Need your Advice!!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Dirt Boy, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    I have a "potential" customer that has an existing fescue (3 variety mix) that they are unhappy with due to having to treat it 6x's a year for disease. What type of disease I don't know.
    If I get the job, I will be re-grading an adjoining lot, removing the existing grass, (that they don't like) and re-planting so it is all the same type, etc.
    The existing area is pretty much shady areas, which may be why they have problems with disease.
    My question is this:
    Would you recommend removing 4" -6" of soil along with the existing grass, and bringing in fresh dirt before replanting?
    I am afraid that if I just kill off the existing grass, or till it under, rework the area, and re-plant that I may be asking for trouble with disease in the soil??

    Hope this makes some sort of sense!!

    Thanks in advance for your input!
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Without seeing the property, I would say you won't have any more or less problems with disease with or without removing the soil.

    I would start asking the homeowner more questions, such as cultural practices. Simple adjustments in watering will make a huge difference. I have a feeling that they water too little every day, and do it late in the evening so they are asking for problems.

    Are they over-fertilizing, putting on extra chemicals, etc....

    It's going to be tough to kill off the fescue completely. You'll have to spray once, and probably come back two- three weeks later and spray again. Then you'll need to wait 2 - 3 weeks before you can seed.

    Another thing to consider is that fine leaf fescues are recommended for shaded conditions, so planting anything other than that is going to be tough to get established.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    One thing that you will want to get to understand is why diseases occur. Like the cultural practices listed above.

    If the soil sucks then ammend it to make it better to promote healthier growth.

    Throwing charges at them for removing and adding truckloads of dirt is not something you want to take lightly.
  4. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Alright, I will be asking them some more info.
    I am not versed on diagnosing these types of things, so your input is helpful for what to be considering.

    Thanks a bunch
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Grasses enjoy well drained soils. By this you would be able to water it in the morning and the surface will be dry by night time.
    And if you were to pull a plug or stab into the lawn you would - like to find - roots about 2-4 inches long and good moisture in that root zone.
    The root zone being called rhizosphere. Let us know what you think of the soil when you stab into the rhizospere.
    Getting those soil conditions correct should eliminate any fungal problems.
    Your most common disease in lawns is fungi and you can do a search for lawn diseases fescue -and compare to what you see there.

    Bright sun will kill the fungi and air circulation will help prevent a heavy infestation.

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