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lawns are dying

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dlandscaping, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    this year in my opinion has been a really hard season for lawns in the northeast (massachusetts) and other lcos agree, the late frosts and snow and then the drought for 2 months has really beat the lawns up. some of my lawns are completely brown where the sun gets them and in the shade, they are still perfect, these lawns were perfect and weed free but now are dead and weeded. i also have lawns that were a little thin but now are mostly dirt and these are protected by trees from the sun, i see thatch in the grass on a few of these lawns and others have turned to mostly dirt. i dont want to lose all these clients so what i am asking you all, is what should i do? should i areate (sp??) and if i do do i collect the little plugs or not? then seed it with a spreader? i have a bluebird lawn comber, but at the moment it isnt working, should i just try to use that? what fertilizer do i put down? ps i put scotts weed and feed , agway in the spring and lesco turf fertilizer pro and it has done very little, i was dissappointed in all three so now i dont know what to do. this year will makea lasting impression of my business since i am new to it this year really.
    also should i go invest in an areator or renevator?? and have everything to redo lawns and possibly make money off doing that as wel as the mowing?
    sorry for the long post but i really need help so i come to you the experinced lcos
  2. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    It's probably drought stress. If you aerate don't pick up the plugs. Right now I would not suggest doing any fert apps. You are still a bit early to do aerating, and with the current weather up here you wouldnt get much out of the lawns anyways. Don't forget that a lawn can go dormant. This does not by any means, mean that the lawn is dead. Dormant is where the lawn doenst grow, and basically shuts down, turning brown in color. If the lawn is dead then that means that the crown tissue is no longer viable. As long as your crowns are alive you don't have a problem.
  3. TruGreenDedLawn

    TruGreenDedLawn Banned
    Messages: 14

    Sounds like you need to sell "Complete Lawn Renovations"

    If im not mistaken there are hundreds of posts on it. I searched it myself.
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I am in the axact same position as you right now. Wait untill you start getting some rain again and observe how much of the turf actually recovers on its own. You will be surprised how much fills in on its own. Once it does start to recover I then aerate, over seed and apply a starter fertilizer. The results are unbeleavable 2-3 weeks later. Looks like a new lawn.
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I put a new lawn in about 3 years ago, mine. I don't water much in the summer and it goes dormant everytime. A little overseeding, verticutting and areating and looks good as new in the fall and spring.
  6. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    Ok, I dont get it. Crown tissues, your shoots and roots can all die off. As I said all you need is for your crown tissue to be viable and you have nothing to worry about. However, there will be weeds growing now because they have a very good root structure, going down a lot deeper than grasses. The more roots you have, the more water and nutrients you can store.
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Get started selling now and don't worry about what's going on. Times awasting and you'll miss your best seediing time. Sell the heavy aerate and seed. Make the customer water daily for 14 days.

    Skip the starter fert and go to the regular fall fert. I use 28-3-10 with 50% nutralene or meth X at 1-1.5 lb of N/K.

    I seeded test plots a month ago today with Lesco TEamMates Plus, a blue, rye, tall fescue mix. 1/2 was slit seeded and 1/2 was aerated. Seeded at the same rate. 1/2 received 5-10-31 @ 5 lb/K and 1/2 got the 28-3-10 at 1 lb N/K. 1/2 of the each seeded area was covered with pellet seed mulch.

    Early, the mulched seed came up better and sooner than the no mulch, no matter the seeding method of fert type. Today the aerated area with the 28-3-10 is coming on strong. Seed mulch seems to not have played a long term difference. The areas fertilized with 5-10-35 are now lagging behind and have less color.

    Go to work!

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    If there is more than 1/2" of thatch, you may really run into problems. The seed may germinate now, but given the slightest stress factors and -Boom- Dead. These thatchy lawns need to be stripped, top dressed with soil and reseeded. On lawns with low thatch layers, aeration /overseeding gets reasonable results, provided that the customer watered enough. Speaking of that, if you do this type of work, state in writing that germination results are NOT GUARANTEED since proper watering is required and it is the customers resposibility.
  9. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    i am getting seed and fertilizer from lesco tomorow. thanks for the advice on guarantees and aerating. i am going to detatch a few properties and reseed and aerate a few dry and thin lawns.
  10. Matt I beg to differ. If you have 1/2" of thatch you have other problems as well.

    #1 way to much nitro

    #2 lawn is cut to low and causing to much thatch with no way to break down.

    #3 grass has a hard time germanating in thatch

    #4 I think power rake would be suffisent and aerate/overseed

    #5 top dress only when nessasary


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