What are we seeing from the aeration plugs?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    It is a good time to pick up some plugs, clean off the turf and roots and send them to the lab.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Another interesting thread to do, would be what the lab tells us about, soil tilth... but again, I was just curious if anyone is able to discern anything at all, by looking at a various collection of plugs all over the ground... even a note of soil texture is better than nothing... structure, is pretty easy to spot and explain to the client...

    Anyone??? :)
     
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,099

    I will take a second look. Scotts treated a neighbor near me Monday. Aeration--but it didn't go too deep, and the holes were about 6 inches apart. Then he treated with fertilizer using what was perhaps an inexpensive blend. I could see no sign of yellow sulfur-coated urea. He used a Turfco T-3000, loaded it onto a back shelf carrier and took off leaving the motor on the T-3000 running as he drove off. Lawn was small--about 5000 sqft. Swath was about 10 feet. I could smell no herbicide. I didn't see any crabgrass in the lawn.
    Soil in my neighborhood is sandy, I will look for additional info from the core.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It would be interesting to see how much root he had in the sandy soil in comparison to the amount of living thatch he has at the surface...
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,099

    I took a couple cores from near the road, where Scotts recently aerated. Sandy soil, somehat dry, cores were about 1 inch deep. I washed off the soil, and there wasn't much left. Top 3 short cores not washed. Second row of three below, after washing in water.
    I also took a ddep core with a soil probe from my own thick and irrigated lawn, sandy soil. But the roots seemed very fine and sparse below about 3 inches. The roots would not hold the core together most of the time. The core could not usually be lifted without breaking apart, below 3 inches. My lawn is blue, fescue and rye.

    I checked my neighbor's bad lawn which had a few tall fescue clumps--and got essentially the same result--no sign of deep roots from the fescue.

    S3500010.jpg
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It's hard to tell from the picture, but it seems that those 1" plugs are mostly living thatch, and w/out any plugs deep enough to see if there are any roots beyond that, we don't really know much beyond that...

    Your plug looks like lots of activity right at the surface, but doesn't seem to be the compacted living thatch... 3" of root after this summer, in sand, is really not bad at all, is it?...
    It would be interesting to see what your plugs look like by Halloween... :)
     
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Riggle, Is the neighbor on in ground irrigation? How frequently do they water?
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  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Aeration in lawns can be like tillage in AG crops. I do suggest it to knock down excessive OM in soil if the client has the funds to do it.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Never heard of excessive OM in the soil of a lawn... is that a common issue in HI???
     
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Okay...wouldn't excessive thatch due to high nitrogen fert and excessive watering.... count as organic matter.

    What happens in my area is topsoil is stripped off during development of tract housing and very little.is.put.back. Many lawns are hydro seeded on.top of.gravely and sandy combo poor.soils. People resort to Heavy use.of.Scotts type products and over.water to get.a.hyper dark.green.lawn.
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