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My lawn is starving

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by CaptainPike, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. CaptainPike

    CaptainPike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    I've been planting grass like mad but it hardly grows.

    Finally bought a soil test. It has high alkaline and the NPK content is very low.

    What would be a good fertilizer to put on it, and how often should it be applied?
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    224 posts?

    Get your pH down just below 7 or neutral.
    Do you use gypsum there to lower your pH?
    We use lime here to raise our pH

    You want to use a quality starter fertilizer to help germinate the seeds.

    I would wait a week to apply fertilizer after putting down lime.
    I am not aware if gypsum depletes nigtrogen as lime does. Any-body?
    Use a broadcast spreader
    The Scott's stuff you get at the H.D. is pretty good program.
    Only use quality slow release fertilizers and grade 1 lawn seed

    Fertilize three or four times this year. Be sure to do a late fall/winter fertilizer too as this will help the roots for next season.
    Test the soil again later in the year.
    Cut the lawn at 2 to 2.5 inches and mulch if you can.

    Use a sharp blade

    Water deep, but irregularly. You could put out a tuna fish can and time how long it takes to fill it with the sprinkler. Then water twice a week for that duration
    When it's full

    O.K. now every-body else...
  3. BlazerRidge

    BlazerRidge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    How high is "high"? Use sulfur to lower the ph of your yard. A good starter fert is a good balanced fert. I usually use 10-10-10 or 12-12-12
  4. CaptainPike

    CaptainPike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    224 posts aren't enough?

    I know how to cut grass but putting down fertilizer really isn't part of what I do for people. I just cut a few yards here and there.

    In my own yard I've always had problems getting the grass to grow. I've put down grass seed this year after killing the yard last year. I'd like for my work to pay off.

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    so feed it!
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Friend, I wasn't trying to disrespect you. I only wish to help.

    Please pardon me if I came across as sarcastic or worse.

    I hope your lawn grows thick and lush this year.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I wouldn't place a lot of stock in your home testing kit, though maybe its accurate. High pH is an issue with northern Ill and Utah, from what I understand.

    It is high enough in those places, to tie up nutrients. Sometimes people just dump fert on it and it seems to help, scapers learn to understand the soils in their area, which usually tells you all you need to know about grass.

    It's been a cold spring here, and it sounds like you just seeded this spring. The grass will be putting down roots for quite a while after germination so will not grow tops very much until it has enough root to do so... Patience with tiny seeds is generally best... :)

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