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Fairly new lawn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shawes, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. shawes

    shawes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I built a house last July and had the entire yard sodded. I have kept up with applications from Scotts as far as weed control and fertilizers. My question is, how long wil it take for my lawn to really get going as far as fullness and weed control. Should I be using a different product (lesco etc.) Thanks for the input.
  2. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    What kind of grass is it?

    Most fully sodded yards I have done...it's usually a matter of weeks before they look "established"

    In Texas, we plant St Augustine, Bermuda's, and zoysias...and when fully sodded, they will establish very quickly...if taken care of properly.

    If your having weed problems and it doesn't look good after a yr...I'd say there are some care issues. A well established, healthy and well taken care of lawn should not have weed or dieback problems...unless the sod you bought really sucked. Even then, if taken care of, the grass will choke out most weeds.

    How often do you mow? How high do you mow? How often do you water...fertilize?

    If mowed infrequently, weeds can establish themeselves and their root systems. If watered infrequently, the grass can die-back, leaving bare patches for weeds to take root. You can also kill the grass by fertilizing too much.

    Generally, it's the mowing and watering that determines what a yard looks like and how healthy it is...along with at least a coupla fertilizings per year.

    Another note...Weed n Feed fertilizers generally do neither well. Get a good fertilizer (Lesco brands are damn good) and apply according to instructions (be careful not to over-fertilize). If you want weed control, get a good pre or post emergent...and apply as instructed (again, Lesco makes some of the best).

    Mow frequently and high (usually, can depend on grass), and water...and avoid TOO MANY chemicals...and your yard should look great.

    KY GRASSLANDS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    OK sometimes it takes a few years to get the lawn your looking for. Especially around here (kentucky) we have to deal with all the high humity, sometimes period of dought and we have clay soils. Since you and i are in the same area my advice would be dont over do it with the ferts and weed control. Alot of healthy lawns around here mow at a height of 3.5 in summer because of the high humity and heat we have. Have a core aeration done that will help your lawn more than anything. And when we have a dry spell give your lawn a drink (water). Good luck with it
  4. shawes

    shawes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    The grass is a rye, fescue, bluegrass mix. I do not know how good the sod was the builder purchased. I mow once a week at 3 inches, I will raise it to 3.5. It is clay soil just like kygrasslands stated. I have not been over fertilizing just going by the scotts program and following the directions for spreader settings. It was just like after the new sods first winter it looked a bit thin. A month after it was sodded it did look established. I am really thinking the winter had an impact on it. Could this be true being the first winter for the newly established roots. I have had people tell me in two years it will really get rolling, is this true. Thanks so much for the help. This site is a great teaching tool for us rookies.

    KY GRASSLANDS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Just to let you know Shawes, I also had my home built in July of last year and believe me its not the best time of year to sod around here. When you move into your house you want grass. My lawn suffered some summer/winter stress,a little thinning like yourself. This fall im planning on doing a core aeration and a overseeding.This sould being it around. By the way what area do you live in?
  6. shawes

    shawes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Kygrasslands, I live in the Polo Fields, and yourself?
  7. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Was the rye a perennial or annual rye?

    Here's what I know about your grass mix. Fescue does well in the cool seasons, but tends to shrink back when it gets real hot. If your rye grass was annual, it just died out after its' growing season. I ain't familiar with kentucky Bluegrass ( we like our grass green here in Tx :) ), but that's prolly your summer grass.

    Is combination grass common in Kentucky? When we plant grass here, we try to make it one kind, and as pure as possible. We often get St Augustine, bermuda mix...but most people find that undesirable.

    What I've found with combination grasses (hydro mulchers do that a lot here), is that one grass might do well, and 1 or 2 others dont. So the one grass starts to take off, but since it was only a third of the "mix", it doesn't cover the whole yard. When the other grasses in the mix start dying off, things start looking "thin." Until the main grass takes over and establishes its dominance.

    I don't like mixes because having several different type of grasses looks sloppy to me. I may overseed with annual rye in the winter just to have a green yard during winter...but, that's about it. Rye grows fast and gets green in a hurry, so a lotta people put that down in the "off" season just so you have some grass until the dominate one takes over. Mebbe they did that for you as well.

    With a mix like that, it would seem it would take a little while for it to settle and sort itself out. I'm thinking the rye was just to give you something green in a hurry...the fescue to give you green in the cooler months, and the bluegrass to give you summer color....and it'll take awhile to establish each.

    Just a guess tho :)

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