Can't take it anymore! My 2 acre yard needs help! =)

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by blakeaf96, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. blakeaf96

    blakeaf96 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Okay here goes. I have a pretty large front yard (2 acres) - The yard was first established in 1979. Since I bought it 10 years ago, there really had been no real effort to make the grass look nice, make greener, thicker, get rid of weeds, etc... But I need to change this. I keep a nice clean, immaculate yard, and WANT NICE GRASS IN THAT 2 ACRES.

    Now I've tried a few times spreading Fertilizer and Grass Seed, etc multiple times, with only little tiny areas showing signs of it working. Mainly, the immediate area around my house (where there is some shade) grows some really nice grass, no complaints there.

    However, what can I do to get that 2 acres worth look and feel a lot better? I'm going to spray weed killer to kill off off the weeds first. Then was thinking about buying a pull behind, heavy SPIKE aerator to open up the yard. Then spread grass seed again, but it's just too much yard to cover up the grass seed once spreading to a heavy rain doesn't wash it all away (which has happened several times as well when I spread before a rainfall)

    I'm just sick of having grass in the front that doesn't grow well (it's not dirt by any means) - It's a fully developed, full yard, but the grass just doesn't grow and doesn't get a dark green color.

    Would a simple weed treatment, then aeration, then spread seed work? And then liquid nitrogen later to make it greener (I know, expensive) - I know I'm all over the place with this post, but hopefully, someone understands what I'm going through and can offer a reasonably priced resolution to get a beautiful yard that is FULL SUN all day with only a few smaller trees in the front yard.

    Thanks in advance for all the help everyone! Much appreciated!!!!!
     
  2. OP
    OP
    blakeaf96

    blakeaf96 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    In summary, I need 2 acres of FULL SUN front yard in Georgia (hot weather in summer) to get thicker, dark green and actually grow... And get rid of the weeds. All this WITHOUT this hard effort being washed away by too heavy of a rainfall. Thanks! =)
     
  3. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,811

    what kind of grass did you plant?

    if bermuda it's gonna get taken over by weeds unless you spray it all of the time.

    you need some zoysia, centipede, or st. augustine. once they take over they will keep the weeds out on their own.
     
  4. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,323

    Spiker=compacting the soil around the holes even more. Bad

    Core aerator=no compacting and breaking up the ground and thatch layer. Good.
     
    Matthews Lawn Care and weeze like this.
  5. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,950

    You need some automatic irrigation. Until then you will be chasing your tail without much to show for it. When you see the price for two acres of irrigation i'm willing to bet that the appearance of the grass won't seem so important.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,811

    don't need no irrigation...at least not here. we've had so much rain over the winter it's enough to last all summer. :laugh:
     
  7. OP
    OP
    blakeaf96

    blakeaf96 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks for the replies. Any recommendations for a core aerator without busting the bank? Something I can pull behind my mower? I need to get my yard opened up plenty so it can breathe! :)

    Thinking about putting a fence up in the front to separate the "big" part of the front yard from the "immediate" yard surrounding the house and just focus on the immediate grass instead. Seems like this will be too costly to get the results I want for all 2 acres hahaha =)

    But yes, definitely want an aerator. What's the best without spending a ton? THANKS AGAIN!
     
  8. Dandan111

    Dandan111 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    I bought a pull behind aerator. Don’t buy one. I can’t get enough weight on mine to do much. About 1 or 2 inch plugs if I’m lucky. I brought in a pro last fall.
     
  9. WhiteStoneGuy

    WhiteStoneGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    The first thing you need to do is go to your local extension office and get a soil sample bag. Dig out soil from several areas of the yard and place in the bag. Return your bag to the local extension office with $8 and they'll send it to UGA for testing. Once you get your results and know what you're working with, then you can begin attempting to establish a lawn and determining what type of lawn might be best for your situation. The most common lawn in GA is hybrid bermuda. Then there is Zoysia and Centipede. There are other types as well, both those are the most common. You see a few fescue lawns in the piedmont region around the Appalachians, but even there fescue lawns are few and far between. Our GA heat is too much for cool season grasses like fescue. You can request recommendations for turf types you choose when you send your soil off for analysis.

    Overseeding...this is best done in May. The key is keeping the soil moist so the seed can germinate. If you have no way of doing this and are trusting mother nature, don't expect much of your seed to germinate. You also need to put down a starter fertilizer with your seed and the type of fertilizer will depend on the type of seed you're planting. You also need a layer of peat-moss or at the very least wheat straw to help hold moisture in the soil after seeding.

    Walk behind core aerators can be rented from equipment rental places for $100/day. Also, core aeration, while excellent for the soil, isn't always ideal for over-seeding warm-season turf grasses like bermuda & centipede. Those seeds only need to be scratched into the surface about 1/8" deep, not buried 3-4 inches in a core hole. Aerating and over-seeding is a common practice in cooler climates where they grow cool-season grasses like fescue. Those seeds need to be planted to the depth of a core plug hole.

    Also note, I see a lot of DIY home-owners spread crab-grass prevent all over their yard at unknown rates and then attempt to seed bare spots. The whole premise of pre-emergents like crabgrass prevent is to keep seeds from germinating. It's wasted effort. You can't seed and area where pre-emergent has been applied until at least 8 weeks after the pre-emergent application.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    hort101 likes this.
  10. takervader

    takervader LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 455

    If you really want to do it all right, start with the soil test right now. This will let you get an idea of what you have right now and what needs correcting. Determine what kind of grass you predominantly have and whether to save it or destroy it and start over. You basically have 4 choices, St Ag in south Ga, centipede if the lawn soil is acidic (5.0-6.0), Bermuda and Zoysia. You may have multiples in the lawn as well as some fescue/rye.

    I don't really recommend seeding any summer grass types. Find out what the lawn needs as far as nutrients, give it that, some water, and summer grass will run and fill in by itself. Seeding them is like tossing money on the ground and hoping a money tree grows, you'll get very little return on the product you buy unless you do it exactly right. (Aerate heavily/tiller, seed, rake over the seed to bury it a little, water heavily, and pray it stays hot as hell outside)

    So sod or sprigging is preferable.

    Aerate the lawn in Mid May in Ga, once the summer grass is awake and going good. Rent a core aerator, not the the spike kind, if you really want to aerate.

    You will have to forego the preemergents this year around this time so the seeding will work. Wait to apply a month later, then apply normally thereafter in Sept and February. For sod you wait until its rooting well and filled the seams in, and for sprigging a homeowner has few (legal) options since Ronstar should not be used.

    Best investment to really nuke weeds at a home on a 2 acre yard is your own pull behind sprayer attachment, 15 gallon size for you, particularly if you choose bermuda. But then its about figuring out what chemicals to use and how to measure the right rates.

    Personally, I'd spray weeds out with 2-4D products now along with some MSM.
    I'd then aerate and seed/sod in May. I'd aerate even if I were putting sod on top but I'd tear that yard all up if i were going to sod it.
    Figure out what the soil test says would be best for the lawn. An acidic lawn (5.5 pH) should just go with Centipede. Over 6.0, I'm partial to hybrid 419, but Zoysia is good too and smothers weeds very well. Of the 3, the trickiest can be Centipede but if the soil is right it manages itself and you may never need that spray attachment.

    Fertilize at the same time you seed or sod, based on soil test AND grass type youre going with for the future. Zoysia/Bermuda are the same, Centipede is different.

    So you gotta get the soil test and pick your grass type. You can fix what you have now if you dont want to do it all over, but we need to know which one you have. Probably common Bermuda but take some pics.
     
    hort101 likes this.

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