Most environmentally friendly way of renovating a lawn?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Busto963, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Busto963

    Busto963 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 13

    Hello – I need some advice. What is the most environmentally friendly way of killing off and renovating a lawn?

    I have a lawn in Northern Ohio that is heavily weed infested and I want to renovate by installing Lesco Athletic turf seed (Kentucky Blue, Rye and Fescue blend). Soil test came back with a PH of 7.0, normal levels of NPK, a good CEC ratio, 12% organic material etc. It is good soil, but it is clay based and very compacted.

    I would like to kill the lawn with roundup (it is 40% weeds), and till in a bunch of leaf compost and alfalfa to a depth of 6-8”. Then kill anything that springs up, and finally seed in mid to late September. Intent is to use organic care there after.

    My question is the order of this operation and effect of glyophosate on soil micro organisms. Example:
    1. spray the herbicide
    2. wait seven days, then till in the compost
    3. Reapply herbicide to weed/turf resprouts
    4. wait seven more days+ and seed


    1. till in the compost weeds and grass
    2. apply herbicide to weed/turf resprouts
    3. Reapply herbicide to weed/turf resprouts
    4. wait seven more days+ and seed

    Can I till in the dead grass weeds? Will I totally screw up the soil web by this three-week process of killing of the turf?

  2. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    sounds good to me; go with the first option. You could try using Bolster Granular (4-4-4) as a starter fertilizer if your customer can afford it. Do a search on it. I hear it works wonders and I'm going to try out some myself this fall.
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Round-up has no residual in soil. It does not harm micro-organisms. You do not have to wait 7 days to seed. You can seed right over R-up, if you wish (I do it all the time, results are excellent).
  4. Microbe

    Microbe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    Its all in the preperation of the soil. Rototilling in alfalfa is a good move! Mabye look into vermiculite, since the area is compacted, mabye a little bit will go a long way in your situaiton. Also, look into water gels. Water gels are little white pebbles that come in a clear container. If your gona roto till and wana keep the area organic, then by all means you need mother nature on your side. If your roto till the water gels into the ground you will be "preventing," serious drought problems in the future. Organic lawns are all about prevention.
  5. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    If you want to be a organic purest, be aware it is common for farmers to treat alfalfa fields with residual grass herbicides early in the season. Pick your product well. If there is a source of washed dairy manure compost (tested pathogen free) in your area, that would be a great choice to till in at about 5% by volume (1/2" in 10" soil). But if there is 12% organic matter already, why add any more? Just till. 12% is high, so get ready for the soil level to settle over time. The finished soil level (at walks, sprinklers, etc.) should take that into account. How about tilling in some endo mycorrhizae and microbes while your at it? That will aid germination and help floculate the heavy soil as well.

  6. Busto963

    Busto963 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 13


    Aside from weeds, the issue is serious soil compaction in a heavy clay soil. The community was built in the early 1930s, and I doubt the lawn has ever been aerated. Additional benefit will be leveling out the lawn. I am trying to get mycorrhizae and microbes from soil secrets working through a distributor. Thanks

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