Whats going on with this yard?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by gulfjoe, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    Some food for thought: When we water plants, the majority of the time we're watering them until the water is coming out the bottom of the flower pot. Thus, we're watering deep enough to saturate the root zone and usually 3 inches of soil or more. The excess water will drip out. We're not watering the blades of the plants, we're watering the soil.

    The same scenario must play out for a lawn and yes, it will require lots of water during the summer heat season/drought season. This will play a major role in your water bill if you have to pay for your water through a municipality or on your electric bill if you have to run a pump from a well. Either way, if you want a nice lawn you're going to have to water it well and to do so will could certainly cost you a lot of money.
  2. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I am afraid manual labor is the best way to spread sand. I use a level lawn lute I 'borrowed' from the golf course and it is an amazing tool for working the sand into the uneven spots while getting things level.

    When we get little to no rain, I set my irrigation 15min per zone twice a week. Bermuda does well without heavy watering. One of my neighbors does 20 minutes per zone once a week and it looks great.

  3. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,626


    Adjusted times on unit. 25 minutes. I was confused because I thought it was running multiple programs throughout the morning but I guess it wasn't.

    I cut in to the ground yesterday and I know it was moist to at least 8".

    Soil test sent out yesterday 8-10 day turnaround I will post the results ASAP.
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  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,232

    thanks for the update. Dryness it appears is not the problem. Lets rethink. What about something in the bark along the east side? If something was flowing downhill from that area...would that account for the pattern you see? More intense near the bark? Suppose there was too much Snapshot in the bark chips. Suppose the bark was rather new and had become "pickled" during storage. Does it smell strange? (Like pickles or formic acid). Is it acidic? Fresh wood waste?

    Did you happen to use acid or moss control on the roof over the area?

    I don't expect the soil test to show much; you used the same soil all around the house, right? Did it look OK last year? When did this show up? Any sign of insects or grubs? Check for fungal disease.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  5. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,626

    Here is the soil test.

    All irrigation is 100% operational. The only changes were in early August I planted 7-8 Strawberry Vanilla hydrangeas right along there. I cant remember if it had started turning brown before then though. I made a rookie mistake last week anyways and did not raise my mower from a customers yard and chopped all the green off the grass so i just sped up the "dormant look".

    I was planning on putting down lime next week anyways. I know the test says 25lb per 1000 sqft but I would like to hear what some of you might do and what type of fert I should be using. i was currently using a Lesco 28-0-3, and i just recently put down Dimension 0-0-7. Looking forward to your answers.

    Soil test2013 002.jpg
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Bermuda does better at a soil pH between 6-7. You do need the high calcium lime. No dolomite. Also, why 28-0-3? On bermuda, I like to see 14 or more potassium, especially in areas with short growing seasons. Potassium helps with cold hardiness. Potassium also helps with root and stolon development. I know I apply close to 1/2 lb K per 1000 every application. Not doing that causes me problems concerning how long the grass can go between irrigation and thinness of the turf.
  7. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,626

    Why is the hydrogen so high?? What's causing that.
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  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    That is another way of indicating soil acidity. H+ is acidity. H2SO4(Sulfuric acid), HCl(Hydrochloric acid), H3PO4(Phosphoric acid). The actual issue with soil acidity relates to aluminum and/or manganese becoming toxic. I once treated a bermuda lawn that tested at 5.5. No matter how much fertilizer the homeowner applied, lawn would not grow or be green. There is a certain stunted and thin look to bermuda or zoysia growing on acid soil. I applied enough lime to get the pH up to 6 and the grass grew on a normal program. Then again, I have seen grass react to lime by turning very green and thick. With metal toxicity addressed, the roots are able to take up nutrients inherently present in the soil or put there by attempts to fertilize.
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    H+ gets high because there is no calcium in the soil. It happens to me here on inland lawns away from the coral and sand. Especially in areas that get more than 20 of rain in a year. All of the calcium, potassium, and magnesium gets leached out by rain and irrigation. Soil testing and replacement of what is deficient fixes that.
  10. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Be careful about message board advice -- you get what you pay for. Al and Mn toxicity at pH 5.2? Not very likely. You could test for that, though. Soil pH determines nutrient availability. Different nutrients are plant available at different pH levels. 5.2 is not horribly low for a bermudagrass lawn. The target range is typically 5.5 to 6.5, which is why only 25#/M of a calcitic lime is showing up in your recommendations. Does this mean you're low in Ca? NO! It only means that you already have adequate Mg in the soil and don't need to add any more with your lime app.

    Is 28-0-3 OK? Probably not -- just because the soil test-K level is low. Since you to need to bring up that K level, you'll need more K in your fert. The analysis isn't as important as the amount of nutrient. If you're shooting for 1#N/M, your 28-0-3 only applies 0.1#K2O/M. If you use a 28-0-14, you're only applying 0.5#K2O/M. Why not use a 0-0-62 product to bump the K level, then use whatever N product you want to hit your target N rate? Don't worry about the analysis -- focus on the amount of nutrient you're applying. Guys on this board think that analysis means everything, but actual agronomists know better.

    Finally, sanity-check everything you read on this board (my info included). What one guy learned from a county extension agent years ago about one isolated incident often gets preached as truth for all possible conditions. Over time, you'll learn how to weed out these low percentage situations and manage for the conditions you're actually experiencing.

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