New house, lousy prep on even worse dirt.

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Dashunde, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    We bought a new house about a year ago and unfortunately they laid our blugrass/mix sod over rocky clay. It survived the summer but its not greening up yet like everything else around here, except where my dog has pee'd.. its very green and growing fast in those patches.

    What consumer fertilizer should I apply to get it all thriving like the urine spots?
  2. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,092

    I doubt if the grass is growing fast where the dog urniated. You probalby have fairy rings. Get the soil tested, then you will know how to address the issue
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    In truth you'd want to apply some molasses rather than fertilizer... the dog pee will kill fertilized turf,,, because with the fertilizer PLUS the urine,,, you now have urea burn... Commonly known as dog spots...

    besides,,, quick greenup happens at the detriment to the root development in the Spring... it is unwise,,, even foolish,,, to force 'GreenUp' with N...

    You'll thank me later... :)
  4. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    This yard has never been fertilized in any way, aside from whatever the sod farm used.

    There is a very distinct difference in the areas with and without pee, the grass is definitely benefiting from it, see the attached pics... most all of those spots is where he's going (except for the clover). Yes, some are burnt, and anything already green will be avoided in my application.
    But he is regularly hitting the tree stakes on the right, all around the mailbox and he definitely covers the utility pedestals regularly.

    I get what your saying about not doubling up and burning it, as well as good root growth, but I'd like to apply a mild and appropriate version of whatever is working in those areas using a handheld crank spreader, I wont overdo it.

    What am I looking for?

    Also, a few of the random green spots are clover from the adjacent lot... what should I kill that stuff with?


  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,665

    I would like to hire that dog. He is doing better than the Shaws fertilizer with 50 percent slow release I had for my yard.
    But seriously, you should have fed it a few times last year and particularly in the fall.
    It is the nature of the high-quality sod-type Kentucky bluegrass to green up slowly in the spring. It will be about 10 days late. Once it is fully out of dormancy, it should look a lot better.

    For best results call a pro from a small company in your area.

    If you still want to go with a consumer product...Scotts Turfbuilder with Halts is fine. In any case, be sure it includes crabgrass control, and about 13 percent slow release nitrogen (or more). Get it down before the high temperatures hit 80. Lots better green, thicker, and no crabgrass.
    Try to apply additional fert about every 6 weeks. Plan on weed control in early summer and October.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The general areas where the dogs seem to favor may best be blended into a uniform green color by distributing a coating of molasses or sugar over the area... in a short time the patchiness will disappear...
    If you're going to try and brighten up the pale green areas of the lawn use very little fertilizer and molasses... then in a few weeks try some more...
    If you fertilize enough to reach the 'tipping point' you're done...
    Everytime the dog urinates, you'll have yellow spots that will die into dirt spots... you're lucky to start at this position and slowly work with it...

    Send more pictures next month... :)
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,265

    My 2 cents - you are going to have to do some serious cultural practices to make something out of your lawn.
    Sod laid over hardpan rip rap clay will never be the way you want it. Aerate your lawn, 2 or 3 times this season if weather permits. Do a compost topdress, possibly more than once. Repeat these things every year for 5 years.
    That is what it will take my friend - unless you want to tear all the sod out, get rid of the backfill junk, and refill with 4-6 of good black dirt.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The dog urine will, kill the grass even with the simple addition of compost... I've already done that myself.. :)
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,265

    I have said this 100 times on here.

    You can have a good lawn, or a good dog. Not both at the same time.
  10. bamaturf

    bamaturf LawnSite Member
    from alabama
    Messages: 136

    Dalmation dog pee doesnt hurt the grass at all

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