Lawn at 7700 above sea level

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Eugene Ninnie, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Eugene Ninnie

    Eugene Ninnie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I am a homeowner. I live at 7700 above sea level in a high desert environment. Long cold winters and mild sunny dry summers. I have about 15,000 sq.ft. of automatic sprinklered 5 zone lawn that I maintain each year. I do the following in the spring ( May)

    • Dethatch
    • Aerate
    • Lime ( Type S Mason Lime for Soil. Soil is always acidic in spring)
    • Fertilize with Scots Turf Builder with Weed Control
    • In the summer ( july) I apply another round of lime and fertilizer
    • I sprinkle at night on all 5 zones every other day to start then every 6 days in the hotter times in summer
    • Late Sept last application of Fertilizer

    Over the years it seems that Scots is not performing like it used to. In prior years the lawn had a consistent deep green color.

    I am reaching out to the professionals in this forum for professional advice on changing the fertilizer and where I can get it. I have heard that a NPK ratio of 20-20-20 is best. Scots is a 28-0-3. So no phosphorous and a small amount of potash. So maybe that could be a problem?

    I would like to also purchase a pallet of the fertilizer to maintain some level of economy rather than purchase at the retail rate at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Scots is now past 60 per 40 lbs which they say covers 15,000 sq.ft. but for my 15,000 I use 2 bags because the setting Scots specifies on their drop spreader for 15,000 always comes out short and I need to add a second bag. ( so their specs on 15,000 sq.ft. per bag is BS) So another reason I need a better fertilizer.

    Any suggestions or help is appreciated!

    Thank You!
     
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,053

    Does it need to be dethatched?

    Does it need lime twice a year?

    What is the pH of your water?

    What type of grass?
     
  3. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6,618

    Have you had the soil tested?

    That's where I would start.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Eugene Ninnie

    Eugene Ninnie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

     
  5. OP
    OP
    Eugene Ninnie

    Eugene Ninnie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    It was tested about 7 years ago. Where can I find a good test kit. I will do it myself and provide the results.
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,053

    Need to get it tested again.

    You say it needs to be dethatched. How thick is your thatch layer? Especially if you're aerating, does it really need it?
     
    hort101 likes this.
  7. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6,618

    Testing should be done every three to four years.

    I like waypoint analytical. Your local extension office will help also.

    https://www.waypointanalytical.com
     
  8. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6,618

    I will second does it need a dethaching?
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,157

    What kind of grass?
    What kind of crabgrass and weed control?
    Yes, you can buy soil test kits and soil acidity (pH) meters at Home Depot.
    Phosphorus (middle number) does not add much to the green color--you probably do not need it.
    Did you say "drop spreader". A rotary spreader is a lot faster. Scots products are usually of high quality. If you switch to a cheaper brand, remember that the most costly part of the fertilizer is the coated or slow-release nitrogen. It is the most important ingredient.
    You need different professional soil test. High pH is common in the west. This will gradually cause an iron deficiency--and lack of iron results in a yellowish green color. In this case, lime would not help.
    Get the deluxe full soil test, if you like to be sure. The micro-nutrient minerals can be in short supply due to alkali in soil. Have it also checked for iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum. Get your water tested, too.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,053

    Here's some links for you to read on dethatching and whether it is really necessary.

    http://www.tuffturfmolebusters.com/lawn-care/dethatching/

    https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/core_aeration_and_dethatching_of_lawns

    https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/cultivation_of_lawns_e0003turf

    Basically, unless you have one of the types of turf that is very susceptible to developing a thick thatch layer (over 1"), it is not necessary every year. UNLESS the thatch buildup is due to cultural issues...overfertilization, overwatering, severe soil compaction.

    Dethatching is frequently one of those wive's tales things...it's always been done so it keeps getting done. Aeration is far more effective and less damaging to turf with far more benefits.

    That is why I asked if it was really necessary, you answered with the benefits, not if it was necessary.
     
    hort101 likes this.

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