Improving my lawn.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by GrassGuerilla, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    So I cut grass commercially for years, bought a yard of my own that I want to be very nice. Last year we had a service taking care of the applications. They seemed to be missing timing on everything. I recently core aerated, seeded with 5 star fescue blend and top dressed with compost. (I also aerated, seeded and top dressed last fall as well.) I'm in St Louis, looking for some advice on when to do what and what to apply when. Soil test results with a hardware store kit were basically useless. Colors weren't even on the scale (I'm guessing out of date reagents. Dunno). I'll post pics when I get home Thursday. I'm out of town for work until then.

    Any advice appreciated. Still looking for great top dressing. The two I've tried so far were ok, but not ideal.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    I should add that I've been out of the grass biz for several years now. And the yard in question has a fair number of weeds including dandelions, clover, nutsedge, spotted sedge and some others. The goal is very thick dense turf. I'm in a very nice neighborhood, I'd like my yard to be in the top 10% not the bottom.
     
  3. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 11,952

    Not sure what part of St Louis you're from.....

    For soil testing you can find a Mizzou extension in your county...This link is for Jefferson county.

    http://extension.missouri.edu/jefferson/services.aspx

    You've done well with the aerating, seeding (same type I use), and composting. I do this in mid September. If you have an irrigation system, When it's shut down for winter I recommend you continue to water with a sprinkler. Not the same cycle your irrigation system uses but keep up with watering.

    In the future contact Hansen's tree service for top notch compost in the area

    https://www.hansenstree.com/products/organic-compost/

    Here's a couple pics of lawns where I have used their compost...

    Grass-Fenton.png Lawn-Mowing-Seckman-Imperial.jpg Professional-Lawn-Mowing.png

    As far as treatments go I'm not a fert and weed guy so I'm not sure the best times to schedule things.

    quite a few of my clients use Rex Rieger in the area. (including the 3 lawns pictured above) so feel free to google them for their services...I haven't had an issue with them at all and my clients love them.
     
    GrassGuerilla and hort101 like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    Last year I got my compost from Hansen's south. It was really hot and had too many large pieces of stick that hadn't broken down. This year I tried St Louis Compostings turf and field improver compost and it was better screened and not hot. It was however very wet and hard to distribute. I may try Hansen's next time, but I'll go see the product before arranging delivery.

    Those lawns sure look good! I may try Reiger if I don't have success doing it myself next season.

    I'm hoping someone will help me form a plan. Right now I'm debating on aerating and seeding again in spring. Likely spraying tenacity in Feb. Then aerating a couple weeks later.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    .

    Thank you, much appreciated! I'm in Oakville. South St Louis county. I tried Hansen's south last year and the compost was very hot and had large pieces of sticks that weren't well screened. This year I tried St Louis composting. It was better screened and wasn't hot, however it was very wet and hard to distribute. Lots of clumps like mud balls. For the next go around I've arranged use of a drum type spreader. Might go see what Hansen's has before I place the order. Once it's in your driveway, you're kinda committed. I'll keep your Reiger recommendation in mind, but next season I'm going to give it a shot.
     
    JMK26 likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    IMG_20191006_142123756.jpg IMG_20191006_142159678.jpg

    These pics in the front show the Bermuda problem. I've heard horror stories about people trying to get rid of it. I'm open to suggestions. Right now I'm pretending it doesn't exist. Probably not the best approach I know. These pics were taken today. Seed and compost were applied 6 days ago and are already germinating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  7. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    IMG_20191006_114144730.jpg IMG_20191006_114219236.jpg

    These pics of the back show the bare and brown spots from dog waste being left on the yard. We are doing better, but still room for improvement in that regard. (12 year old has a job daily now... We'll see).
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  8. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    Looks like Pylex is my best option for dealing with Bermuda. I guess I'll plan on an app in early summer as it seems too late now, especially with fresh seed germinating. That said, should I forego pre-emergent in spring and just aerate and seed again or?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    I've gone down the rabbit hole of researching Bermuda grass control. I think I have a solid plan for roughly 3-4 years to knock it down 90+%.

    Plan is to attack with Pylex, Triclopyr and a surfactant like COC in mid July. Again three weeks later in early August. Then follow up with just Pylex and surfactant first week of September with overseeding same day as final app. My questions are:
    1) should I core aerate, top dress and seed or avoid disturbing the bermuda? Im Thinking about just top dressing the seed with some compost during this period (even if only on the area with the Bermuda) while still aerating the rest of the lawn. Good idea? Or..
    2) should I consider other apps to attack the Bermuda in spring or early summer? And if so, should I use something else then?
    Also, still uncertain about aerating and seeding in spring. And I'd love to hear suggestions about pre-emergent and timing.
     
  10. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 12,889

    Some say to hit Bermuda just as it comes out of dormancy and then monthly until it gets hot and dry.

    You might see if there is a Lesco/SiteOne nearby. They can help you come up with at program for your lawn.
     

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