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78 year old lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nozzy, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. nozzy

    nozzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I have a new customer who claims to have a 78 year old lawn. She says the lawn was nice and green most of the summer but this fall it is "dying." She is worried that she is losing the lawn. It looks to me like some of the lawn grasses (many variations in the old lawn) are going dormant and I want to be able to give her some answers. The areas of concern are just some large patches, not everywhere evenly throughout the lawn. Here is a picture of one of the areas. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. nozzy

    nozzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Here is another picture of the problem lawn.

  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What was done differently this year that would cause a 78 yr. old lawn go bad???
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    What inputs has it had in last 12 months? Looks like a candidate for overseeding, turn it around a little each year with some more modern varieties.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    To me it looks like patches of bentgrass. The bent may have been affected by dry conditions or, if rainy--by disease. Bent has shallow roots and is more sensitive to disease. It is likely this happens every year when conditions are similar...but...now she thinks as a professional, you should be able fix it. Check for grubs.
    Chances are--she will swear it never happened before. Fungicide or overseeding might help--probably not.

    Once she is convinced that she has old, disease-prone varieties, and that overseeding will not help...sign her up for a Roundup, strip and resod job with modern top-quality varieties. Stadium green quality. Be sure to kill out all the undesirable grasses. Be sure the sod is disease resistant and contains no poa annua, weeds or bentgrass contamination.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Wait and see... killing off a 78 yr old lawn to replace with modern grasses,,, is not where you want to go, w/out an absolute understanding of what happened,,, if anything happened at all...
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I would not kill it but would try to introduce some turf with better growth characteristics. If bentgrass is an ause it can be taken out with Tenacity.

    In my little town of under 25,000 people I see the kill-strip-sod-(now add irrigation?) solution about once every 4 years, maybe less. I am not a big fan of sod.

    First issue is what would the homeowner like.

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