport blend (PRG and KBG). Good disease resistance and color. Go at 1.5 lb's per 1,000 SF.
     

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