frustrated lawncare newbie

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by stackz, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. gunsnroses

    gunsnroses LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    No need to test for fungus or insects, because you have will have them, and they will come back. No seed for St Augustine is available, so dont look for it. If you cannot spend 500 to 1000.00 for a newly sodded yard, your options are limited. If you have a truck I have an idea....if you know someone who works at a golf course that is better. What you should do is find a local course (with nice turf) and see what you can do to get a few truck loads of plugs after aerification of tees or greens or whatever. Work out a trade if you need to. Get the "fresh" like as fresh as possible...plugs back home and rake out even. Water in good for days. Next thing ya know, nice lawn. If you can pay, my remark about empire zoysia stays.
  2. stackz

    stackz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    ok, finally got my test results back from my random sample. I guess they were really backlogged or something. anyway, I really have no idea what I'm looking at?

    it seems like they want me to spread some 400+ lb of phosphorus or something but then in the chart is says its excessive? no clue lol.

  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Your pH is pretty low so they are calling for lots of lime... otherwise it looks good... I'm not sure what pH buffer means and whether a CEC of 6.1 is good or not, perhaps someone else can fill that in... :)
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Lime (dolomite) + compost + SOP ...... till it in.
  5. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    They are not calling for you apply 400 Lbs. of P. That bar graph section is the analysis of what's in your soil now. The Ph is what you need to be concerned with. You need to look at the bottom of the page for the recommendation's. Your soil need's lime, organic matter and IMO, some minor element's. (the thing's at the bottom of the graph)

    So what's your plan ? Do you want to have grass ? I gotta agree that zoysia is a much better choice. You said you were partial to St. Augustine but you will have to buy sod, and sod cost's big buck's. If your going to spend that kind of money then zoysia is a much better value, but first you have to know how many sq. ft. you need, no matter what kind of grass you choose. And are you going to be able to water this sod, you have to be able to water, you need to consider this question. Remember that warm season (St. Aug. and zoysia) sod doesn't need to go down until late spring, (for you - late March) so time is on your side. Here's a website for you.
  6. stackz

    stackz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    so I really do need 145lb of lime like they are showing on the bottom right of the last graph? ok.

    as for those recommendation numbers, they are just reference numbers for how to do conversions...118 was a conversion from cups/lbs in a spreader as an example. I guess just teaching me how to figure out how to spread the stuff.

    can I get this stuff from lowes? I've seen lime there before but no clue if its dolomitic. also, what is SOP?

    should I apply the lime all at once? also, how do I get the trace elements like its saying I need? I assume thats supposed to come from the compost?

    would it be ok for me to apply all the stuff, till it in...wait a week or two and then toss down a bunch of rye grass to get something growing at least? or would that just suck up whatever I put down and I'm back at square one?

    I'm working on repairing my busted well over the winter (one of thousands of home projects it seems) as trying to water during the summer is killing me with my waste water and water bill.

    personally, I'd like to just go with bermuda grass as the seed is available easy and cheap and it grows nicely in my backyard.

    what do I do about the stupid amount of phosphorus in my yard according to the sample? just leave it be and let it get used up over time?
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Yes you do need 145 Lbs. of lime per 1000 sq. ft. Split that application into two 72 Lb. apps. a year apart. If you put down more than that at once you will cause problem's. Dolomitic lime is what you see at lowe's or HD. Dolomite is the kind of rock it came from. $4.50 for a 40 lb. bag.

    I don't know what SOP stand's for - Standard Operating Procedure ?

    I don't think you'll get trace element's from compost, i use scott's STEP
    Measurment's are for 1000 sq. ft. Shop around for best price.

    You don't have to put anything down to get rye to grow, that stuff grow's on concrete, it just need's water. It will improve your soil and won't deplete anything. Use a quality seed.

    If your going to seed bermuda, DO NOT use common. Seed Princess 77 at 2 1/2 Lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. in late march. Shop around for best price. Bermuda germinate's slowly, don't let that worry you. Keep the seedling's moist for 4-6 week's (a must) Try not to drag hose's to do this, after a week your yard will be a quagmire from trying to grow seed.

    Don't worry about the P in the soil, it's excessive everywhere.

    Invest in a good rotary spreader, , it will be the best $350, (you can get this spreader on sale from john deere landscape's in the spring) you ever spent and you will use this the rest of your life.
  8. stackz

    stackz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    great thanks!

    I'll get on it and report back in the spring time I guess lol.

    um, as for the rye grass, reason I asked is because I've planted it in the past (each winter) and it will sorta spring up and grow real quick but then after about 2~3 weeks even it will die.

    I'm just using the seed I can get at lowes and I water once/week for 30 minutes in the morning.
  9. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    30 minute's a week is not nearly enough water, it's no surprise that the rye didn't make it. Don't forget, you are in very warm area, rye is a cool season grass, it does't grow naturally there. If you are going to grow bermuda this spring then don't put down any rye now, it will create unhealthy competition and make it a lot harder for the bermuda to get going. You really need to baby that stuff for the first 6 month's or so. I repeat - do NOT let those bermuda seedling's dry out, they will die on you, fast. Also, when you lime, use pelletized lime, not powdered, it's much easier to apply and a whole lot less messy.
  10. stackz

    stackz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    hi guys. ok, back in november I went and got the single 40lb bag of the pelletized dolomitic lime from lowes and put it down in my front yard. I believe (if my horrible math is correct) that my front yard consists of approximately 750' or around that. I havent done anything else to it since then. no planting or anything, just letting it sit. I was going to go get another bag of lime and spread it out this afternoon as its supposed to rain tomorrow but wondering if that is ok or not?

    there hasnt been any type of change in the yard growth mainly because I've just let it sit. I was going to wait until around march to get seed and then till the areas of the yard I want to reseed at the same time.

    what should I get for all the trace elements that need added? Its been steady 60's/70's here in charleston past month or two with the occasional couple of nights in the 30's.

    when should I start adding the trace elements and is there any type of easily available compost or fertilizer I should spread when I go to till? should I beat the ground to bareness with my weedwhacker before I till? should I rake up any old plant matter after tilling so nothing is left to grow in the tilled soil but the new seed?

    I'm really wanting to do this right this year and understand how I did it so it works out good.

    I will say my daffodils are already coming up on the property line. makes me wonder if they'll die if we have another cold snap.

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