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Hypothetical Question

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by head_start, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. head_start

    head_start LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    If i were to want to fix a lawn, how should i go about it? This is something thay may or may not happen, depending on the customer, so it is totally for knowledge right now. The lawn is rather patchy and shaded. What seed would you use? Second, i seed the yard, but do i do anything else or before that to prep the soil? What is the accepted or functional thing to do? Do i fertalize and aerate, or just one or the other? The big question is, when do i do this? Does it depend on the type of grass seed being used?
    Granted i want to do this as organicly as possibel, soooooo, I thought i should ask all of you.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I will assume it is not a major renovation where you might be rototilling the yard and starting new

    Call your local extension agent and ask about the varieties that are recommended in your area, I would assume KBG or fescue or a mix of both in your area. You almost always get what you pay for with seed, don't buy the contractors mix it typically has too many weed seeds in it

    You should start while the soil temp's are still in the mid 70's
    you should core aerate (3 passes), overseed, spray with compost tea and top dress with a good to great compost and then tell the owner about your guarantee!

    I guarantee that if this grass does not stay wet for the next 2 weeks it will fail and I am not responsible !

    If you use a good to great compost you do not need to fertilize when seeding, the compost is the fertilizer
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The compost is the fertilizer for the seed, and a good cover, for the seed as well. Even as the compost dries it keeps the moisture in the soil beneath it.

    What causes the shade?, and just how dense is it? for how long? Over-fertilizing shady areas, without adequate moisture is a problem, that looses a little more grass, every season.
  4. head_start

    head_start LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    it is a small front yard with two old, but giant trees in it. the yard is real small, and there are multiple small patches, about a square inch of nothingness, but some of the grass is coming back. it just looks really bad, and the homeowner is a golf pro, and he feels it is not reflecting his "status" as a proffessional senior player? i dont know. i wish i could show you becuase it seems hard to explain. the whole front is shaded, all day, everyday.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Different grasses, deal with shade differently. With trees, there is an opportunity for 'filtered' light, at least. Fertilizer, is not going to be the big issue. Water, may be an issue, depending on the direct competition, with the trees.

    Constant overseeding, with compost covering, in the spring and fall, sometimes, even in summer if it's cool enough.

    Aeration and mulch mowing, will help buffer the grass plants, from the tree roots, over time.

    Patience, diligence, and expirement is most necessary. JMO :)
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Good advise AXE

    trees are very effecient at mining nutrients, regular compost treatments is the best way to go, seed, seed, seed. If you can find compost from an arborist even better

    Have you ever noticed under an established Maple, there are just rocks around the main area of the trunk, they have sucked every nutrient out of the soil they could find

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